News | April 28, 2016

CommunityCultureLearningNews

Competition key experience for K-12 pianists

Fifty-one K-12 musicians from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties will participate in the Young Artist Piano Competition presented Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 by Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music & the Arts and The Steinway Piano Society. Finalists will participate in a recital at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 in FGCU’s U.Tobe Recital Hall.

The goal of the annual competition is to provide performance experience and encourage young pianists to work toward a higher level of musicianship.  “Competitions provide incentives for all students in their quest for excellence,” said Competition Director Dr. Michael Baron, Head of Keyboard Studies at FGCU.

Children who start music instruction and participate in competitions like this at an early age can gain countless benefits in brain development, he said.  “Often, standards are raised in the student’s mind and the important life process of critical thinking is sharpened. Because of competitions like this one, students are motivated to accomplish more than they would ordinarily.”

Founded in 2002, the Young Artist Piano Competition has grown into Southwest Florida’s premier piano competition for amateurs.

“The U. Tobe Hall is a great space for participants to watch and learn from each other in a competition setting,” said Competition Chairwoman Joanne Smith. “This creates a more exciting atmosphere for everyone involved and structures the competition in line with the leading amateur competitions in the country.”

The competition is open to the public, and admission is free. The performance schedule is available online.

For more information, contact Dr. Baron at (239) 590-7209.