Master Class Program

Check the Calendar Brochure for listings of Master Classes.

The Master Class program is open to any student whose teacher is a current active member of the LVMTA. Master classes provide students an opportunity to receive coaching from a nationally known musician educator in a class setting, whereby students gain a deeper understanding of music literature, instrumental or vocal technique, and musicianship. Additionally, master classes benefit members by offering them new insights into the pedagogical process, fresh teaching tools, and creative techniques for practice and performance.

The chairperson will gather suggestions for master class clinicians from members of our association or other associations and schedule a minimum of two programs per year.

Jacqueline Herbein Workshop and Master Class
March 3, 2012

On March 3, members gathered in Foy Hall for a workshop and master class on the topic, “The Art of Cheating”, Pianistic considerations for Small-handed Students (and Teachers!). Jacqueline Herbein, guest presenter, has an extensive background in the physiology of piano technique, having studied with such leaders in the field as pianists Edna Golandsky and Barbara Lister-Sink and Alexander Technique author and teacher Barbara Conable. In 2005, she was honored with the PMTA Teacher of the Year award.

The interactive morning session addressed motion principles such as using the forearm to cover distance and for power, aligning the forearm with the active finger(s), and keeping hands as compact as possible. In an ebullient and light hearted manner, Jackie offered solutions to problems inherent in students of all ages who have small hands. In addition to offering physical methods such as massage and muscle relaxation to open the palm, she provided examples of ways to alter fingering, redistribute notes between the hands, use pedal for legato connections, and other similar solutions to problematic technical passages.

She summarized the morning session thusly:

“We don’t have to play EXACTLY what is on the page, we only need to SOUND as if we are playing EXACTLY what is on the page.”

Six students performed in the afternoon master class. Repertoire ranged from classical sonatas to programmatic learning pieces. Jackie asked each student about the technical challenge in their selections, then proceeded in her own inimitable humorous and creative style to encourage the students to “unlock and open another door” to reveal solutions to the technical issues. She led them through a few different “doors” until she discovered the one that worked for them. Each student left the bench with a concrete idea or two which reaped immediate results in their present performance and could also be applied to difficult passages in other compositions.

Attendees and performers gained a heightened understanding of ease of motion and its role in enhancing musicianship and enjoyment of playing.

If you wish to explore this topic at further length, visit Jacqueline Herbein's website: