I am most grateful to the ESTA Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund Bursary sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld Vienna for having sponsored me so I was able to attend the Summer 2018 String Teachers course at Chichester University. I found the whole week informative and very enjoyable.
My welcome was second-to-none - people could not have been more helpful and kind as I arrived with 2 instruments and bag! There was a huge variety of instruction, advice, insights and inspiration given throughout the week. In Psychology of Performance, the thought of focusing on perfection stopping the flow of music was very helpful: it is easy to forget how to play a musical performance while focusing on ‘perfection’. I will definitely be guiding my students to think differently whilst performing! James Halsey’s Cello sessions covered ‘basics’ to ‘expert’ during the week (just need to keep practising now!). I will be using his 4 point fundamentals and Survival package for my cello pupils as well as for my own playing.
Katherine Butler gave us many tips to prevent injuries and to help our pupils develop. I found the ‘Vamoosh’ backing tracks and ideas could be applied to many different teaching groups. Improvisation from Chas Dickie was uplifting and this has helped me to convey a feeling of not worrying about making a mistake while improvising. I particularly enjoyed the daily Alexander Technique sessions, which gave me a good insight into achy shoulders; I will be working at posture with my pupils! Aleksey Igudesman’s concert was amazing! And finally, the food – well quite delicious!