This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The Norfolk



Rory Marsden charts the

growth and aims of the Norfolk Keyboard Orchestra, which gives keyboard players access to ensemble performance




I’ve taught piano for Norfolk Music Service since 2003 and then began teaching keyboard in 2005. Since learning keyboards has been something which I personally found a real challenge I put myself in for Trinity-Guildhall grade 8, to check if I was doing the right thing, and fortunately they thought I was! That boosted my confidence in my own teaching and I thoroughly enjoy teaching keyboard as well as piano, and believe they are equally valuable instruments to learn.

I’d like to grow the orchestra further, from our current 17 members to about 24. I want to see them just making lots more music together and getting all the value of social music making which is usually denied to us keyboard players.

started the Norfolk Keyboard Orchestra after I’d been on two summer schools led by Nancy Litten in Chelmsford. I'd never heard keyboard playing together

until then. I'd been teaching keyboard for about three years before that, usually individually or in small groups. Then I helped at those two summer schools, with about 40 children playing through a PA, and the arrangements she’d done worked so well. So in 2008 we started the keyboard orchestra here with just four children. At that point the name ‘orchestra’ was probably more of an aspiration than an accurate description, but we’ve grown since then and performed in lots of places. We’ve done two residential holiday courses in Norfolk so far, where the social and the musical activities all combine to provide a very valuable experience for the children, with a concert for parents on the last day. It seems to make a big difference to the orchestra as a whole, but when they join the orchestra, their playing comes on enormously, with a fair bit of sight- reading and exposure to a broad range of music and different types of playing.


When we began with our four beginners, grade 1 was the upper level, but as the orchestra has grown and the

players have improved, we are able to be more

selective. However we aim to retain a range of abilities within the orchestra. All my arrangements are arranged

specifically for the performers we currently have. This means that our music is getting harder as they improve. The old arrangements can still be used but maybe are performed by one or both of the lower sections, not including the top ability group. Section 1 is for the most advanced children who have been playing the longest. I rehearse that section. Section 2, our middle group, is led by my daughter, Kate, and section 3, for the least experienced keyboard players, is taken by my colleague, Beverley McInnes. We frequently have sectional rehearsals, which is now up to eight players, with one leader per section. We teach them their parts for whole- orchestra pieces but occasionally we play pieces to be performed just by that section, with that section itself splitting into several musical parts.

Why Yamaha?

We use all Yamaha instruments, simply because I prefer them! We have had students who have come with other makes of instruments, which we use to start with, as that’s what they’ve got.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36
Produced with Yudu -