On Tuesday 21st June, Year 9 and 10 GCSE Music students took a trip down to St Mary’s Church in Old Amersham, to listen to internationally acclaimed pianist, Paul Lewis CBE, who played Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata which was extremely useful for us for our Music GCSE, as we have to study the first movement of this sonata.

Paul played the piece expertly, and his use of dynamics and articulation clearly brought out the emotions hidden in the piece. We then had the opportunity to ask Paul questions where students asked about the piece itself and Paul’s thoughts on it, as well as about his life as a famous musician.

I asked him for advice on practising and learning pieces, to which he said that if I am struggling with a certain section of a piece, to try and picture it differently, as most problems in music stem from the mind. He also added that I could also slightly change factors like the tempo and dynamics of the section, to better suit my playing style, which will also help express my own ideas and feelings in my performance. But most importantly, he advised me to visualise what emotions the music is trying to present, and then portray it myself in my performance.

Thank you to Mr Tansley, Mrs Anstey and Mrs Lister for organising the event.