I thoroughly enjoyed my three weeks in Edinburgh. It was very much appropriate to go away and undertake such an intensive piano course away from the concerns of one’s routines and everyday existence. The final concert demonstrated that all the pianists participating had made a great deal of progress and the performances were considerable improvements upon those given at the first class on the first day of the course. It was my first public performance as a pianist – and from memory – so I found the experience terrifying and rewarding in equal measure.
I took away a desire for precision; not only in playing the correct notes for the correct length but precision from the outset of my practice in terms of quality of sound, appropriate touch and accurate sense of metrication. Kenneth’s rigour in his approach to rhythm – undoubtedly a legacy of his Paris Conservatoire training – was utterly inspiring and permeates all my work not only as a played but as a composer and teacher.
Jumping into long hours of practice was potentially risking and one needs to consider the impact on the physiognomy when undertaking such a volume of practice. My arms do indeed ache but in a satisfying way that a change has taken place in terms of my ability to create and control more effective sounds at the keyboard. Finding my own way of maintaining regular practice in conjunction with my other writing and work commitments is a worthy challenge and after Edinburgh I feel confident the practice will continue.