Casio Workshop for Piano Teachers, September 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.23.24We gathered on a gloriously sunny day at The Warehouse in South London for the second annual Casio Workshop for Piano Teachers. The Warehouse is home to the London Festival Orchestra and is conveniently located a few minutes walk from Waterloo station. The event is organised by Lorraine Liyanage, Head Teacher at the SE22 Piano School and Director of the Dulwich Classical Keyboard Festival. Casio have sponsored the piano classes of the Dulwich Classical Keyboard Festival since 2013 and the SE22 Piano School have two of their instruments in their studio as well as numerous students using their excellent digital pianos.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.57.50For this year’s workshop, we were delighted to have use of the newly released Celviano
Grand Hybrid Piano
. Casio 
has collaborated with German piano maker C. Bechstein to develop the Celviano Grand Hybrid, a digital grand piano that takes up no more room than the average keyboard. The idea is to combine all the benefits of electric and acoustic pianos, while delivering the experience of playing a grand piano. There is a choice of three grand piano sounds: The Berlin, Hamburg or Vienna grand. The scene feature provides 15 different preset modes for different composers including Debussy, Chopin and Liszt. They provide the optimal tones and reverberation for each piece that is being played. A hall simulator also recreates the experience of performing in a real concert venue. See the end of this article to watch Benjamin Grosvenor play a Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid at the Casio/C. Bechstein press conference at Stilwerk in Berlin.

In addition to the sound, the keys go one step further towards replicating the feel of a grand piano by the use of C. Bechstein’s traditional wooden keys and a natural grand hammer action to enhance response and feedback. This makes the keys feel sufficiently weighted under the fingers.

Our workshop participants thoroughly enjoyed playing the Grand Hybrid piano and wide range of Casio pianos on the day. We had informative workshops from physiotherapist Drusilla Redman including an excellent Posture Clinic that assesses the optimal position for pianists to sit at the piano. We will all be using this information when next teaching to ensure our students are sat in a way that will enhance effortless playing and minimise injury. Two composers, Rosa Conrad and Heather Hammond, led workshops on creative ensemble playing and incorporating jazz into music lessons. Verity Gallagher from CLIC Sargent also came to talk to use about Practice-a-thon and how the money raised from CLIC Sargent’s fundraising supports young people with cancer and their families. Finally, the session concluded with a demonstration of the Yohondo app from John Holcroft. The app is made to help students learn their ABRSM exam pieces in bite-size pieces. The app is for iPad and is a brilliant addition to the weekly lesson as it helps the student break down their practice into manageable chunks that will lead to greater progress than trying to play the same thing over and over again without any sense of the bigger picture. Exhibitors Manu-Mat and Solemate displayed their products on the day. Do contact John  at Yohondo for your code to download your free app.

[Drusilla’s Posture Clinic Presentation]

If you have any feedback about the Casio Grand Hybrid piano or ideas for future workshops, do please get in touch. We would love to hear your feedback. 

Rosa Conrad:


Heather Hammond:

Benjamin Grosvenor plays a Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid at the Casio/C. Bechstein press conference at Stilwerk in Berlin: