Christine Lamprea, Cello Master Class Presented at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
May 20, 2016
Friday Musicale presented a master class by Colombian-American cellist Christine Lamprea to high school strings students at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. This was the third educational outreach presentation of the 2015-2016 school year. Director of Strings Mr. Brian Griffin welcomed the students and introduced the program.
Three students had each prepared a piece to perform in the master class, including the first movement of Cello Concerto No. 4, by Georg Goltermann, a movement from Cello Suite No. 3 in C major by Johann Sebastian Bach and the first movement of Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major by Joseph Haydn.
During the critique of the Goltermann piece, Christine immediately engaged the students when she asked if they remembered the movie The Karate Kid and how the character Mr. Kesuke Miyagi teaches his martial arts student, Daniel, about wrist flexibility and motion. The students laughed and replied that they remembered. Christine asked the student to get out of his seat and do four jumping jacks explaining that exercise helps with blood flow and that playing an instrument is a physical workout for which the body must be warmed up. She continued to work with the student on wrist motion emphasizing its necessity for the Goltermann piece.
A young lady performed the Bach suite next and Christine explained how the piece is very harmonically tricky. She asked the student what emotions she felt or perceived while playing and listening to the piece. Both the student and Christine mentioned a murky, dark tone to the piece. Christine spoke about there being a lot of voice movement in the piece and to be very aware of the baseline and the top section would then be much easier to play.
Another young man played Haydn's Cello Concerto and Christine taught the students that the different rhythms confuse a cellist's brain because he/she has to be so aware of the coordination. She encouraged the student when practicing to work on the run three notes at at time, very slowly, repeatedly, and at different rhythms getting those runs increasingly faster over time. Christine asked all the students if they workout with only a few hands raising in the room. She explained how working out and playing an instrument are similar in that you cannot perform the same activity the same way every time you practice/perform/workout, that you have to do different exercises to train your muscles to do different tasks. Christine worked with the student on exercises to practice that would allow the cellist's physical movement performing to encompass his whole body. She asked him to start playing by looking to his left and with his head, follow the movement of his arm, and to move his head with the urgency of a sneeze. She offered a "cheat trick" that she uses which is to direct your chin in the direction your elbow is going and said the head is a reminder to use your back and let your body relax.
At the conclusion of the master class, the students and chaperones boarded buses and came to Friday Musicale for the 11am concert featuring Christine Lamprea.
Friday Musicale is appreciative of Mr. Brian Griffin, Director of Strings, and the administration at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for their support of Friday Musicale and cooperation for presenting this master class and bringing the students on a field trip to the concert.