A longtime partnership between the Mahidol University , College of Music, and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (mdw), Joseph Haydn Institute, was continued with this activity at the Campus of the Mahidol University, Salaya.
The masterclasses were focusing on the various elements of music education, specifically in violin performance and and chamber music coaching.
Whereas the instrumental perfection of playing is a kind of mindset among many students, the goal of my stay was to encourage them to develop a keen sense for sound production, musical gestures and phrasing after all.
13.02.2023 – 22.02.2023
My stay in Bangkok at the Mahidol University February 13-22, 2023 was part of an activity which started several years ago with the background of intensifying the exchange of students and teachers between the two institutions.
The Music College is strongly interested as well in having in mind their local roots as in developing a wide international network to European, Asian and American Schools. The Dean seems to have a clear vision in intensifying the international co-operations which certainly comes from his background of studying and living in the United States where academic live is prosperous and strongly orientated in a constant exchange. The various initiatives at the College have led to a placement of Mahidol Music College among the world’s top 50 Music Universities in the QS ranking.
During my stay I was hosted for a business lunch by Vice Dean Joseph Bowman, who serves not only on the leader board of the school but is as well active in playing trumpet in the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, which is in residence at the impressive Prince Mahidol Hall on the Campus.
Although it was already visiting the school several times before it was the first time that I was welcomed as member of the” International Artists Advisory Council” which I had the pleasure being invited to by the Dean Dr. Narong Prangcharoen.
On the next day (February 15) I started my masterclasses in the String Department and was welcomed by the head of the department, Marcin Szawelski, who was responsible for hosting me during my stay.
My first activity of violin teaching took place in the preparatory school of the College of Music, where my host was Kanin Udommana, who once had chamber music classes at the mdw with me, several years ago, and is now hired as violin teacher for the Preparatory School at the Music College.
The selected students showed huge interest in getting a feedback on their performances and enjoyed being informed about strategies to improve their playing.
From the next day on I was working with undergraduates of the string department starting with violin students and ending up in coaching chamber music groups of various kind. The main repertoire presented was in general following the same ideas as in many other international schools. My goal during this stay was especially to achieve a higher self responsibility of the students in the preparation of the music pieces which was highlighted by a peer teaching and learning class for chamber music.
It found great interest among the students and teachers especially since giving and getting feedback to and from colleagues was a new experience for most of them. Especially within chamber music groups it is essential to adjust to the feedback of your colleagues, together with an open mind for adjustments of your own musical ideas.
The way of forwarding the responsibility of their own development in instrumental and artistic skills to the teachers is a common habit but lacks a great deal of self responsibility in the educational progress.
During that class the listening groups were always asked to provide a feedback to the performing ensemble and following this we discussed various aspects of performance values.
Most of the time during my stay I was providing normal masterclass situations as one to one teaching but always joined by interested colleagues and students. The focus of my classes was generally orientated in delivering a clear understanding of the musical language and intensity within the pieces as well as the improvement of the technical skills to express the emotions most naturally.
I was asked as well to chair the panel for an audition for a string department showcase and had the pleasure to listen and monitor some of the most promising talents of the school which were nominated by their teachers to represent the department at the school’s showcase. After the audition I had the chance to meet the faculty for a nice dinner where as well music was always something to talk about (but of course not the only topic….).
The expected value of this activity is an extended and fruitful collaboration with the Mahidol University and a vital and hopefully even improving exchange of students. Whole chamber music projects in exchange might be the next step in future activities.
University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw), Austria
Joseph Haydn Institut
Since 1996 faculty of mdw, teaching chamber music and violin. Founding member and first violinist of Artis Quartet Vienna. Concerts in the most important musical centers worldwide, 40 CDs/many international awards, visiting professor at important Univ. in Europe, USA and Asia. Jury member at international competitions.
Prof. Marcin Szawelski
Mahidol University Bangkok, Thailand
College of Music
As a cello and chamber music instructor at the College of Music, Mahidol University he serves as well as head of the String and Chamber Music Deprtment. He is a member of Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) and Mahidol University Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Szawelski is a founding member of Salaya International Chamber Music Society (SICMS).
- Date Juni 29, 2023
- Tags Performing Arts, Visiting Lecture