Thanks to the generous support from the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund, I was fortunate enough to attend the ESTA Summer School this year.

The core of the Summer School was spent attending the ESTA PGCert sessions in fulfilment of our second course module, which proved to be intensive in itself. Since the PGCE course is a distance learning course, the week afforded me the time to reflect in person on teaching practises with my mentor group as well as a wider network of teachers attending the ESTA conference. Having this face to face time to discuss various aspects and challenges in the profession, was quite possibly one of the most valuable outcomes of the week. There is so little place to do this as professionals yet it is something that is so desperately needed.

Another real treat during the week were the sessions presented by Paul Harris for PGCert and ESTA member. I have explored his books via the PGCert course, so to hear him in person was incredible and unbelievably valuable.

Fortunately, the course layout also gave us some time to attend the ESTA summer school sessions running concurrently. Of particular interest were the sessions run by Bojan Cvetreznik. His sessions really got me thinking about the role of folk music in teaching and its context in modern-day society.

On a more practical level it was great to hear from some publishers in the form of David and Kathy Blackwell who spoke us through the thinking and application of their Fiddle Time series. As a teacher; understanding the process behind their widely used books was really insightful and helpful.

The wide portfolio of summer school contributors including instrumental specialists, researchers, artists, academics and even suppliers was amazing and the kind and generous ESTA team who delivered it seamlessly and with great care, made this a week that has already impacted on my work and crucially thinking as both a teacher and Project Manager.

Direct measure outcomes from the summer school include: Discussions with Bojan Cvetreznik in order to explore possible further the role that folks music idiom could play in young artist courses at Snape Maltings, where I work as Project Manager Teaching repertoire overhaul; I have been revisiting the Blackwell String Time series in more detail, which has refreshed my teaching repertoire but also made me think about how I pace my students. (I also found some great books on the ‘Help yourself’ table!)
I have absorbed a lot more teaching related literature and am steadily working my way through the Paul Harris books. These have really got me thinking about how we view and frame the practise process for our young students.
The Summer School has therefore had a direct impact on my teaching and I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna for making this incredible experience happen. Without your support, none of these resulting outcomes would have been possible.

Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund