The Piano Shop Bath recently teamed up with local piano teachers Susanna Downes and Edward Bettella to hold a piano recital for their students. Students and their parents came together for an evening of piano performance in the intimate setting of the newly refurbished basement showroom. This was the first student recital to be held at the showroom and the students had a chance to play their pieces on the lovely Welmar grand piano. Edward, who also works for The Piano Shop Bath, describes how the collaboration came about and how the evening unfolded:
“Susanna and I talked about the possibility of combining our students for recitals, as it provides a greater opportunity for interaction and helps to boost numbers at times of the year when not everyone can participate. Our main issue was finding a reasonably priced venue and piano for hire, taking into consideration that it would be a small number of students. At this point I thought of The Piano Shop Bath (seeing as I work there!) and the possibility of the showroom offering more than just a point of sales. It has the advantage of being well located and of course, having a piano for performance is no issue! My manager Jon was on board from the start and provided full support with tuning, moving pianos to make space, and canapés! I should also give a very notable mention to Father Peter Edwards from nearby St John’s Church, who allowed us to borrow some chairs for the recital”
“Once the chairs were set up we knew that the basement showroom would have the right kind of intimate yet supportive atmosphere needed for the students. As some of my younger students arrived I could see there were a few nerves, but having family there for support undoubtedly gave them the courage they needed to play their pieces. We had eight students in all between us, playing a range of pieces from beginner to intermediate levels. All of the students made parents and teachers proud, excelling in understandably nerve racking conditions, and putting in some really musical performances. At the end all the students were presented with a certificate for their excellent efforts”
“The evening was a thorough success. Susanna and I look forward to continuing the collaboration with The Piano Shop Bath, providing more regular opportunities for students to perform their music. Student recitals tend to fall at the end of the Summer school term, being a natural point in the academic year to have a concert. Many students will also have recently taken their music exam around this time. And yet for the rest of the year, performance opportunities are few in number.”
“The logistics of setting up an environment where students can play to a willing audience, are more difficult than one initially assumes. Simply finding a reasonable-sized space with a decent piano can be challenging, and then organising the various friends and family to turn up can be a huge task in itself! So the opportunity The Piano Shop Bath provides for Susanna and me is of immeasurable help. Performance skills can seldom be taught; you have to gain experience and learn to work with the natural reactions your body and mind go through. Ironically there is little guidance from exam boards on how to approach a musical performance, yet an exam will allocate nearly two thirds of the marks precisely on performance. The best way is through regular performances like the one held at The Piano Shop Bath.”
The Piano Shop Bath welcomes opportunities for collaboration with all piano teachers. As the only piano showroom in Bath and one of only a handful in the South West region, we are always looking at ways to promote piano playing and learning. If you have an idea that could work in our showroom, please get in touch as we are very willing to discuss new projects.