I would like to express my gratitude to The Nannie Jamieson Nustshell fund and Barenreiter for providing a bursary which assisted me to attend the ESTA summer school in Chichester last August.
The atmosphere on the course was really welcoming and friendly and it was a real privilege to spend time with wonderful musicians and teachers. I have returned home to Cornwall excited about starting the next teaching year, looking forward to exploring the ideas shared on the course with my pupils.
I attended classes for cellists, this year workshops were given by James Halsey and Kay Tucker. James provided highly valuable expertise and over the course of the week we explored his approach to the basics of cello technique- he shared with us his picture of a complete technique, based on the principles of free and natural movement. James recognized that there are many different approaches to technique and encouraged us as teachers to be certain in our own approach, emphasizing the importance of being clear in our own complete picture of technique. James pinpointed four fundamental principles as the building blocks of cello technique: sitting position, bow hold, right arm action and left arm shape and throughout the sessions we explored these aspects in detail.
Kay Tucker shared lots of wonderful ideas for different ways to communicate technical concepts to very young players. We all had fun with the props Kay bought along (balloons, teddy bears, bouncy balls) which she used to demonstrate how possible it is to convey ideas in cello lessons that young children can relate to.
We were treated to superb, memorable concerts each evening and were provided with lovely food and comfortable accommodation.
To spend a week with string teachers from all over the UK and abroad was a unique and wonderful opportunity. I have come away feeling genuinely inspired and excited about what we do as string teachers and hope to return to the summer school in the future.