The Keyboard Studies programme at NAFA offers a multi-faceted approach to music education. Students are supported by an experienced and international faculty, receiving intensive one-to-one lessons with assigned Principal Study Lecturers on a weekly basis. Keyboard students also undertake other instrumentally-related classes to develop their understanding of the instrument and its literature. The Piano Foundation and Keyboard Skills classes, for example, enhances students’ understanding of a wide range of topics from the importance of historical research and editions, to pianistic styles and techniques. Students also learn and study the harpsichord and fortepiano, enhancing their knowledge and comprehension of musical styles and idioms.
In giving students the best opportunities to develop their own artistic voice as a pianist, the Keyboard faculty maintains a strong working relationship with our degree partner, the Royal College of Music, London. Degree students also spend seven weeks in London on a bespoke programme under the International Placement module, tailored to allow them to fully benefit from our partnership. Students also enjoy regular masterclasses and lectures by visiting international artists such as Andreas Weber, Noriko Ogawa, Nelita True and Anderson Roe. With the newly-launched online lecture series, the musical world is brought closer and students have more opportunities to learn and benefit from an even wider range of musicians, with recent appearances by Daniel Epstein (Manhattan School of Music), Thomas Sauer (Mannes) and Murray McLachlan (Royal Northern College of Music / Chetham’s School of Music).
Through performances and competitions, students experience life as a professional musician in both solo and collaborative capacities. They will have ample performance opportunities, honing their skills and artistry in weekly performance classes as well as concert series held in our concert facilities. Our main performance venue, the Lee Foundation Theatre, features two Steinway D concert grands. NAFA is also home to two smaller concert halls, one of which features a pair of Fazioli grand pianos. Apart from the NAFA’s annual concerto competition open to all instrumentalists, pianists also participate in the Lucien Wang Piano Competition.
The NAFA keyboard faculty also hosts the Nanyang International Piano Academy (NIPA) and Nanyang International Music Competition. The Nanyang International Piano Academy is an annual gathering of budding pianists, pedagogues, and enthusiasts; participants attend lectures, lessons, and recitals by our illustrious faculty, such as Claudius Tanski (Mozarteum University Salzburg) and Nigel Clayton (Royal College of Music, London). The Nanyang International Music Competition is a biennial event, attracting participants from all over the world, playing to Grammy-nominated artists such as Ursula Oppens and renowned pedagogue Mikhail Khokolov (Gnessins School of Music).