Playing the tune and bringing the students with us.

On February 28th at the University of Chichester, I played a concert with my long-time accompanist and Head of Music and Media, Ben Hall. What was so special about this concert as we are both musicians? Well, in our daily roles, the students see us as lecturers, researchers, and really as overall musical academics, but seldom do they see us in the capacity of being professional performers.

We took this opportunity to draw the students in, with the Multi-camera Live Event module filming the event as part of their assessment there was a team of 8 students with 4 cameras, complete with a rolling track for moving shots, and the Music students advertising and hosting the event. It was a chance to use students to document and showcase the use of the University’s prized piano. The Centennial D is probably the oldest Steinway concert grand piano in Europe. It was made in 1876 and really defined what was to become the modern piano. The instrument has a different iron frame to modern grand pianos, with less tension, richer harmonics, and there is tri-stringing further down the tenor register. The sound is pure velvet and second to none, but I might be biased.

Laura Ritchie and Ben Hall

Laura and Ben photographed by Andrew Worsfold, keen music enthusiast and employee at the University of Chichester.

 

The event was also a personal challenge. Balancing academic duties with presenting a memorised concert was my way of showing the students that I am up for the same processes that we expect them to undertake. None of us ever stops learning, and conveying that to the students, staff, and public is important to me. Actually, it is essential, because if you believe, have drive and commitment, then so many limits to how much you can learn and accomplish are lifted. I am certainly going to keep stretching and growing. I hope you do as well.

 

By Laura Ritchie
2012 National Teaching Fellow