Masterclasses (usually an hour long) are an opportunity for students to play through some of the pieces they are currently working on. Recently masterclasses are a few days before an upcoming recital. This is not always a polished performance, but rather an opportunity to play in front of friends, and another opportunity for me to offer some constructive advice. While clearly it is not possible for every student to attend all the classes, most students find that being able to play for their peers, and to interact without the pressure of a "recital performance" to be a positive experience.
Playing in front of other people, as we all know, is a nerve-jolting experience. The more you perform though, the easier it gets. The atmosphere of this class is casual. Students are encouraged to voice their opinions about other performances. Of course, if someone is shy and would rather not, that is fine.