Thursday, December 10, 2009

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and one of the most spectacular cities in the world – lots of volcanoes, lots of beaches and a spectacular harbour. How about this?
As in Whangarei, I was invited to give a workshop by the RMT (Registered Music Teachers) Auckland branch. There are RMT branches all over New Zealand and they do a great job of promoting good piano teaching, as well as putting on events like this!

The large group again consisted of teachers and students and quite a few people came up to play duets and to try some improvisation. I did the same 2-part presentation as in Whangarei and again interest and enthusiasm were in evidence. Here I am in action:
As the picture indicates, the workshop was in a church – there are a number of striking historic churches in Auckland and this one, St Lukes Church in Remuera, is really very attractive, especially on a sunny day. The stained glass and the dark wood make for a very distinctive combination.
One of the most striking aspects of this workshop was that I had answered “tea and cake” when asked what I would like to have available at the half-way point. The organizers had made a fantastic Christmas cake and offered it to the audience (along with lots of other goodies) at the break. What was left of the cake (which was considerable) was ceremonially presented to me to take with me on the rest of my trip. How about that for New Zealand hospitality?

Finally, here’s a picture of what you can tell is a very attentive audience at the Auckland workshop:
Thanks to Liz Calvert of the Auckland RMT for doing such a fantastic job organising this event. I hope to see you all again soon!


Tawna said...

I just started one of my students in one of your books, and bought a bunch of your Christmas books. I bought one of the performance books, since I didn't really know how to go about using the lesson book in one of my lessons; it's pretty different than anything I've used before. Are you an American? Do you do workshops in America? Sounds like you're having a wonderful international tour.

nortonchris said...

Hello! I'm hoping, like many other teachers, that your students will like the music and also like the ensemble aspect of each Repertoire book. There are lyrical pieces, rhythmic pieces and ensembles at all levels. Once they have learnt a number of pieces from the Repertoire book, they can find the same piece in the Etudes and be lead step by step into simple but effective improvisation.
I'm a New Zealander living in the UK - my writing colleague on American Popular Piano, Scott McBride Smith, is a fantastic US teacher who has helped to keep the series on track in pedagogical terms. I do lots of workshops in America - see my tour schedule on either or
Good luck and good teaching!