Young musicians at the Beacon School in Banstead were treated to a masterclass and given an insight into the working life of musician when a very special visitor came to the school recently.
Internationally acclaimed Mozart expert, performer and musical researcher Professor John Irving spoke to pupils from Years Seven-Thirteen after visiting the school as part of the Speakers for Schools programme.
Speakers for Schools was set up by ITV News political editor Robert Peston specifically to give state schools access to talks from leading public figures, to inspire and empower the next generation.
Professor Irving is the professor of Performance Practice at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has written extensively about Mozart’s work, as well as recording many of his piano compositions.
His talk to Beacon’s young musicians covered topics such as his career, his lifelong passion for Mozart, the importance of practice and how to give yourself the best chance of a successful career in the world of music.
“Speakers for Schools is a wonderful idea, so for our school to have such a hugely talented and expert visitor was an amazing opportunity for the students,” said Beacon’s director of sixth form Naomi Albrecht.
“As well as talking, he also played, and explained about how to deal with things like performance anxiety. For our young musicians, to hear someone as expert and as informed as this talking about these things is priceless.”
Professor Irving’s visit was just the latest event in a busy term at the Beacon School, which has just recently joined the GLF Schools multi-academy trust. Pupils have also enjoyed two London theatre trips and a question and answer session with local MP Crispin Blunt.
“This was a really inspiring visit,” added Ms Albrecht. “We’re extremely grateful to Speakers for Schools for making it happen and for giving our staff and pupils such a fascinating afternoon. We want to give our students as all-round an education as possible, and activities like this really help that happen.”
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