A musical performance masterclass

Lancing’s Music Department offers a range of musical opportunities for pupils: from being a chorister, to playing in the orchestra and bands, to composing music, the choices are endless.

In addition to these, music masterclasses are organised regularly at the College. The sessions provide students with the unique opportunity to perform and discuss techniques with some of the most experienced and renowned musicians in the country. The latest masterclass – for our A Level students – was held by clarinettist Joseph Shiner, cellist Reinoud Ford, and pianist Simon Lane.

During the session the pupils demonstrated their musical prowess, and were also treated to some more unusual approaches to help improve their techniques. Notably, clarinettist Joseph Shiner combined traditional, stylistic advice with planking – yes, planking! This particular fitness position encourages core muscle engagement, which utilises the airstream more effectively when playing woodwind instruments. Joseph explained how core-based exercises are used by professional musicians to reduce straining of the throat.  

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To complement the technical advice, the musical experts examined the more profound aspects of performances, namely improvisation. Despite the pupils using written music to aid their performances, they were encouraged to improvise and apply their own interpretation.

It was a unique and insightful afternoon; commenting on the masterclass, Lower Sixth Former Megan J said: “The classes are great; as a harpist and clarinettist, the section on engaging the core was incredibly useful to know.”

It seems the benefits were reciprocated as Joseph commented: “It is inspiring to watch the pupils perform. Having been on the other side of the classes in my younger years, I know how figurative these moments are - they stick with you.”

Certainly, it was an afternoon that captured the College’s musicians’ attention. This was followed in the evening by a Celebrity Recital in Great School, where our acclaimed guests performed for pupils and parents. It was a fantastic, enriching start to the Lent Term. 

To find out more about upcoming music events, our Lent Term Music Calendar can be found here.