Thanks to a bursary from ESTA Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund Bursary sponsored by Hidersine I was able to attend the ESTA Summer School for the first time.
I teach violin in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a volunteer for a youth work charity. I am the only violin teacher in the town where I live and work and as far as I know there are no training events for string teachers taking place in the country. Because of this I feel quite isolated.
The ESTA Summer School was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet other teachers, hear new ideas and see some amazing concerts – something else that is in short supply in Bosnia and Herzegovina!
The group teaching session from Sarah Crooks gave me new ideas to use with my violin ensemble, using movement and games to help with ensemble skills such as harmonic awareness, leading and following and feeling a common pulse.
The pedagogy sessions with Louis Pantillon were an amazing opportunity to gain insight into the way a very experienced teacher approaches teaching the basics of violin playing. He has so much wisdom to give, I could have just listened to him all week! Some of the things I will take away from these sessions are using a ‘pinky house’ to help beginners with their bow holds, using colours and numbers to teach notation and different ways to teach vibrato.
There were plenty of opportunities to play together during the course, whether that be for fun in our free time or during the sessions when we were trying out new repertoire. It has been a long time since I have played together with other people and it was so good to have the opportunity to do so.
The session about Trinity Guildhall exams was fascinating to see how they assess a performance. We had the opportunity to try assessing a video performance according to their criteria and this helped me to consider how I can better assess the progress of my students.
Overall the summer school was a very positive experience for me. I made new friends, learnt new things and was encouraged and inspired. I am really grateful I had the opportunity to be part of it this year.
Thanks again for everything!