Last week pupils were delighted to welcome BBC pianist Harry Harris or ‘Harry the Piano’ as he is often known, to host an improvisation workshop. Harry’s extraordinary talent has earned him the reputation as one of the most gifted improvising pianists in the world. He performs in many different styles and is an expert in improvisation and extemporisation, for example, he can make the Harry Potter theme sound like Bach, Tchaikovsky or even Michael Jackson, all within the same piece.

Throughout the day Harry directed a series of 75 minute workshops, consisting of groups of pupils who had the opportunity to experiment with improvisation and develop pieces together and with Harry. These pieces were then showcased at a wonderful evening concert in the Centenary Hall, followed by a performance from Harry, who astonished everyone with his cabaret style party pieces!

Rachel Hellier, Year 8 said, “Wow, what an experience! Harry has given me the confidence to try styles of music I never thought I would enjoy playing, I am really grateful for such a wonderful opportunity.”

“I love teaching children improvisation; watching them grow in confidence as they experiment with different styles and techniques is so rewarding. It can give them a fresh perspective to their music and a skill they can enjoy for years to come.” shared Harry.