Sharon Griffiths ESTA Summer School 2018
I am very grateful to the ESTA Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund Bursary sponsored by Stentor for enabling me to attend the ESTA summer school.
This was my first time attending the whole summer school – last year I was one of the first cohort of PG Cert students which meant that I could attend a few of the sessions but my attentions were elsewhere. It was wonderful to be part of the whole course this year and to partake in so many varied sessions.
I loved starting each day with an Alexander technique class. It was incredible starting to connect with my body and I felt so much better each time I left the chapel. I have started trying to change the way I sit, stand and move and I will
share this awareness with my pupils.
I picked up lots of useful ideas through the week, many of which I will try in my lessons. It was interesting to hear speakers addressing different topics but still giving the same advice, such as using lots of left hand pizzicato in the early stages to establish a good left hand shape. I shall be doing that!
The Upper Strings Pedagogy sessions were inspiring and full of valuable tips. I can see myself asking a beginner to write out a simple open string tune using coloured dashes of different lengths to represent each note in a simple manner. Louis had some new ideas for bow hold and flexibility games to play with beginners. He was also kind enough to present an additional session on harmonics and resonance during our lunch break, after I’d asked him for further explanation.
One of my highlights was Aleksey Igudesman’s Dancing Violin workshop. This was brilliant fun. It was extremely tricky to try to dance the Latin and Celtic tunes whilst playing our instruments! While I am unlikely to try to recreate the exact moves from that session, I feel enthused to incorporate much more movement into my lessons.
There was so much more that excited me over the week; being introduced to the Vamoosh books with their backing tracks, considering how to prevent injuries, how to incorporate technology into my lessons and the fascinating (and slightly impromptu) introduction to cello teaching for upper strings teachers.
The evening concerts were a total treat and I loved each and every one of them. Finally, I must thank all of the ESTA team for the massive effort put in to create everything involved with the summer school. Thank you and I hope to
see you again next year.