Benedetti Foundation announces September activity

Virtual Mini Sessions continue for students, teachers and adults

First ever Virtual Chamber Music Sessions in partnership with 

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

The Virtual Mini Sessions, presented by the Benedetti Foundation, were held for the first time throughout July and August, and continue in September presenting short, focused workshops designed to provide in depth and detailed exploration on a wide variety of topics.

There will be workshops for young people, music students, recent graduates, instrumental teachers and adult learners. These workshops will be in the form of practical sessions, concentrating on technique, physicality and wellbeing, as well as discussion sessions and a focus on professional and personal development for students and teachers. They will be delivered by world-class musicians and educators.

The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective musicians Tom Poster (piano), Elena Urioste (violin), Savitri Grier (violin), Rosalind Ventris (viola), Laura van der Heijden (cello) and Joseph Conyers (double bass) present the Benedetti Foundation’s first virtual chamber music weekend on 26 and 27 September. The weekend will combine sectional rehearsals with discussions and talks, as well as the unique opportunity to play along from home with the ensemble. All participants will receive three hours tuition per day with two hours all together at the start and end of the day and one hour in sectional groups.

Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective Co-Directors, Elena Urioste and Tom Poster commented, ‘Kaleidoscope is SO excited to have its first large-scale education project be with the Benedetti Foundation family! We can’t wait to share our love for chamber music and all that it can teach us about the world at large – communication, compassion for others, equality and establishing a clear voice – with the next generation of musicians.’

School Age Players 

  • Bow hold reset for intermediate and advanced school age upper strings with Nicola Benedetti
  • Bow strokes with Rachel Cooper (upper strings); Robin Michael (cello) and Alice Kent (bass)
  • Scales Strategies with Andrea Gajic (upper strings)
  • Introducing school age students to improvisation for all instruments with Richard Michael and guests
  • Chamber music weekend in partnership with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective for advanced level school age string players and pianists

Instrumental Teachers, Music Students, Graduates and Adult Learners

  • Three-part series on conducting and ensemble coaching with Suzie Collier and Alex Laing

Open to all

  • Three-part series on performance anxiety offering practical advice and tips for musicians by musicians

How to get involved:

  • Sign up at www.benedettifoundation.org/mini-sessions to join in
  • There is a small admin fee to participate in the Mini Sessions. Bursary support is available – no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.
  • All of the Foundation’s online work is made as accessible as possible, with many of its resources available to all free of charge.
  • The Benedetti Foundation relies solely on donations to carry out its work and we are very grateful to anyone who is in a position to make an additional donation towards the cost of the workshops.

Detailed Schedule & Information 

School Age String Players

Bow hold reset for intermediate and advanced school age upper strings with Nicola Benedetti 

  • Tuesday 15, 29 September & 6 October, 5 – 5.30pm BST
  • A series of workshops designed for intermediate and advanced violinists and violists to readdress your relationship to your bow hold.
  • Nicola Benedetti will take you back to the fundamentals of using your physicality to support your technique.
  • Admin Fee: £7.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Bow strokes 

Upper Strings with Rachel Cooper

  • Monday 14, 21 and 28 September, 5 – 5.30pm BST
  • Develop your bowing skills including detaché, martelé, up bow staccato, slurring and the beginning stages for spiccato.
  • This workshop is ideal for intermediate level violinists and violists. Beginners are also welcome to join and should be working confidently with the bow and playing around Grade 3 level.
  • Admin Fee: £7.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Cellos with Robin Michael 

  • Monday 21 and 28 September, 6 – 6.45pm BST
  • A series of workshops addressing those tricky bowings that bring texture and colour to your playing
  • This workshop is ideal for intermediate to advanced level cellists 
  • Admin Fee: £7.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Basses with Alice Kent

  • Tuesday 15, 22 and 29 September, 6 – 6.30pm BST
  • A series of workshops addressing those tricky bowings that bring texture and colour to your playing.
  • This workshop is ideal for intermediate to advanced level basses.
  • Alice Kent will be focusing on controlling the bow from long to short bows and how to create a rainbow of sounds near the bridge and close to the fingerboard, at the heel and the tip. A bit of everything!
  • Admin Fee: £7.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Scales Strategies with Andrea Gajic

  • Monday 14, 21 and 28 September, 7.15 – 8pm BST
  • A series of workshops designed to inspire and develop a new love for scales for upper strings.
  • This workshop will provide practical tips and tricks to leave you with ideas on how to make your scales practice more efficient, effective and fun
  • Suitable for intermediate and advanced violinists and violists
  • Admin Fee: £12.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Introduction to improvisation for all instruments with Richard Michael and guests 

  • Saturday 12, 19 September and 3 October, 3 – 3.45pm BST
  • A three-part workshop teaching the fundamentals of improvisation for any school age instrumentalists
  • You should be comfortable with note names and initial key signatures and scales on your instrument.
  • We will include parts in treble, alto and bass clef as well as parts in C, Bb, Eb and F. There will be simple material so beginners can take part, but we will also include more challenging parts for those who are more advanced on their instruments. You will be able to self-select the right level of part for you.
  • Admin Fee: £12.50
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Chamber music weekend in partnership with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

  • Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September, 10am – 5pm BST
  • All participants will receive 3 hours tuition per day
  • As part of the sessions, we will discuss what it means to play chamber music, the context and history of the repertoire we are studying, rehearsal relationships and interpretation, as well as sessions with your instrumental tutor.
  • For advanced level school age string players and pianists at a minimum of Grade 6
  • Repertoire: Participants will be studying George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and the 3rd movement of Schubert’s iconic ‘Trout’ Quintet.
  • Admin Fee: £30
  • All sessions will be delivered by zoom and should be attended live
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

Instrumental Teachers, Music Students and Recent Graduates 

Three-part series on conducting and ensemble coaching with Suzie Collier and Alex Laing

  • Saturday 5, 12 and 19 September, 4.30 – 5.30pm BST
  • A three-part series focused on the role of the instrumental teacher as ensemble coach and conductor
  • This workshop will offer practical advice, ensemble rehearsal tips and help you develop your basic conducting skills 
  • These sessions are open to all instrumental teachers and music students / recent graduates
  • Admin Fee: £15
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 2 September

Open to all

Three-part series on performance anxiety offering practical advice and tips for musicians by musicians

  • Tuesday 15, 22 and 29 September, 7 – 8pm BST
  • A three-part series offering practical advice and strategies to deal with performance anxiety – delivered by musicians for musicians 
  • Presented by Rachel Cooper (15 Sept), Elena Urioste and Tom Copper (22 Sept), Nicola Benedetti and Laura van der Heijden (29 Sept)
  • Open to all musicians – students, graduates, amateur and professional musicians, teachers. Students should be age 15+
  • Admin Fee: £15
  • Sign up here and the closing date is 9 September

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