The last pianoways post was about summer music camps in general. This week we have interviewed concert pianist and composer Rami Bar Niv , who runs two piano camps a year for adults.
Pianoways: Thank you so much Rami for taking the time to answer some questions.
Most music camps are for children. Why do you run camps for adults?
Rami Bar Niv: The answer may already be within the question... Most camps are for children and adults also deserve the fun of camps. It seemed like adult players just wanted it - needed it. A place and time that allows them to forget about everyday responsibility and just have total immersion in piano playing, practice, lessons, master classes, and fun.
P: Your music camps last one week. Is it possible to change wrong habits in a week?
R: The students learn many things during the week. Definitely not all can be applied on the spot or in a week, but they go home with work set out for them and then they can figure out things slowly at their own pace.
P: Who is the ideal participant in the summer camp? what is their profile?
R: The participants are players of all levels from beginners to professional piano teachers and pianists. They are eager to improve their playing and understanding. The ideal participant is someone who wants to absorb as much as possible.
P: What do the participants learn at the camp?
R: During camp week I teach efficient fingering, correct and injury-free piano-playing technique, musicality, and all related subjects like sight reading, memorization, performance delight, and much more.
P: What does a typical day at the camp look like? How much of the time is spent at the piano?
R: Campers are guaranteed 4 hours piano time every day but they often get more, and as much as they want. On 5 days they get private lessons. They participate in master classes in the evening, so that’s even more piano time…
The evening master classes are often given by guest pianists/masters.
We start camp with a party and finish it with the campers’ recital and dinner out. Altogether, the company, friendship, and fun are important and appreciated by the participants.
P: How do you think the participants should best prepare for the camp: Should they have their pieces ready at performance level and just do the last tweaks at the camp or should they be less familiar with the pieces they bring?
R: I recommend that they have both: a ready piece to perform and at least one other piece to work on. That, of course will not be the case if you are a total beginner or in very early stages of piano studies. People who return to camp already know that what we’re working on at camp would best serve as a recital piece for the next camp. Often campers will start a new piece at camp or bring something fairly new to them, so they can take advantage of pointers, fingering, etc. and take it all home with them. But these ideas vary according to the individual participant. We also do various ensemble pieces: 4-hand, 6-hands, 8 hands, 2 pianos, etc. Campers who sing or play another instrument often do that at camp too. Some play and work on other than classical music styles, like jazz, pop, improvisation, etc.
P: Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us!
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