For my A level Music Performance unit I had to prepare 15 minutes of music that was recorded and then assessed that went towards my final grade. For this I submitted a range of works, half of which were for voice and the other half for piano. I was particularly proud of this recording of one of the piano works, the Nocturne in B flat minor written by Frederic Chopin.

I chose this piece as I feel that it represents Chopin’s emphasis on melody and it is, in my opinion, the best of his nocturnes. The nocturne is classified as a “character piece” to represent the evening that developed the Romantic period.

In preparing for my performance I played the piece slower than the recommended tempo meaning I was able to bring out the melody more and allow my interpretation to take shape. It also helped me to focus upon uneven playing and wrong notes in the more virtuosic section which got ‘glossed over’ when played more quickly. To help me correct these flaws I spent a couple of lessons working with Mr Hill, as a very accomplished pianist he was able to suggest both changes in interpretation and my finger placements to make my playing more accurate. I was very grateful to have the advantage of working with Mr Hill as we were able to create a setting similar to a masterclass but as part of a normal classroom lesson!