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Education

Traditionally, the education of keyboard players - concentrating on interpreting the music and developing a keyboard technique - has left the knowledge of the mechanics of their instrument to a third person; the student plays, the technician looks after the instrument. However, knowledge about the technical side of the one’s instrument - its features, possibilities, strengths, and sometimes limitations - can certainly improve one’s approach to performing and achieving the best sound and most expressive possibilities from a particular harpsichord, virginal, spinet etc. 

 

Additionally, skills in basic instrument care (tuning, replacing a quill or a string, simple adjustments) complete an independent artistic personality – not only allowing player to take care of their instrument on an everyday basis, but also open the door for them to adjust it to suit their individual taste, technical possibilities and sense of comfort. 

 

That is why I consider it essential to provide such practical education for harpsichordists and others.

I can offer instruction in a variety of forms:

  • masterclasses

  • lectures

  • individual lessons

Practical classes can cover topics like:

  • basic or advanced maintenance class (quills, strings, adjustments)

  • tuning practice

Lectures could range from a general history of harpsichord to illustration of the various historical types harpsichords and how the differing mechanics have an impact on the player.

In the recent years of teaching at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw as well as abroad, I have developed a variety of teaching aids and constructed several models of harpsichord actions as well as a monochord. I am still expanding my collection, creating new materials to assist the student in understanding both tuning and how the harpsichord works, even if the they have no prior knowledge.

As a contribution to theoretical awareness I have created The Portable Harspichord Lexicon covering the most common harpsichord related terms in both English and Polish descriptions, which can be found HERE. It is accompanied by pictures for better understandings – if you would like to see the Lexicon’s Gallery click HERE.

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