Morin Music

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The art of sharing music

Learning to play a musical instrument is much more than mastering notes and techniques; it’s about learning to connect and share through the universal language of music. For parents of children enrolled in classical music lessons, understanding the multifaceted nature of music education is vital. Performance, often perceived as a natural skill, is in reality another aspect that requires nurturing and development. This is where performance masterclasses come into play, offering a unique platform for young musicians to grow.

Beyond practice: the need for performance skills

One common misconception is that the ability to perform is innate. However, just like playing an instrument, performing is a skill that needs to be cultivated. In music education, practicing and playing are just part of the journey. The ability to perform confidently and connect with an audience is equally crucial. Masterclasses provide a supportive environment where students can practice this art, building confidence and competence in their performance skills.

Masterclasses: a supportive arena for growth

Performance masterclasses are not just about showcasing talent; they are educational experiences in a classroom setting. In these sessions, students learn the nuances of performance preparation, including how to greet and acknowledge their audience. This environment allows them to understand and express the emotions tied to performing, such as nervousness or excitement, and to recognize these feelings as a normal part of the learning process. Masterclasses offer guidance and coaching, helping students navigate the emotional landscape of public performance.

Developing critical listening and engagement

An often-overlooked benefit of participating in masterclasses is the development of active and critical listening skills. Music making is an exchange between the performer and the audience. In a masterclass, students learn to appreciate the performance of others, recognizing elements they are familiar with from their own lessons. This skill not only enhances their understanding of music but also deepens their engagement with it.

The Benefits of The “Testing Effect”

The Testing Effect in psychology refers to the phenomenon where the long-term memory retention of information is enhanced by being tested on that information, compared to merely re-reading or reviewing it.

This principle is particularly relevant in learning a musical instrument. When our students practice performing and actively test their skills—such as playing a piece for their classmates or from memory —they engage in deeper cognitive processing, reinforcing their musical knowledge and technical skills more effectively than practicing alone.

This active retrieval practice leads to better performance and more robust learning, as it requires them to recall and apply information in a dynamic and often challenging context, mirroring the conditions of more formal performance.

Self-Discovery and personal growth

Finally, masterclasses are a journey of self-discovery. Performing in front of an audience, especially for young learners, is a step out of their comfort zone. It’s a challenge that fosters personal growth and resilience. Discussing their experiences in a supportive environment helps students reflect on their journey, understanding that every performance, regardless of its outcome, is a valuable learning experience.

Embracing the journey

For parents, understanding the value of performance masterclasses in music education is crucial. These classes are not just about learning to play an instrument; they are about learning to communicate, to listen, and to grow. They are opportunities for young musicians to step beyond their comfort zones, to connect with others, and to discover more about themselves. In the end, the lessons learned in masterclasses extend far beyond the notes on the page; they are lessons for life.
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Morin Music is a collaborative collective of professional musicians who have come together to amplify the reach and impact of music education.
Serving thousands of students each year through our Calgary and Global Online programs, we aim to innovate approaches to music education while celebrating the rich traditions of classical musical training.

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