Christopher Norton UK EPTA Conference August 29th and 30th 2013
The European Piano Teachers Association is the European association for professional piano teachers (www.epta.co.uk) It’s mission is “to raise the standard of piano teaching, piano performance and general musicianship in the UK by providing opportunities for piano teachers, pianists and other interested parties”. EPTA promotes conferences, concerts, lectures, seminars, masterclasses, workshops and other events. Each year the annual conference brings together a lively group of dedicated professionals.
The conference was held in Canterbury, Kent at the lovely St Gregory’s Music Centre:
I was due to assist my good friend Graeme Humphrey
in the opening session of the conference, a presentation about piano duet music, specifically music Graeme has selected and edited for fourhandsplus, the publishing venture we have embarked on (www.fourhandsplus.com) Unfortunately, Graeme suffered a medical emergency the day before the conference (thankfully resolved quickly) so I gamely stepped in and offered a presentation on Music for Ensembles. I have done this presentation in Australasia and it encompasses fourhandsplus duets, American Popular Piano ensembles and Microjazz duets and trios. The presentation references piano duets, piano 6 hands and 8 hands and piano with backing tracks. The audience seemed to enjoy it and I involved various teachers, including the fabulous and awesomely talented Murray McLachlan.
After the session, Murray very kindly described me as “not just a national treasure, but also an international treasure” Nice!
There was a dinner that night and it was great to catch up with teachers from across the UK.
The next morning I did a second session on “Unlocking Popular Styles”. This covered quite a few styles from a number of different series and it was a bit more about audience participation as a drums and percussion vocal ensemble, giving people a chance to feel what it is like to be the bass drum and snare for a rock style or the claves for a bossa nova piece. Here I am at the lovely piano provided for the conference:
The audience included Lana Thompson, one of the Schott team who do such a good job promoting my music in Europe and Asia (on the left) and Wendy Lampa, Schott’s indefatigable product development person (on the right)
This was a nice little conference and a good chance to see UK teachers en masse after so much work overseas.
Wellington, New Zealand
17th October 2013