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VIRTUAL 

SESSIONS

Building Foundations: Exploring the Physicality and Psychology of Playing

From 28 March to 18 April

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HOW IT WORKS

Listen to Nicky speaking about these Virtual Sessions in the video below

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These Virtual Sessions will address our physical and psychological foundations. If we stand on shaky ground, we don’t walk with confidence. Our mind and body work together in magical ways. When trying to learn an instrument, we often get very quickly consumed with the small problems. Exactly where to put a finger or trying to stop a squeak or a scratch. In trying to solve smaller problems, we lose sight of our main objectives. What general state does our body have to be in, in order to play with ease, and experience healthy development? Why are we playing in the first place? And what mindset do we want in order to experience deeper joy?

We believe strongly in the addressing of our foundations, within which we advocate for individuality and creativity to be applied. There is no one way to play, one way to make music, one interpretation, or one methodology or pedagogy.

Alongside our friends, colleagues, and incredible tutors, we strive to inspire collective development and never-ending journey of discovery. We hope these sessions will deepen this dialogue, and we will all learn something from the experience.

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WHO CAN

TAKE PART?

Anyone, of any level of playing. You will be able to access all the challenges and can move freely between groups if needed. We would advise those of you who are fortunate enough to have teachers to please consult with them where possible

During the week, we will work generally on the fundamental principles of developing technique. These sessions are accessible to players of all instruments, and all levels.

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The live tutorial sessions will be split into these levels for violin, viola, cello and double bass.

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  • Introductory – ideal for those who have only just begun to play to approximately grade 1

  • Beginners – working around grade 2-3

  • Intermediates – working around grade 4-6

  • Advanced – working around grade 7-8+

  • Professional - students studying at conservatoire or university, professional players, advanced level non-professional players and young people (recommended age 15+) working at or beyond Diploma level.

**  If your child is younger than 15, and would be suitable for the Professional level, please register them and we will contact you for additional parental consent.  **

 
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SESSIONS

CONTENT

Through a series of daily challenges, all carefully designed to be quickly and easily grasped, we will work with you to support improvement and understanding of technique by breaking concepts down into a number of smaller categories. We strongly encourage those taking lessons to consult their teachers before signing up. And perhaps you’ll even want to join in together.

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During the sessions, we will be focusing on different exercises designed to improve your:

  • Posture

  • Physicality

  • Sound

  • Comfort

  • Intonation

  • Coordination​

  • Listening

  • Memory

  • Freedom

  • Mindset

  • String techniques

  • Creativity

We will break the exercises into categories, and they will develop over the course of the 3 weeks. This will

include topics such as:

  • Breathing

  • Instrument set-up

  • Grounding

  • Elbows, Shoulders and Thumbs

  • Intonation

  • Left and Right Hand

  • Equipment

  • Vibrato

  • Shifting

  • Aural skill

 
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OPEN TO ALL

  • short daily challenges: hosted on our website. These will include tasks which address our:

  • physicality

  • mindset

  • instrumental technique

  • imagination

  • creativity

  • communication

  • live practice sessions hosted by our Lead Ambassadors on Zoom. Each practise session will focus on different topics listed above and are open to all instruments.

  • improvisation sessions hosted by guest artists open to all. Your technique is personal to you and requires your improvisation and creativity.

  • wellbeing brought to you by our partners Intermission, Elena Uroiste and Melissa White. A live wellbeing session will take place weekly on Wednesdays at 4pm UK time on Facebook Live to complement the short videos shared as part of the daily challenges. Discussions on diet, sleep, rest and healthy lifestyles will be included.

  • Motivational Monday and Fundamental Friday interviews hosted by Nicola Benedetti and guest artists. We will be discussing what motivates us, how to maintain sustainable focus, and how to develop our fundamentals no matter what stage of playing we are at. These conversations will be able to be watched at any time and will be released on the Monday and Friday of Weeks 2 and 3.

STRINGS ONLY (VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO, DOUBLE BASS)

  • live tutorials for all levels of string players hosted by our tutors and guest artists on Zoom on string technique. Working with some of the world’s greatest musicians and educators, these sessions will follow on from the weekly challenge videos and look in greater depth at instrument specific technique, as we explore the fundamental principles of playing our instruments.

You can choose which sessions you join in with live to fit around your existing commitments.

 
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REGISTER TO

TAKE PART

Registration Now Closed

There is no set fee to take part in these sessions. Instead, we ask you to donate what you can – a donation of £20-30 would cover the cost of a place for one person on the 3-week sessions.

By registering, you will gain access to all the Zoom sessions.

Register by Saturday 27 March to access the opening event on Sunday 28. Registration remains open throughout.

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WHO WILL

BE TUTORING?

 
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Young People Live Practice Sessions

The live practice sessions will be led by our Lead Ambassadors. They are all students or recent graduates from the UK’s conservatoires, and are not only wonderful instrumentalists, but fantastic young educators.

Young People, Professional & Adult Live Tutorials – Strings

The live tutorials will be delivered by a team of tutors who will work with each age group throughout the three weeks. There will be a tutor for each instrument on the weekend sessions. They are all extraordinary teachers and we’re thrilled to have them with us for these sessions.

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Introductory and Beginner

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Rozzie Curlett
Ruth Nelson
Cello
Rachel Cooper
Viola
Violin
Double Bass
Stewart Wilson
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Double Bass
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Alice Kent

Intermediate

Claire Whitson

Advanced

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Meghan Cassidy
Alex Laing
Violin
Viola
Double Bass
Cello
Rozzie Curlett
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Double Bass
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Andrea Gajic
Jenny Lewisohn
Su-a Lee
Alice Kent
Violin
Cello
Viola

Adults

Cello
Double Bass
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Alice Kent
Alex Laing
Rosalind Ventris
Su-a Lee
Viola
Violin
Violin

Professional - Tutors will include

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Robin Michael
Elena Urioste
Melissa White
Leonard Elschenbroich
Hetty Snell
Nicola Benedetti
Violin
Cello
Violin
Violin
Cello
Cello
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Violin
Viola
Viola
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Violin
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Special Guest Artists

During the sessions, we are delighted to be welcoming a diverse range of exceptional guest artists who will be leading tutorials, improvisation sessions and taking part in the chats and challenges. Keep watching our social media to find out who will be joining us.

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WHO CAN 

TAKE PART?

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THE FINAL

CELEBRATION

We will host a final celebration event on Sunday 25 April. More information about this will be sent to registered participants during the sessions.