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#1869680 - 03/28/12 07:41 AM Masterclass with Christopher Norton  
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I have thought about how I'd like to attend a Norton workshop, but haven't seen any advertised. I came across some good videos online though. Here is a video from a masterclass he gave 4 years ago.

http://youtu.be/HwsKzjrupcQ

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#1870084 - 03/28/12 11:36 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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I've attended his sessions the last several years at MTAC Convention. I know it's California, but I would think he would also be giving these at MTNA and/or other state conventions.


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#1870171 - 03/29/12 06:50 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Hi dumdumdiddle. I had been thinking this week that we haven't heard from dumdumdiddle in a long time. And now here you are. smile

In the U.S. we are used to composers travelling and promoting their books. I suppose Canadians take the attraction rather than promotion approach. (...or New Zealanders living in Canada)

Norton's books are not carried in our local music stores, so I always feel like I am in on a secret when I order his books.

I've appreciated seeing Norton videos. Since there was only one comment about it though, I get the feeling what I posted is old news and many of you saw these when they first came out. I suppose everyone's already decided whether they are a Norton fan or not.

Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 03/29/12 06:51 AM.
#1870241 - 03/29/12 08:50 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Uh, what does Canada have to do with anything? DDD was talking about California and also about MTNA . . .


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#1870290 - 03/29/12 10:01 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Norton's publisher is Frederick Harris Music (Canadian publisher). That's what Canada has to do with it. Get it? Do you think he's flying in from New Zealand for his California workshops? Surely the publisher has a say in how promotion of materials is done.

But maybe he's located in Great Britain, not Canada as I supposed --as he suggests at the start of this video:

http://youtu.be/TEckkXLyRx8


Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 03/29/12 10:25 AM.
#1870361 - 03/29/12 11:34 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I've attended his sessions the last several years at MTAC Convention. I know it's California, but I would think he would also be giving these at MTNA and/or other state conventions.


Here is an acknowlegement in Norton's Connections 5: "We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Development Program (BPIDP) for our publishing activities."

Government support took away the drive for profits...and therefore minimal workshops promoting materials.

Compare that to FJH's drive for profit and their attempt to defraud the Fabers. Two very different business approaches and each with flaws.

#1870372 - 03/29/12 11:48 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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I've never seen a Frederick Harris composer give a workshop in the US. I don't think it's much of a market for them. The majority of teachers I meet don't even know Frederick Harris exists. (Or Novus Via and APP for that matter.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1870377 - 03/29/12 11:53 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Individual composer, no, but Frederick Harris does have sessions at every conference I've attended. Most of them are in connection with the Celebration Series, but I've seen Norton do a session on Connections when it was first published. He has been at every MTAC convention I've attended, so yes, he is flying to the US and doing workshop presentations.

And he and Scott McBride Smith are always giving sessions on APP.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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#1870382 - 03/29/12 11:58 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Minniemay]  
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+1

I first learned about Connections from one of his "showcase" presentations at WPPI and/or MNTA national conferences many years ago.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#1870407 - 03/29/12 12:34 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Christopher Norton and Frederick Harris parted company a couple years ago, and he joined up with smaller, new Cdn. music publisher Novus Via (mentioned above by Kreisler) to launch a US pop method series coauthored with the American piano pedagogue Scott McBride Smith.

Norton and Smith have been making the rounds of the US and Canada promoting their stuff. They were just in NYC for the MTNA convention.

#1870410 - 03/29/12 12:41 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Christopher Norton and Frederick Harris parted company a couple years ago, and he joined up with smaller, new Cdn. music publisher Novus Via (mentioned above by Kreisler) to launch a US pop method series coauthored with the American piano pedagogue Scott McBride Smith.

Norton and Smith have been making the rounds of the US and Canada promoting their stuff. They were just in NYC for the MTNA convention.


Thanks for the update Peter. Rats! Sorry I missed their presentation. The word didn't get out here that they would be at the MTNA convention. I guess you just have to register, show up and see what you get.

I am curious though as to whether Norton is a resident of Canada. Anybody know?

#1870415 - 03/29/12 12:53 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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I sat by his side this week and watched him play some of his works....pretty amazing!


~Stanny~

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#1870423 - 03/29/12 01:04 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Stanny]  
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Originally Posted by Stanny
I sat by his side this week and watched him play some of his works....pretty amazing!


cool wow

Really, I'll have to find a piano teacher friend and plan to go together to some of these big events.

#1870444 - 03/29/12 01:18 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
I've never seen a Frederick Harris composer give a workshop in the US. I don't think it's much of a market for them. The majority of teachers I meet don't even know Frederick Harris exists. (Or Novus Via and APP for that matter.)

I hadn't heard of these other 2 publishers. What does APP stand for? Do they have online sales?


#1870456 - 03/29/12 01:34 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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I think Frederick Harris will really become better known now with the launch of the Carnegie Hall Achievement Program. They've revamped their books, and had quite a display at MTNA.

I believe Novus is distributed by Hal Leonard, at least that's where Christopher Norton and his books were. I've heard both good and not so good about his books, but I've never given them a try. APP means American Popular Piano, the name of the method books.


~Stanny~

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#1870463 - 03/29/12 01:42 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Oh. American Popular Piano. THAT I've heard of. Thanks for the info. smile

#1870476 - 03/29/12 02:01 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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#1870483 - 03/29/12 02:05 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Christopher Norton lives in England. He moved there from his native New Zealand some 30 years ago, as a young fellow, and he has been there ever since. I believe he's in London. He has no connection to Canada except through his publishers (first F. Harris and now Novus), and various studio music teachers here who like him and promote him.

I was introduced to him once and social skills are not his forte.

#1870516 - 03/29/12 02:50 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Gosh, Peter, I thought it was just me, but apparently not! wink


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#1870533 - 03/29/12 03:11 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Peter K. Mose]  
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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
Christopher Norton lives in England. He moved there from his native New Zealand some 30 years ago, as a young fellow, and he has been there ever since. I believe he's in London. He has no connection to Canada except through his publishers (first F. Harris and now Novus), and various studio music teachers here who like him and promote him.

I was introduced to him once and social skills are not his forte.


Thanks for locating him on a map for us Peter.

Now I'm more intrigued, considering the lack of social skills. smile

#1870785 - 03/30/12 01:04 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Now I'm more intrigued, considering the lack of social skills. smile

At a composition master class, Mr. Norton told the student that her composition is so complicated and dense that it "collapses under its own weight."


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#1870853 - 03/30/12 07:11 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano

At a composition master class, Mr. Norton told the student that her composition is so complicated and dense that it "collapses under its own weight."


That sounds like a good description to me. It brings to mind Joni Mitchell tunes with her scrambling to get all the words in. The comment wouldn't have hurt my feelings.

Did you see the comment as too blunt?


#1870881 - 03/30/12 08:19 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Yes, that's a bully master class comment that to me is the opposite of helpful and fostering public teaching. Christopher Norton seems to delight in an authority role; fortunately he is not a teacher except in this buy-my-books sense.

#1871061 - 03/30/12 02:52 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Oh well. I suppose that the more talented the composer, the more patience is required to teach others. Looks like composers are not necessarily the best composition teachers. Very different skills.

Still, I'm a Norton admirer. And maybe it's best to admire from a distance. smile

#1871225 - 03/30/12 09:38 PM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Overexposed]  
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Just thought I'd add this to the thread: Chris is an unbelievably lovely, thoughtful and generous man.

He has lived in the UK for more than 30 years, and there are some crucial cultural differences between the UK and the US (or Australia, for that matter) in the way students are taught and are expected to react. I understand the feeling that comments of such a direct nature as the line quoted above are bullying, but I suspect Chris would be horrified to think anyone had felt in the slightest bit bullied.

And as regards social skills: I think musicians as a breed are somewhat challenged in this department. Many of the wonderful people I've worked with, who have insights that we value and who are dedicated to making the world a better place, are not as gifted with people skills as they are with music. It's more a brain-wiring thing than it is a charaacter flaw, to my way of thinking.

One little anecdote that touches on these things: last November I was touring Australia with Paul Harris, a very well-respected music educator from the UK who has created a plethora of truly excellent resources for teaching sight reading, scales, aural skills and so forth, and whose mission in life is to help teachers take a more holistic approach to the study of music and the instrument they teach.

In his presentation he had a line about not asking students what they thought of their own performance in the lesson "because students will always say, 'I was rubbish'". The first time Paul said this I made a note to chat with him about it after the session, but I forgot, and in our second presentation he of course relayed this same line. I had to interrupt him and explain that in Australia if you ask a student how they thought they played they will almost certainly say "I think that was pretty good". Australian kids just seem to think they are doing an OK job (irrespective of the truth) just as much as UK students will think they are doing a rubbish job (irrespective of the truth). All the teachers at the workshop agreed vigourously - they had NEVER heard of a student talking about their work as being "rubbish". Paul was ASTOUNDED. I've subsequently talked with other teachers from the UK I know and they completely agree with Paul - UK students will talk themselves down, partly in an effort to prevent the teacher from doing so, apparently.

Just thought I'd share this anecdote about this particular cultural difference...


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#1871403 - 03/31/12 10:08 AM Re: Masterclass with Christopher Norton [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
Just thought I'd add this to the thread: Chris is an unbelievably lovely, thoughtful and generous man.



Elissa, thank you for sharing your perspective with us! I'm going to stick with this point of view as I play his pieces. smile


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