This August provided me with a new and exciting opportunity to attend the ESTA Summer School 2017, with the generous support of The Nannie Jamieson Fund and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna. I have taken away incredibly insightful teaching practices from sessions such as Dalcroze with Sian Ford, and lower strings workshops with James Halsey and Kay Tucker.
The Dalcroze sessions allowed me to explore the fundamentals of music and movement, giving me insight into how to teach all aspects of music away from the cello. It really informed how I teach and reinforced my understanding of how to first experience the movement before analysing it. For example, dotted rhythms were learnt through skipping and the physical action was always explored before associating it to a written rhythmical pattern. The philosophy of Dalcroze chimed so closely with how I love to learn and teach that I am exploring further courses within the Dalcroze Society.
There was a wealth of information provided in the daily lower strings classes, and I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to absorb it all. James Halsey and Kay Tucker provided incredibly detailed, precise information, much of which I will use within my own teaching practice. I gained a keen insight from James and Kay of how vital it is to establish healthy technical foundations from the very beginning of cello playing. We talked through the fundamentals of good cello playing; posture, bow technique and left hand organisation. There was a treasure trove of games and exercises such as the use of a tennis ball for left hand shape and vibrato and a thorough exploration of repertoire through all stages of the learning process.
I have had an invaluable experience over the course of The ESTA Summer School and have been given the opportunity to tap into a wealth of experience and knowledge that has opened many doors in my own teaching practice. I would like to thank The Nannie Jamieson Fund and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna, who have made all these opportunities possible.