Marika Meshkuna - Piano Tuition - Concert Pianist - Harpsichordist. Specialist muscial and piano tution and assessment in the North East of England, Newcastle, Northumberland, UK.
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NIK’S FINAL GRADE

Having completed the grade 8 exam in piano performance, Nik filled in the only remaining space in his vast collection of certificates for the ABRSM graded examinations just before embarking on the final challenges of his A levels.

During a 20-minute performance Nik demonstrated his growing musical maturity and confidence by performing pieces that represented a wide variety of styles: the Baroque (Sonata in d minor by Domenico Scarlatti), the Viennese sonata (the 1 st movement of a sonata by Jozef Haydn) and music of the French impressionism (Claude Debussy (Arabesque No.1).

The interpretation of the Baroque music on the piano is always a stylistic challenge for a musician. Because the piano was invented in the post-Baroque period, pianists essentially are playing transcriptions of compositions originally written for various other instruments, such as clavichords, harpsichords, organs or even lutes. Nik’s engaging performance of the Sonata by D. Scarlatti achieved high marks (27/30). It was followed very closely by his rendition of the Sonata by J. Haydn (26/30). “Lovely control of tonal nuance in a performance which had ... neat articulation and a sense of elegance”, commented the examiner. The programme was completed with his “thoughtful performance” of the Arabesque. Excellent and worth all the effort.

Congratulations!

JOSIE’S EXCELLENT FIRST PERFORMANCE

Josephine joined the studio having played the piano for a couple of years. After the initial period of adjustment Josie felt that she was ready for the first formal test of her progress. In February 2006 Josephine took her Grade 1 exam, gaining a Pass with high Merit marks – an excellent achievement for the first challenge!

“A musical and expressive performance”, “splendid legato”, “a lovely tone” were the comments that would make proud even a professional pianist. Congratulations, Josie, and keep up your work to fulfil your next ambition!

 

FIRST PRIZE FOR JESSICA IN RYTON

We hope that many, if not all, of our future concerts will be performed by the joint forces of the piano kids and their friends, the friends being just that: friends, family members, fellow musicians. So it seems appropriate that, from time to time, our news pages catch on with what is happening in their musical lives. Here is the first piece of such news.

Jessica is a pupil at the Sage Weekend Music school. She started her piano studies with Marika about 18 months ago. An ambitious and energetic young lady, Jessica decided straight away that there was no time to waste and in February 2006, being only eight, she won the first prize in the Ryton Music Festival in the category for under ten!

Just holding the precious cup - her first prize for playing the piano (it will have her name engraved for the eternity!), makes Jessica beaming with pleasure and pride – as proven by the photograph attached!

Congratulations!

 

ANOTHER YEAR - ANOTHER VICTORY FOR NIK

Nik had just returned his last year’s first prize to the organisers of the Tynedale Festival when another top trophy – a first prize cup from the Music Festival in Ryton, took its place.

Nik started his piano studies with Marika two and a half years ago. The beginning was challenging, however, Nik’s perseverance won the day: he worked very hard and learned a lot. His admirable progress brought him his first officially recognised success in the last year’s Tynedale Music Festival. Nik entered a category above his age and won the first prize, performing the beautiful Consolation in D flat major by Ferenz Liszt – hardly a piece of music one would consider as a strategically wise choice for a competition: its mesmerising simplicity is built on the sweat and tears of the pianist and expects a reasonable amount of co-operation from the piano! The adjudicator especially praised Nik’s interpretation for its harmonic colours and the exquisite pianistic tone. Nik’s performance left in its wake another six older and more experienced candidates.

This year’s choice for the Ryton Music Festival could not have been more different from the Liszt’s romantic and dreamy meditation: Nik played a perky and witty Baroque sonata by Domenico Scarlatti. The piano version of this harpsichord piece requires stylistically informed solutions in its phrasing, dynamics, articulation and pedalling. Nik’s work on the piece eventually ended in a convincing and enjoyable prize winning performance. Congratulations!

Currently Nik is busy completing his A levels; exploring interesting ideas regarding his future plans; and working on a new repertoire for some rapidly approaching important performances. Watch this space!

 

OUR PORTRAITS

Joshua

Josh is the youngest piano kid: he is four. He is very fortunate because his Mum and Dad noticed that Josh was born very musical and decided that his gift needs to be taken care of.

The first picture shows that only after a few months of tuition Josh’s hands already are in a perfect position (well, almost, as the left hand is being a bit stubborn). Other achievements include agreeing to sing without hiding under a chair; faultlessly recognising the pitch of several notes; being able to sight read simple tunes; and having learned some little pieces from his first book.

Josh is delighted when he manages to make up a song on the staff that Teddy the Ted, a permanent lodger in the music room, cannot get right. Josh’s latest passion is getting scared by the “thunder”, played on the low register keys, when listening to it from under the piano.

The second picture shows how Josh reaches for his favourite “dinosaur Do” – and misses it: “It’s a wrong dinosaur!”

Marika Meshkuna - Piano Kids - All Rights Reserved 2006 info@pianokids.co.uk