ESTA (UK) Summer School 2018

//ESTA (UK) Summer School 2018

ESTA (UK) Summer School 2018


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We have an amazing line up for this year’s summer school, come and join us for a truly inspirational week of learning, recharging your batteries, challenging yourself and meeting some fantastic people – all at a great venue too!

Professional development lies at the heart of the European String Teachers Association and each year the Summer School draws together a world-class faculty of teacher-presenters to share experiences and pedagogic insights into teaching and playing string instruments.

2018 promises an inspiring series of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and concerts. Participants range from young professionals to semi-retired players giving a unique mix of experiences and opportunity for sharing of ideas and knowledge. Informal chamber music groups spring up every evening around suppertime and after the concerts.

The programme retains its ever popular Basics (String Pedagogy) classes which take an in depth view of how we play and teach string instruments. Every year these classes take on their own special life as the presenter and participants change and the class evolves to suit everyone’s interests and needs.

Residential at Chichester University. If you’re local please feel free to commute but if you can, do immerse yourself in the whole experience. It’s amazing what conversations get started at breakfast!

Here you can book the entire week. If you just want individual days then please email  Please be aware that the daily rate does not include accommodation. This is an extra charge of £43 per night. (Accommodation is included in the whole week’s fee.)

ESTA members are eligible to apply for bursaries. Click HERE for more details.



Aleksey Igudesman: The Dancing Violin



Aleksey Igudesman is best known as a violinist, but he has also established himself as a composer, conductor, actor and film maker.
Aleksey Igudesman was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was accepted into the prestigious “Yehudi Menuhin School” in England at the age of 12. He then later studied violin with Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatory.
His compositions are published by Universal Edition and have been performed worldwide by soloists, ensembles and orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, often with his participation as a solo violinist and conductor. He has performed his numerous violin duets in the project “Violins of the World”, where his poems are recited by Sir Roger Moore. Igudesman has written for and performed as a soloist on several movie soundtracks and has worked closely with Academy Award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer on numerous movies, such as “Sherlock Holmes” which received an Oscar nomination for the Best Original Score. Igudesman has co-written with Hans Zimmer the soundtrack for „Jealous of the Birds“ together, which won the Grand Prize for the Best Original Score in the Rhode Island International Film Festival. In 2016, Igudesman appeared alongside Hans Zimmer as a soloist on tour.
Aleksey Igudesman has directed, produced and starred in the feature-length comedy/documentary “Noseland”, featuring, among others, Julian Rachlin, John Malkovich and Sir Roger Moore. Noseland has been premiered in 14 festivals around the world and won the “Most Entertaining Documentary” award at the Doc Miami International Film Festival. Igudesman stars in an Austrian TV series, broadcasted by ORF, entitled “Du Kunst Mich”, where he features talents from the fields of music, dance, photography and fashion. He is currently working on a new TV series entitled “Feast Of Duos” based on Igudesman & Joo’s violin and piano competiton set in Sion, Switzerland.


Louis Pantillon: Upper Strings Pedagogy


 Born in 1960 into a family of musicians, Louis Pantillon studied violin at the Bern Conservatory in Max Rostal’s class and then at Indiana University (Bloomington) with Josef Gingold, Franco Gulli, Yuval Yaron and Mimi Zweig (pedagogy). He had the chance to take master classes with Yehudi Menuhin, Menahem Pressler (Trio Beaux-Arts) and Rotislav Dubinsky (Borodin Quartet).

His concerts as soloist and chamber musician have brought him to many countries in Europe and the USA. His discography includes: Franck and Lekeu’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano (Gallo), Schubert’s Octet (Novalis), François Pantillon’s Trio 1029 (Gallo) and a CD dedicated to the works of Swiss composer Hans Huber for violin, Cello and piano four hands.

Professor at the Conservatory of Bern since 1990, Louis Pantillon has met with great success with his young pupils who regularly win prizes in numerous competitions.

Together with his wife Carole Haering he founded the “Stravaganza” ensemble of the Conservatoire de Neuchâtel in 2000 and since 2003 has been a regular teacher of the same institution (Pedagogy and violin). In 2007, he became Coordinator of the pedagogy section of the Geneva-Neuchâtel HEM.

In 2007 he also founded the string ensemble Les Croque-Notes with Carole Haering, and since 2009 has been the conductor of the La Cumparsita orchestra of the Bern Conservatory.

In 2017 Louis Pantillon was appointed Artistic Director of the Mürren International Summer Academy for talented young musicians.

Louis Pantillon is an active member of the European String Teachers’ Association (ESTA). He frequently lectures on teaching subjects, courses for talented young musicians and collaborates closely with such renowned institutions as the Menuhin School in London,  the Special Music School of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Stoliarski School of Odessa.

Louis Pantillon has started to publish his pedagogical works with PARTITA Edition


James Halsey: Lower Strings Pedagogy


James studied cello at the Royal College of Music with Eileen Croxford. Whilst still a senior student at the RCM in the early 1980s, James joined the Auriol String Quartet and was straightaway involved in more than 40 recitals each season. This love of chamber music stayed and developed through his career and he is now cellist of the Bingham String Quartet and the Tagore String Trio. With these ensembles he has played all over the world, broadcast frequently, and made numerous recordings. At present he coaches on ten annual chamber music courses.

As a solo cellist James has performed widely in the British Isles, and has played Beethoven sonatas and unaccompanied Bach in Japan and Australia as well as the UK. He is much in demand as a teacher and three of his former pupils are cellists in professional string quartets. He is Professor of Cello at the North East of Scotland Music School and the Royal College of Music Junior Department, as well as being director of the Aboyne Cello Festival, which he founded in 2006. (

Steve Bingham: Tech ‘Appy and Exploring New String Orchestra Repertoire



Steve Bingham studied violin with Emmanuel Hurwitz, Sidney Griller and the Amadeus Quartet at the Royal Academy of Music from 1981 to 1985, where he won prizes for orchestral leading and string quartet playing. In 1985 he formed the Bingham String Quartet, an ensemble which has become one of the foremost in the UK, with an enviable reputation for both classical and contemporary repertoire. The Quartet has recorded numerous CDs and has worked for radio and television both in the UK and as far afield as Australia. The Quartet has worked with distinguished musicians such as Jack Brymer, Raphael Wallfisch, Michael Collins and David Campbell.

Steve has appeared as guest leader with many orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber OrchestraEnglish National Ballet and English Sinfonia. He has given solo recitals both in the UK and America and his concerto performances include works by Bach, Vivaldi, Bruch, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Sibelius, given in venues as prestigious as St John’s, Smith Square and the Royal Albert Hall. Steve is also Artistic Director of Ely Sinfonia.

In recent years Steve has developed his interest in improvisation, electronics and World music, collaborating with several notable musicians including guitarist Jason Carter and players such as Sanju Vishnu Sahai (tabla), Baluji Shivastrav (sitar) and Abdullah Ibrahim (piano). Steve’s debut solo CD Duplicity was released in November 2005, and has been played on several radio stations including BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. The Independentgave it a 4-star review. Steve released his second solo CD, Ascension, in November 2008.

You can find out more about Steve on his web site at

Liz Partridge: 4 Strings

Liz`s musical education began as a junior at the Royal Academy of Music, sponsored in full by her local education authority and thereafter on a scholarship at Trinity College. Her main course of study was practical, the violin and keyboard. Since then she has been earning a living using skills developed over many years.

A few years as a professional quartet player were closely followed by positions in the BBC and both London opera house orchestras. At the Royal Opera House where she had a sub- principal first violin position she was fortunate to work with the most distinguished conductors and singers of the time, and to spend time touring the world.

Since becoming a freelance player, she has worked in the London`s West End theatres and in many recording venues and concert halls, gaining experience of a very wide variety of musical styles and genres. She considers herself fortunate to have worked alongside so many talented and inspirational musicians.

Teaching and coaching have been a major part of her portfolio and she has been teaching both children and adults violin, viola and piano/keyboard since she was at college. She has combined teaching and playing in her work with the Forest Philharmonic orchestra, an amateur group with professional string section leaders. She organises and leads concerts which combine the experience of professional players with the enthusiasm and energy of younger people and students. Experience has taught her to expect the unexpected when teaching, that everybody is different, and she is particularly interested in how to motivate all comers to be the best they can.

Working with the BBC Symphony Orchestra has developed her interest in promoting new and accessible music for young people and amateurs. A set of newly commissioned string quartets has been published by Boosey and Hawkes. She has presented two seminars at ESTA conferences, is also a Trinity examiner and currently sits on council for the ISM.

Married with two children, she has always been an advocate of strong protection for children and for the professionals working with them.

Rosamund Hoskins: Alexander Technique

Rosamund Hoskins has been teaching the Alexander Technique for more than 19 years. She teaches privately and has presented lecture-demonstrations to a variety of music services and courses including the CTABRSM. She is also a piano teacher, and plays viola in a small theatre company,The Fool’s Present. The open clinics are an opportunity for musicians to have “hands on” experience in a group setting. Much can be learnt from observing each other, so it is a chance to bring instruments, raise individual concerns and interests, and receive advice and feedback.


Richard Crozier: A look at music education in the UK 1850 – 2018


Richard has been involved with a range of organisations in the UK associated with music education for the past forty years and has served on numerous committees and councils: as an elected member of the Music Education Council; regional Chair of the Schools Music Association, Chair of the Association for the Advancement of Teacher Education in Music, and Chair of the National Association of Music Educators. He is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has worked as a course leader and mentor on numerous professional development courses for music teachers.

His work in music education included many years service as a classroom and instrumental teacher and latterly as an education adviser and as an Ofsted inspector from 1993 – 2005. Whilst working at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) from 1995-2012 as Director of Professional Development, he was closely involved in the creation of two qualifications for music teachers: the Certificate of Teaching (CT ABRSM), accredited by the Open University, and ‘Rising with the Tide’, a management and leadership course for instrumental teachers, also accredited by the Open University and run by the Federation of Music Services. Since leaving ABRSM, working for Creative & Cultural Skills on behalf of the Arts Council, he helped to draw up the Certificate for Music Educators (CME) and, in 2016, working with the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) worked on another new qualification, the ESTA PG Cert (string teaching) which launched in May 2017.

Richard is the author of Offbeat, a practical guide to pop and jazz for GCSE (Heinemann 1987); a co-author of Carousel, a primary music scheme (Ginn 1996); co-author, with Paul Harris of The Music Teacher’s Companion (ABRSM 2000); co-project director, with Nigel Scaife for the publication All Together! (ABRSM 2004); author of Musical Instruments for Children (Hamlyn 2007); co-author with Paul Harris of Improve your Piano Grades 1,2,3 (Faber 2014) and author of Learning a Musical Instrument, a guide for adult learners (Crowood 2016),

In 2012, Richard established his own limited company and clients have included: Artis, Arts Council of England, Creative & Cultural Skills, Faber Music, Incorporated Society of Musicians, Local Authority Music Hubs, Musicians’ Union and Trinity College, London. He continues to be actively involved in a wide variety of music and education activities, including performing, presenting, validation work related to the CME and publishing.

Richard Crozier

Dan and Joe, Cardiff Violins: Instrument Maintenance


Dan King

As the son of Chris King of Cardiff Violins, Dan grew up surrounded by stringed instruments. He studied the cello as a child and soon found a passion for the repair and maintenance of antique instruments, following in the footsteps of his father. Upon finishing school it was inevitable that he’d join the workshop on a fulltime basis.

Over the past decade, Dan has set up thousands of instruments and carried out major restorations on all members of the violin family. He has built a personal reputation off the back of his meticulous repair skills and attention to detail with varnish retouch. His skills are very much in demand.

Jo Roach

Joseph Roach was born into a musical family and started playing the violin at the age of four. It was from here that his passion for the instrument grew, developing an interest in the instruments themselves. At the age of 17 he was offered a part-time position at Cardiff Violins as a sales assistant. During this time he expanded his knowledge of the stringed instrument family with a keen interest in tonal adjustment for optimal sound-production. Together with Chris, he has worked on the sound production of hundreds of instruments. Playing  remained very important to Joe and resulted in him enrolling at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to study violin performance alongside his work at the shop. Upon graduating, he joined Cardiff Violins full time in the workshop, where he was rigourously trained and developed his skills in instrument repairs and set-ups.

Mike Cunningham: Performance Psychology for Teachers


Mind Trainer

Mike Cunningham trains performers in music, acting and sport to develop the way they use their minds so that they can perform the way they want to when it really matters.
Mike has spent the last 12 years developing a model based on how top performers in music, acting and sport use their minds to produce great results. His clients have used this model successfully in concert halls, theatres and stadiums throughout the world.
The way you use your mind will determine the quality of results you produce at every stage of the process. Perhaps most obvious is the ability to enter a state of mind that enables you to enjoy performing the way you want to in any situation, even when the stakes are high. It’s also crucial to be able to bounce back from setbacks and respond effectively to others’ opinions and criticism. There are also particularly effective ways of using your mind to develop your skills, abilities and level of self-belief. These are absolutely crucial for any musician.
Performers work with Mike at a variety of different stages of their development. Sometimes it’s because they’re experiencing problems or challenges that have been holding them back. Often, people are already performing at a very high level, but don’t yet feel they’re unlocking their full potential.
Performance enhancement is the aim in every case, regardless of the starting point.
Previous clients perform with the leading ensembles world-wide including the London Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras. Mike enjoys working with the next generation of performers from institutions such as the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Actors who’ve worked with Mike have appeared in lead roles in BBC dramas and major TV series in the US.
In the sporting world, Mike has trained a number of Olympic athletes ahead of winning Commonwealth, European, World & Olympic medals. He’s also trained a variety of performers from the BBC whose specialist fields range from TV presenting to comedy.

Katherine Butler: Tips and tricks for spotting, preventing and treating injuries in music students

Katherine Butler graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 1995 from the University of South Australia and an Associate Music Diploma in Flute Performance in 1997. As a recipient of the highly prestigious Queen’s Trust Award Australia in 1998 she came to London to study and work in the area of performing arts medicine. Katherine enjoys combining her love for music and knowledge of the hand and upper limb. She has become a leader in the field of therapy for hand and upper limb injuries in musicians.

Katherine gained the Accredited Hand Therapist Award (BAHT) in 2003 and her knowledge in the field of Performing Arts Medicine and particularly focal hand dystonia has been recognised widely. She has appointments as an Honorary Lecturer at University College London and as an Honorary Associate Professor at Plymouth University.

Katherine has worked in hand therapy in the NHS and private practice.   In 2006 she established her own clinic, London Hand Therapy. Throughout this time she has actively pursued her own professional development, participating in a variety of courses and attending a number of conferences.

Katherine’s main areas of interest are musician’s injuries and focal dystonia.  She is responsible for more than 20 publications, both journal articles and book chapters, including the chapter ‘Assessment and Treatment for the Upper Extremity in Instrumental Musicians’ in the 2017 edition of ‘Rehabilitation of Hand and Upper Extremity.’  Her articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Hand Therapy, Journal of Hand Therapy, Brain, Neurology and The Journal of Neuroscience.

Katherine has consistently contributed to the knowledge of therapists, surgeons, general practitioners, musicians and students in the field of assessing and treating upper limb conditions in musicians. She has taught locally, at therapy units in London and at the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine and has also lectured nationally at conferences held by the British Association of Hand Therapy and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Katherine has been an invited speaker at conferences throughout Europe and also further afield, including the 2012 International Conference of Performing Arts in Ireland, lecturer on the Lund University (Sweden) Rehabilitation after Hand Surgery course in 2008 and 2011 and invited speaker in 2007 at the International Federation of the Societies for Hand Therapy Congress in Sydney.

Katherine achieved the Natalie Barr Award in 2013 recognising her achievements in hand therapy. She is the seventh person to ever receive this award.

Thomas Gregory: Vamoosh


Thomas Gregory is the creator and composer of the Vamoosh series.  In a desire for new material that would inspire his young string students, Thomas began writing a wealth of accessible and motivating pieces that would form the basis of Vamoosh.  Thoughtfully presented with engaging backing tracks, the format became an instant success reaching far and wide.
Thomas studied cello at the Guildhall School of Music in London before continuing his studies in the US where he lived for four years.  He continues to perform regularly as soloist and chamber musician.

Chas Dickie: Improvisation

Chas Dickie is an improvisation specialist who introduces all students to a huge range of music possible without the barrier of a music stand, enabling students to find new means of expression and often, latent talent.  He is one of Britain’s leading exponents in this field and is conversant with all forms of modern music making, having been an orchestral cellist, and cellist/ keyboard player in the rock group “Van de Graaf” in the 70s. Also a composer of television music, writer, producer, cellist and keyboard player for “Polygenes” –his own experimental instrumental band in the 90s.

He has run workshops in improvisation since the 80s for many local authorities, as well as Oxford Cello School, Cello Club of Great Britain, London Cello Society and ESTA.
Border crossing is the name of the game, as can be seen from this workshop, which contains blues, gamelan and raga styles.

Bethan Habron-James: Dalcroze



Bethan Habron-James is an internationally renowned teacher of Dalcroze Eurhythmics and holds the Diplôme Supérieur of the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva. She teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK and trains future teachers of the method nationwide. Bethan is also an experienced teacher of children with special educational needs and undertook some pioneering research into her practice in this field. Previously a professional violinist, she continues to teach the violin, applying her Dalcroze knowledge to string pedagogy. Addicted to learning, Bethan is currently a PhD student at Bangor University, exploring the meaning of Dalcroze as student and teacher.

Sarah Crooks: Wider Opps

Sarah trained as a violinist and teacher at the RNCM, completing a PGCE with Specialist Strings Training in 2002. Since then she has become a widely experienced teacher of the violin and general musicianship, working with young string players in a wide range of settings. At the RNCM she is Senior Tutor of Young Strings, a programme designed to give pupils a thorough grounding in musicianship as well as instrumental skills. Sarah leads a team of teachers which strives to integrate the pupils’ musicianship training into their instrumental lessons. The methods of Dalcroze and Kodaly are central to the programme’s pedagogy. In addition to her teaching roles, Sarah is involved in training both experienced and future teachers via the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at RNCM and via ESTA’s PG Cert in Strings Teaching course.

Helen Dromey: Wider Opps

Helen Dromey is Lead Teacher for Strings at West Sussex Music and Mentor for ESTA’s PGCert in String Teaching. She has teaching expertise in individual, small- and large-group settings and is particularly interested in mentorship. As Leader for Progression Helen organises and helps deliver West Sussex Music’s CPD programme, mentors new teachers, and pursues her own research interests in string pedagogy, including effective Whole-Class Ensemble Tuition (WCET) and its associated progression routes. Also a qualified primary school teacher, she developed “String Start” (f. 2015), a group violin-with-musicianship programme for children aged 4-7. For ESTA’s PGCert in String Teaching, Helen leads the module ‘Developing Effective Curricula for String Teaching’ and mentors several violin teachers during their studies. She studied at King’s College, London, the Royal Academy of Music, and the University of Chichester.

Helen Dromey

Mentor, ESTA PG Cert in String Teaching

Anna Dryer-Beers: Trinity College London


Anna Dryer-Beers studied for four years at the Royal College of Music before taking up an orchestral scholarship to study in the United States of America. During her five years there she held a position in the 1st Violin section of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and was awarded the Alis Dickinson scholarship for Baroque Study at the University of North Texas. At this time she also held a Teaching Assistantship with responsibility for the running of the orchestral course at the University.

Anna returned to the UK in 1988 after being offered a position in the BBC Radio Orchestra, where she worked until 1991. Since then she has followed a successful freelance career encompassing a variety of orchestral work with establishments such as the BBC Concert Orchestra, the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many years work with touring opera companies and performances in the orchestras for West End Theatre productions such as Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She has toured all over the country playing chamber music with her quartet, Quartet Camerata and undertaken many forms of educational work.

Anna is now Senior Examiner for Trinity College London’s Classical and Jazz panel, and examines grades and diplomas. As an educationalist, Anna has worked with young composers from the University of Hertfordshire, and her work for the educational departments of orchestras has been broadcast as part of the BBC ‘Listen Up’ series on Radio 3. In addition to this she teaches both privately and in schools.


Gary Levinson: Violin

Gary Levinson enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist, chamber musician and a pedagogue. In 2013 he accepted the prestigious post of Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth. Praised for his intense musicality and adroit technique by American and European critics, he has served as the Senior Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony since 2002. He was chosen by Zubin Mehta to join the New York Philharmonic before the completion of his undergraduate degree from the Juilliard School in 1988. Mr. Levinson then made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in 1991, under the baton of Erich Leinsdorf.

Winner of the top prize at the 1986 Romano Romanini International Violin Competition in Brescia, Italy, Gary also became the top American Prize winner at the 1987 Jacques Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris, France.

As a soloist, Mr. Levinson has collaborated with Erich Leinsdorf, Jaap van Zweden, Raffaele Ponti and others. Much sought-after as a chamber musician, Mr. Levinson has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Eugenia Zukerman, Lukas Foss, Joseph Kalichstein, Christopher O’Riley and Adam Neiman. Along with Daredjan Kakouberi and Jesus Castro-Balbi, they perform as Petrus Trio internationally.

In 1998, Mr. Levinson was appointed as the first violinist of the Elysium String Quartet, with which he performed on their regular Weill Hall Series at Carnegie Hall.

A champion of contemporary music, Mr. Levinson has recorded the Margaret Brouwer Violin Concerto under the baton of 2012 Musical America’s Conductor of the Year, Jaap van Zweden in 2012 and has premiered and recorded several works dedicated to him by award winning Iranian composer, Behzad Ranjbaran.

In 1996 he, along with his father, renowned double bassist Eugene Levinson, recorded the world premiere for CALA Records of Dances of Life, a bass and violin duo, written for and dedicated to the Levinsons.

Mr. Levinson also collaborated with New York Philharmonic Principal English Hornist Thomas Stacy in a CD for CALA’s New York Legends series.

Mr. Levinson performs on an Antonio Stradivari violin, crafted in 1726. It is graciously made available for his use by the Dallas Symphony Association.

Robert deMaine: Cello

Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Robert deMaine is a highly sought-after solo artist and chamber musician, he is a frequent guest artist at many of the world’s premier chamber music festivals, including those of Marlboro, Seattle, Great Lakes, Limoges, Heidelberg Schlossfest, Chamberfest Cleveland, Montréal, Seoul’s Ditto Festival, and most recently featured as a soloist at the 2016 Piatigorsky Cello Festival.

As a soloist, he performs the great works of the repertoire both old and new from concertos by Haydn, Dvorak, Elgar and Penderecki, as well as more recent works by John Williams and Christopher Theofanidis.

DeMaine has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Teatro Colón, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Auditorium du Louvre, Suntory Hall and the Seoul Arts Center, as well as the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and Conservatory and London’s Wigmore Hall, among others. He is the recipient of a career grant from the Helen M. Saunders Foundation, and the gift of a Vuillaume cello from the Cecilia Benner Foundation.

Robert has taught masterclasses at major conservatories worldwide, and is on the faculties of The Colburn School and Music Academy of the West.

A first prize winner in many national and international competitions, deMaine was the first cellist ever to win the grand prize at San Francisco’s prestigious Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings.

As a soloist, he has collaborated with many of the world’s most distinguished conductors and has performed nearly all the major cello concertos with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where he served as principal cello for over a decade. DeMaine has also served as guest Principal Cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, and the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway.

A founding member of the Ehnes Quartet in 2010, he also performs in a piano trio with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Natalie Zhu.

Robert deMaine is an exclusive Thomastik-Infeld artist, and performs on a cello made in 1684 by Antonio Stradivari, the “General Kyd, ex-Leo Stern.”

Baya Kakouberi: Piano

Dr.Daredjan Baya Kakouberi, pianist, hailed as a “treat to watch and hear”, was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and made her debut at the age of eleven.  After graduating from Tbilisi Special School of Music for the Talented and Gifted, she entered the Moscow Conservatory, where she continued her studies on the Master’s and Doctoral levels under the tutelage of professor Sergei Dorenski, and Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medalist, Vladimir Krainev.

Her engagements have included the Strings Music Festival, Steamboat Springs, CO, Nancyphiles Festival in Nancy, France and a solo recital at the request of the San Antonio International Piano Competition. Ms. Kakouberi is an annual artist at the Musical Bridges Around the World series in San Antonio, TX, where she was a key participant in the city’s all-inclusive Brahms and Beethoven Festival.

Business Leader magazine selected Ms. Kakouberi for the Woman Extraordinaire award in 2012. This honor exemplifies women who “demonstrated significant business achievement and community involvement” in their given field. In March 2010, Dr. Kakouberi was honored as the recipient of the coveted International Ambassador for Cultural Exchange Award. Awarded by the Russian Winter Festival at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, this award recognizes outstanding achievement in performing and teaching disciplines domestically and abroad. In 2009, Ms. Kakouberi was engaged to tour China a soloist. Due to her much sought after teaching skills, she is also rounding out the cultural event by presenting master classes in the leading conservatories in Mainland China.

In an unprecedented project in the spring of 2009, Ms. Kakouberi has recorded the three books of the Russian Piano Technique, based on the teachings of Professor Nikolaev, to be used in practice and performance techniques for students of all levels.

In 2009, she collaborated with violinist Gary Levinson in the recording of the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Beethoven. The project was spearheaded by the Classical Music Recording Foundation. The four CD set was released n 2012. Ms. Kakouberi has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Moscow, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Italy and the United States.

In 1996, she was among the “World’s Ten Most Distinguished Pianists” chosen by the Palm Beach Invitational Piano Competition.  In the summer of 2000, Ms. Kakouberi was chosen as recipient of the “Most Outstanding and Distinguished Pianist” award in the IBLA International Competition in Italy.  In addition to her solo recitals, she has appeared as guest soloist in concerts throughout the US and Europe, including performances at Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, and the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts in California.

 As a chamber performer Ms. Kakouberi made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York in February 2002. Ms. Kakouberi returned to that venue in a scheduled appearance on the CMRF annual gala concert in the fall of 2011 at Weill Hall.

Noted as an outstanding chamber music artist, Ms. Kakouberi is the Artistic Director of the Blue Candlelight Music Series in Dallas, Texas, where she enjoys collaboration with internationally renowned artists. She has appeared multiple times at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, CO, where she was also a frequent soloist. She is a household name at the major venues in North Texas, such as the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts where she has appeared as a concerto soloist.

Juan-Miguel Hernandez: Viola


A dedicated chamber musician, Juan-Miguel is the newest member of the legendary Fine Arts Quartet and a founding member of the Harlem Quartet with whom he performed from 2006 to 2012. Juan-Miguel is also a founder and member of the “Trio Virado” (Flute, Viola, Guitar) as well as the “Boreal Trio” (Clarinet, Viola, Piano), both specializing in the creation of new repertoire. From 2005 to 2010, he was also an active member of the I Palpiti orchestra, a cast of international laureates forming a world class string orchestra based in Los Angeles. The 2017 summer season will see his return with the I Palpiti orchestra, this time as soloist, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in Disney Hall (Los Angeles), and the Mozarteum (Salzburg).

In September 2009, Juan-Miguel won the first Prize at the 16th International Johannes Brahms Competition, for which he is delighted to join as a juror for the 2017 edition, in Austria, adding to other top prizes won at the National Canadian Music Competition, and the 9th National Sphinx Competition in 2006, presented by JPMorgan Chase. As a featured guest soloist, Juan-Miguel has appeared with the Atlanta, Seattle, Colorado Symphonies, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Performances in recent seasons have brought Juan-Miguel on tour throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, Canada and the United States. In 2010, he was honored with the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec.

Juan-Miguel has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Kim Kashkashian, Gérard Caussé, Nicolas Dautricourt, Misha Dichter, the Weilerstein trio as well as Jazz living legends Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Stanley Clark and Paquito D’Rivera.

In the Fall of 2016 Juan-Miguel was appointed to the faculty of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music (London) as Professor of Viola.

Juan-Miguel plays a beautiful 2008 Miralles viola from Altadena CA.


Prices for 2018

  • ESTA member –  £549
  • ESTA non member –  £649
  • ESTA student member –  £450
  • ESTA student non member  –  £549

Daily rates are available:

  • ESTA member £110
  • ESTA non member £140
  • ESTA student member £80
  • ESTA student non member £110

Please note: If you book individual days and would like overnight accommodation please be aware there will be a £40 charge for each night booked. This includes breakfast.

Any nights booked outside the course dates will be £43.

If you would like to book individual days, please email


Upper Strings Basics: Louis Pantillon

List of topics that will be discussed during the week (not necesarily in that order)

  • The world of string playing is a wonderful community of musicians and people throughout countries and ages
  • Where do we all come from?

  -a quick look at violin methods from the 18th and 19th century

  -the important methods of the 20th century

  • Selection system versus development system.

-Implication on our choices of method and system.

  • Training the ear, the eye, the body movements. Role of the brain and emotions.
  • Getting started

  -The dillemma between learning by ear or reading notes

  -Getting the pupils through the first 2 years

  •  Beginers are beginners only in the beginning
  • Remedial work

  -2 “miracle” exercises : for the left side, for the right side

  -3 fundamentals : shifting, vibrato, spiccato

-other “vitamin” cures : sound production, double stops, high position,  velocity…

  • Building a class and leading it through the years
  • Group teaching
  • School and youth orchestras
  • New media

-Using ourselves Sibelius and other software for arranging, composing…

-Working with pupils with smartphones, tablets and other software

-Will paper disappear ?

-Throughout the class emphasis will be made on appropriate repertoire for each level and situation.

-The participants are encouraged to bring their instruments along to sight read pieces and test the discussed topics

Lower Strings Basics: James Halsey

It’s all about the sound!

I had dabbled with various instruments, and nothing had really grabbed me, then at the age of ten, I heard a life changing cello and piano recital at the Wigmore Hall. The sounds I heard that evening made me so sure that I just had to play the cello! When I was accepted at the Royal College of Music, it was to study cello with Eileen Croxford – the very same lady that had produced those thrilling sounds nearly a decade earlier.

We all have an overall picture of “technique”, and where all the little bits fit into the whole jigsaw. Mine is dictated by two overriding themes – sound and natural movements, although the two are really intertwined and inter-dependent.

During the week we will look at how crucial establishing the basics is to future progress. I heard a young cellist ask Paul Tortelier how much practice she should do. “None” was the answer – “you should have a lesson every day”! Getting these building blocks right at the start is so important, and will mean that students don’t have to go through those tedious remedial phases later in life. We will show how focusing on sound and natural movements leads to an inevitable solution to any problem. It is not the only solution, but I hope my ideas will be a starting point for discussion and the exploration of other possibilities.

We will look at everything from sitting position and bow hold through to vibrato and spiccato, as well as starting each morning by playing music for cello orchestra. It is almost impossible to set an agenda for each day, as to a large extent the subjects we cover will be a combination of my schedule and the direction that sessions take depending on what you all want to talk about! I really look forward to meeting you and sharing ideas.

I did attend one day of last summer’s ESTA summer school as my quartet (Binghams) were presenting a recital, and I hope to add to the exciting buzz that surrounds  this wonderful event.

Aleksey Igudesman: Style Workout – THE DANCING VIOLIN

Workshop for different Styles, Rhythm, Improvisation and fun on the instrument.

Using classical and ethnic music, as well as eclectic own compositions and improvisation, Aleksey Igudesman explores diverse playing techniques and adds movement and dance to the equasion. Rhythms outside of the common classical repertoire,  alternative sound production and stylistic ornamentation from India, Arabic, Celtic, Balkan, Klezmer, Jazz and Rock music additionally come into play.

Another aspect that is explored is humour, and its translation to the instrument.
The workshop, although based on violin technique, welcomes all instrumentalists to join in the fun!
Physical movement and dance during performance is also a speciality of Igudesman that he shares in this out of the norm workshop.

Aleksey Igudesman has published numerous books of sheet music with Universal Edition, for young, advanced and professional musicians, including Klezmer & More, Celtic & More, Latin & More, Asia & More, Miles & More, Mozart  & More and Fasten Seat Belts, as well as duets for young violinists, such as The Catscratchbook, Pigs can Fly and Fishsummernights dream.

Richard Crozier: A look at music education in the UK 1850 – 2018

A relaxed look at music teaching and music education from Victorian England to the present day, highlighting some of the peaks and troughs. Richard will point out some of the missed opportunities (in his view) and invite discussion as to the best way forward for musicians and teachers who believe in the importance of ‘classical’ music.

Rosamund Hoskins: Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique addresses habits of posture and movement that interfere with natural poise and flexibility. Habits tend to distort the body’s sense of itself making it difficult to be accurate about what is really happening. It is common, for example, to have a habit of holding your head slightly to one side, or standing with more weight on one leg than the other and leaning a little, or holding extra, unconscious tension in your shoulders. You may notice these tendencies visually, in a photograph, or a mirror, or because someone has pointed it out to you, but it is likely that it will be so familiar on a feeling level as to be virtually undetectable.

Habits associated with playing an instrument can be equally elusive and sometimes it is only through pain and obvious restriction that they come to your attention. Becoming aware of unnecessarily effortful patterns of use, and learning how to undo them, can be liberating. Frederick Matthias Alexander (1896-1955) Alexander was prompted to investigate his own dysfunctional habits through a persistent voice problem. He was an actor and kept losing his voice while giving public recitations. There were no medical reasons for this problem and he decided to make a close observation of himself in order to discover what he was doing to cause his difficulties. His main discovery was the importance of the head-neck-back relationship, and keeping the head in balance on top of the spine. When he stopped interfering with this key relationship, which he named “the Primary Control”, not only his voice, but his breathing and other difficulties were much improved. This led to an interest in his methods by the public and he began to develop his skills in passing on what he had learnt for himself, through a combination of gentle hands-on guidance and verbal explanation. As he did so, he realised that interference with the head-neck-back relationship was all too common, and not something unique to his own condition. There was sufficient interest in, and support of his work and its value, to persuade him to leave his native Tasmania and come to London, where he arrived in 1904.

Five ‘Tools’

Having discovered what he needed to change, Alexander came up against (i)”the force of habit”, something most musicians will be aware of: even a short term fingering pattern can be hard to change, let alone a more deeply embedded habit of holding an instrument . He realised that in order to acquire new and more efficient habits he must employ (ii) “inhibition”, in its basic sense of saying “no” to one’s immediate reaction, as well as taking account of (iii) “unreliable sensory appreciation”, or the distorted feedback the body may give when its normal patterns are challenged. As an aid to this he developed (iv)”directions” – instructions to certain key areas of the body, – and an ongoing awareness of the essential (v) “primary control” of the head-neck-back relationship. These five ‘tools’, Force of Habit, Inhibition, Unreliable Sensory Appreciation, Directions and the Primary Control, introduce the basic principles of the Alexander Technique and underlie its practice.

Working with a Teacher
Although Alexander worked alone to inhibit his harmful habits, (and there is nothing to stop anyone else doing the same) changing habits unaided requires a considerable commitment of time, patience and persistence. Experiencing the direct feedback that a teacher’s hands and eyes can offer is an efficient way of initiating, or furthering, the process for those to whom this way of working appeals. While the main intention of the teaching is practical, (awareness, and tools for change) the Technique may also be experienced as relaxing and therapeutic.

Dan and Joe from Cardiff  Violins: Instrument Maintenance

If you haven’t yet enjoyed Dan and Joe from Cardiff Violins’duo, don’t miss your chance! They are back by popular demand to give you advice in dealing with emergency situations, like fallen bridges, slipping or sticking pegs, instruments coming undone, buzzes, and your worst nightmare : sound-post fallen over!
Please remember that these techniques are only to be used on cheap instruments, not on nice ones, and they are mostly temporary to get to the end of the lesson/concert/exam.

Chas Dickie: Improvisation


The aim of the session will be to try to shed some light on the parallels between conversation and instrumental improvisation.
Taking as a starting point the fact that conversations are rarely planned “word for word”, we will attempt to discover how we could communicate just as spontaneously as we do in speech, using our chosen instruments, via the simplest of musical vocabularies, The “vocabulary” can be expanded on as we go along.
This session will tie in with “how to tell a story”, a much used clarion call in the musical world at the moment, in everything from talent shows on tv, to grade examinations!
Come along with an open brain, ready to convey those messages more quickly to the fingertips.

Mike Cunningham: Performance psychology for teachers

  • Why are you making other musicians nervous?
  • The Spotlight Effect
  • How quickly are you able to change the way a musician feels just by looking at them?

You might deny this powerful ability. But they know the truth. When they walk into the performance, as you look at them you create a feeling inside them that makes them less able to play or sing the way they really can.
You’d probably tell a performer that you want them to play well, especially given your own experiences. You know what it means to someone to perform in a way that reflects their true ability at the time.
But in their mind, really you’re looking for evidence that they’re no good, which means they need to prove you wrong.
So how do they arrive at this way of thinking?
Any highly skilled musician is always able to notice they can continue improving, which means they’re usually mostly aware of the areas of their playing they’re not happy with. Strangely then, a highly skilled musician who’s improving can become convinced they’re ‘never good enough’.
As a result, they often believe that everyone else will form the same conclusion and they’ll be ‘found out’. They decide they need to prove themselves to others.
This is the belief that if you like their performance they’ll have proved themselves to you and they’ll now recognise how skilled they are.
So now they want to play in a way that you like. But how can they possibly know what you like? They’d have to be able to read your mind to know that. And what’s the likelihood that everyone they ever perform for will have exactly the same taste?
As they’re practising in the run up to the performance, at no point are they able to know if they’re even getting close to achieving their aim of playing in a way you’ll like.
The more important the performance is to them, the more time they spend imagining whether you’ll like their playing or not. They swing between thinking you will and thinking you won’t.
In their minds, you’ve been listening to and evaluating their performance hundreds of times in the run up to the day itself.
In fact, as they’re imagining you doing that, you’re probably either deciding what to watch on the telly or out at the shops trying to find something for dinner.
They picture you scrutinising every detail of one particular piece. In reality, you’re in freezer section of the supermarket annoyed that they’ve run out of frozen peas.
Either way, in their mind, you’ve set out to decide whether they’re skilled or not based only on this performance. You obviously didn’t decide anything of the sort. They did that when they set out to prove themselves to you.
Because you’re spending all of your time trying to decide whether they’re good or not, they know you’re making them nervous!
Not only do they think that other people are going about their daily lives wanting to ‘find them out’, they also think that everyone else is as focused on them as they are.
This is what’s known as “The Spotlight Effect”. It’s a cognitive bias named by psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Kenneth Savitsky in research they published in 1999.
The Spotlight Effect describes the tendency people have to forget that although they are the centre of their world, they’re not at the centre of everyone else’s world.
They imagine that you and others are focused on what’s happening in their life to a much greater extent than you actually are.
This also happens during the performance.
As you’re watching their performance you’re listening closely to some parts, but your mind also wanders onto thinking about other things too. You might smile as you’re enjoying their playing or you might smile because you remember you’re going out with friends tomorrow.
Your facial expression may be fairly neutral as you’re listening respectfully to their performance, but then you frown because you forgot to send that e-mail, so you make a mental note to do it straight after.
In their mind though, every change in body language and facial expression you make is about them.
So, you go up to them after the performance and compliment them, telling them how much you liked what they did.
They’ve done it! They’ve proved themselves to you! And any idea that they lacked skill or ability has now been disproven once and for all.
In reality though, they weren’t happy with their performance, so they don’t believe you could have possibly liked any of it, even though you did.
You’re obviously just complimenting them to ‘be nice’ or to ‘make them feel better.
And now they’re even clearer that next time they really need to prove themselves….
© Mike Cunningham 2017

Steve Bingham: Exploring New String Orchestra Repertoire

Violinist, conductor and ESTA Editor Steve Bingham opens the 2018 Summer School with a string orchestra session aimed at discovering new and unfamiliar repertoire. Bring along your instruments and join in as we play through a wide variety of pieces and discuss techniques for working with young players in an ensemble context.

If any delegates have ideas for pieces they would like to try out, please contact Steve in advance and we will attempt to fit them into the session!

  • Discover new pieces to use in your teaching
  • Improve your awareness of ensemble skills
  • Discuss rehearsal techniques for string ensembles
  • Learn conducting tips and tricks
  • Work on phrasing and expression

Steve Bingham: Tech ‘Appy

Self-confessed technophile Steve Bingham discusses all things Appy! This session is a chance to catch up with the ever-changing world of music apps for Android, IOS and desktop devices.

In today’s techno-centric environment it’s hard to get away from computing devices, and so Steve will look at ways in which they might be able to help in both teaching and performing, rather than just being the things we have to remember to switch off!

Steve will demonstrate a wide range of applications during this session: His aim will be to highlight practical ways to use them, and look at how to get the most out of your devices. Where a range of applications are available that do the same basic thing Steve will talk about what to look for when choosing an app – price, reliability, functionality and more.

Some of the areas covered will include:

  • Audio recording and editing
  • Video recording
  • Metronomes, tuners and other utilities
  • Practice journals, diaries and helpers
  • Theory apps

….and more!

There will also be a Q and A session: Delegates will have the chance to post questions for Steve during the Summer School.

Liz Partridge: 4 Strings presentation

I`m delighted that this presentation, which concludes the summer school, will involve anybody who has an instrument and would like to play. Come along as a ready formed quartet or find some like-minded people and play through one, or a few, of the quartets from the three books of 4 Strings.

If you`re feeling bold, why not try one from book 3, Pioneer? The Macmillan piece, For Sonny is perhaps the most difficult to approach, but I will be on hand to guide you through a tried and tested way of getting to grips with (and teaching) the complexities of the various time changes and pauses. It’s a very atmospheric piece which always stuns audiences into silence. If you have a brave 1st violin, do try the equally atmospheric but much more technically challenging November by Max Richter. These pieces range from a G6 standard to slightly above G8.

Or just have some fun playing through book 1, Discover. These are fun and educational, and cater for players who have been learning for a short time through to more competent performers of about a G3 level. Hopefully all will find some music that appeals, as these seven pieces have been carefully selected to be varied, and to provide interest in all parts equally.

Book 2, Explore, has repertoire for those at a G4 – 5 level, again, carefully chosen for enjoyment, education and challenge. Why not try Rachel Stotts` Methuselehs Deathday Party which uses many contemporary string techniques in a non-threatening manner. Rachel Jennings` U Rock and Prom Night appeal to most, as do Rupert Gillett`s The Little `Uns and two Elderly Swans.

Bethan Habron-Jones: Dalcroze, The Embodied Musician

This workshop will look at how experiencing and exploring musical concepts away from the instrument can give us a bank of knowledge on which to draw when playing.

We will discover the benefits of both learning to move and moving to learn.

Drawing on the Dalcroze approach to musicianship, with its importance on addressing the whole person in the learning process, participants will engage in group activities which will enrich both their personal and professional lives.

Katherine Butler: Tips and tricks for spotting, preventing and treating injuries in music students

There has been an increase in focus on health issues that relate to performing artists in recent years. There is frequently hand and arm pain in this patient group. Their playing conditions and lifestyles are often not conducive to ergonomically sound approaches to performance and general living standards can vary greatly. Rapid repeated movements are often required, and frequently unusual postures are held for extended periods of time. Overuse whilst playing, practicing, and performing is common in music students and experienced performers alike. Musicians are often perfectionists who are striving for excellence in their field, and they are usually ill-prepared for the physical and emotional demands that may be placed on them in their student and professional lives. When assessing and treating this group, early assessment and accurate diagnosis are imperative. Happily, surgical intervention is not usually required and holistic approaches to practice schedules, an ergonomic approach to playing, and relevant warm-up and cool-down exercises can assist the musician’s return to playing with much less pain or discomfort. Where possible, the musical instrument should be utilised as a rehabilitative tool. A specialises multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation is advantageous and necessary when working with musicians. Prevention of injury is the primary aim of performing arts medicine. Scientific research and practical advice regarding minimising the effects of performance and playing on the musician’s bodies must be our focus, as well as educating the wider community about these strategies. In this way, we can all enjoy a wide variety of music and musical expression and the performers can enjoy the experience of playing their instrument and sharing music with the audience, with minimal tension and pain in their bodies.

Thomas Gregory: Vamoosh – A Modern Approach to String Teaching

Mix up lessons with a variety of engaging and lively pieces, created to motivate and inspire.  A complete program that is ideal for individual or group teaching.  Heralding a transformation in the way large string classes are taught in the UK, Vamoosh has become the go-to material for music teaching services across the UK and internationally.  The creator Thomas Gregory will uncover the secrets behind the charming simplicity that has brought joy to teachers and students alike.

Thomas Gregory is a cellist, composer, conductor and the creator of the Vamoosh Series for young instrumentalists.  He performs regularly as soloist and chamber musician and directs the Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra.  He is currently Head of Strings at Haringey Music Service and teaches Cello at the Centre for Young Musicians in London.  He makes regular guest appearances for workshops and teacher training seminars across the country abroad.  Composition commissions have lead to works being written for the London Cello Society, Markham College (Lima) and Haringey Music Service.

Anna Dryer-Beers: Trinity College London talk exams

A talk on Trinity College London’s music examinations, which incorporate a range of assessments designed to allow candidates to succeed by encouraging them to display their strengths.

Anna will discuss Grade and Certificate exams and answer questions on Diplomas, illustrate Trinity’s unique assessment criteria and explain how the wide range of options within the examination structure allows candidates to exhibit their own performance attributes. She will look at the range of alternatives in technical work and supporting tests, performance only assessments and the Own Composition option for grades.

Come along and learn how Trinity examinations and examiners support the candidate, provide a rigorous but flexible examination framework, and create a reassuring examination environment, which enables candidates to be positively rewarded.

Helen Dromey and Sarah Crooks:Group Teaching/Wider Opps

Helen Dromey:

Nearly two decades after its introduction, Whole-Class Ensemble Tuition (WCET) – once known as “First Access”, and “Wider Opportunities” before that – is here to stay.

We all appreciate that teaching stringed instruments to 30 children is a totally different ball game to teaching an individual or a small group. To work best it requires not only instrumental expertise and incredible patience, but also excellent classroom management, a positive relationship with the school, and a flexible, creative approach to teaching.

But how can we reconcile the amount of basic technique needed to make those first sounds – posture, bow hold, left-hand shapes – with an aim to keep music at the heart of the lesson?

Is it really possible to minimise teacher talk and to maximise music-making when teaching such numbers of children, with their different needs?

How might we use this year of learning to lay firm foundations, so that children who choose to continue playing enjoy the benefits of their large-group beginnings? And what should a continuation programme actually look like?

This practical session explores these issues and offers some answers to them. Taking familiar string repertoire as a starting point, we’ll explore ways to maximise the music’s learning potential as we look to develop a “rounded” musician.  We’ll also tackle the logistical challenges of achieving sound technical set-up en masse. You’ll leave with new ways to use your favourite teaching material, ideas for effective activity sequencing, and hopefully some fresh inspiration to help you achieve the best outcomes from whole-class projects.

Sarah Crooks:

The joys and benefits of group teaching: how to maximise learning opportunities for young musicians in group contexts

Learning to play a musical instrument is a complex process, which involves a significant investment of time, hard work, commitment and money. With so many enticing and often more immediately achievable alternative extra-curricular activities available today, why do thousands of young people still choose to learn a musical instrument? We, as music teachers, understand why. It’s because it is one of the most rewarding journeys on which you can embark. Learning an instrument gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, to be creative with sound, to explore music that we love, but more than anything, the pleasure of doing these things with other people is hard to beat! Collective music-making gives players immense satisfaction and a feeling of solidarity with their peers. Older musicians nearly always cite group music-making as the activity that inspired them most when they were younger.

It is so important to nurture this love of ensemble playing from the early stages and we should be embracing opportunities to do this through small and large group teaching, ensemble classes, orchestral rehearsals, chamber music coaching etc.  This workshop will offer some practical ways in which you can aim to nurture musical skills, ensemble skills, a deep understanding of music and of how to make music sound great in a group. There will be discussion of holistic teaching methods: be ready to play, sing, improvise and perhaps explore some music through movement!


  • Monday August 6

Gary Levinson Violin
Baya Kakouberi Piano

Geminiani – Sonata in C minor for violin and piano
Chausson  – Poeme
Franck -Sonata for violin and piano

  • Tuesday August 7

A concert of chamber music performed by AuditionPerform students and international pianist Baya Kakouberi including Schubert’s Trout Quintet.

  • Wednesday August 8

Robert deMaine Cello
Juan-Miguel Hernandez Viola

  • Thursday August 9

Aleksey Igudesman plus PARTY!!


Summer School Day 1: August 5

  • 1pm-3pm: Registration
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: String Orchestra: New Repertoire with Steve Bingham
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Instrument Maintenance with Dan and Joe from Cardiff Violins
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Group Teaching/Wider Opps with Sarah Crooks and Helen Dromey

Summer School Day 2: August 6

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Alexander Technique
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Group Teaching/Wider Opps with Sarah Crooks and Helen Dromey
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Performance Psychology for Teachers with Mike Cunningham
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Basics with Louis Pantillon  (upper strings) James Halsey (lower strings)
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: A look at music education in the UK 1850 – 2018 with Richard Crozier
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert: Gary Levinson, (Dallas Symphony Orchestra) and Baya Kakouberi

Summer School Day 3: August 7

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Alexander Technique
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Basics with Louis Pantillon  (upper strings) James Halsey (lower strings)
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Vamoosh with Thomas Gregory
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Tips and tricks for spotting, preventing and treating injuries in music students with Katherine Butler
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Trinity College London:Strings Syllabus with Anna Dryer-Beers
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert: Recital from students from the RAM

Summer School Day 4: August 8

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Alexander Technique
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Basics with Louis Pantillon  (upper strings) James Halsey (lower strings)
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Elementary Music for kids with Aleksey Igudesman
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Exhibitor’s Hall in the Chapel
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: ESTA PG Cert forum
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Exhibitor’s Hall in the Chapel
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert: Robert Demaine, Principal cellist LA Philharmonic

Summer School Day 5: August 9

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Alexander Technique
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Basics with Louis Pantillon  (upper strings) James Halsey (lower strings)
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Improvisation with Chas Dickie
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Techie ‘Appy: Steve Bingham
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Dalcroze for Pupils with Bethan Habron-James
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Aleksey Igudesman jam session followed by a PARTY!

Summer School Day 6: August 10

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Alexander Technique
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Basics with Louis Pantillon  (upper strings) James Halsey (lower strings)
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Young Quartet Repertoire with Liz Partridge

Terms and Conditions

Conditions of booking:

Booking is open to members and non-members of the European String Teachers Association. For details of membership of ESTA(UK) please contact the membership secretary or visit our Join ESTA page.

In case of illness or other circumstances beyond our control we reserve the right to alter advertised presenters but will inform you if this proves necessary.

Payment: Online payment must be made in full. Individual sessions or meals not taken will not be refunded.

Cancellation of booking / Refund policy:

  • before April 30: 90% refund
  • before June 30:  50% refund
  • July onwards: 0% refund.

Request for media coverage:

ESTA requests permission to take photographs and/or videos for the sole use on the ESTA website and social media. ESTA will never sell or distribute images to third parties.  If you do not grant permission please email


ESTA and Chichester University accept no responsibilty to loss or damage to instruments or personal belongings. You are strongly advised to provide your own insurance for instruments and other valuables.


If you are an ESTA UK member you are entitled to apply for  bursary.

We have 2 funds, The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund and the Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund.

The summer school bursaries are supported by the NJNF.

We really are very grateful to our sponsors who over the years, have enabled many people to attend these valuable weeks.

Many thanks to:








Universal Edition

To apply for a bursary click:

The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund (NJNF)

Event Details

Start date: August 05, 2018

End date: August 10, 2018

Start time: 13:00

End time: 13:00

Venue: University of Chichester College Lane, Chichester PO19 6PE