Huge demand for new Keyboard Club

Kimberley Gilbert is one of the teachers of the Conservatorium’s new Keyboard Club

A new keyboard club at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s (CCCM) has seen an unprecedented number of registrations from Central Coast families.

Over 80 percent of Keyboard Club classes reached capacity within one week of the new program’s announcement.

Government restrictions permitting, Keyboard Club is scheduled to start in the second week of term 3 and is open to students from kindergarten to year 10.

It is designed to address the gap for accessible, cost-effective and engaging music lessons on the Coast.

CCCM Artistic Director Patrick Brennan said the Conservatorium’s goal of all Central Coast children having access to quality music lessons was the main force behind the development of the new program.

“Keyboard Club was developed to provide small-group classes where students have access to our expert teachers and will gain a great foundation in reading music, developing music theory skills and learning piano,” Brennan said.

“Offering engaging programs with excellent educational outcomes is what we are all about,” he said.

“Keyboard Club offers low-cost group keyboard lessons on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday Mornings.

“Keyboard is a great foundational instrument, and from personal experience – having had to learn keyboard for the first time at university – I can also attest to the benefits of learning keyboard as a second instrument.”

No-one knows the benefits of learning the keys from a young age better than former CCCM superstar student and current Sydney Conservatorium of Music scholar Kimberly Gilbert who has been enlisted alongside fellow teacher Sharon Hatton to guide the next generation of young piano players joining Keyboard Club.

Gilbert said she was excited to extend her CCCM journey which started at the age of two when her Mum enrolled her in the Children’s Music Program.

“It’s such an honour to be a teacher at the same institution where I developed my love for music and spent my entire young life admiring the amazing teachers that guided me on my path,” she said.

“It’s quite nerve-racking at the same time as I already know so many of the teachers and how phenomenally talented they are.

“It’s a strange feeling coming into the same environment but in a different role.”

Many students registered for the weekly Keyboard Club lessons are first-timers with CCCM and have no prior piano or keyboard experience.

“The Club is aimed at developing basic musicianship skills and a love for music within students who have little to no previous keys training,” Hatton said.

“Unlike traditional piano lessons where you are usually in a one-on-one environment, the Keyboard Club students will be learning alongside other children of a similar age and developmental stage.

“The group setting makes the cost of lessons more accessible than learning the piano, while still developing the same basic skills and playing the same pieces – the only big difference is the sound.”

Attending lessons at CCCM provides students with many opportunities they may not have access to elsewhere, including performance opportunities and scholarship auditions experience both of which Kimberly Gilbert said she believed played an integral part in shaping her as a musician.

“CCCM exposes you to a whole community of musicians from every genre and instrument; I remember watching those older perform at the end of term concerts and feeling so inspired by the idea that I could someday play as well as them.

“These [Keyboard Club] students will have access to those same growth opportunities, those same awe-inspiring experiences because the Con provides more than just music lessons.

“We see this as the first step in each student’s musical journey; I can only strive to pass on the incredible grounding I received from CCCM which prepared me for both ups and downs, taught me how to learn from each experience, and has played a huge role in me finding my own path,” she said.

Government restrictions permitting, Keyboard Club is scheduled to commence Tuesday 20 July with 9 weeks of delivery for term 3.

Students can register their interest online at http://bit.ly/keyboardlab

CCN

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