ESTA (UK) Summer School

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ESTA (UK) Summer School


The annual ESTA (UK) Summer School at Chichester University

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ESTA SUMMER SCHOOL August 9-14 2020


This year there will be no price rises. Due the virus and uncertainty the early bird price will remain in place!  

We are hoping to run the summer school but obviously in the present climate this may change. If we do decide to cancel then anyone who has booked will be either refunded or your fee will be held over to the following 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.

2020 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.

Paul HarrisThe 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.

The Summer School is 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 £45 per night. (Accommodation is included in the whole week’s fee.)

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



2020 Faculty.


Upper String Basics: Simon Cartledge


Simon Cartledge

I was born 1957, studied violin at Trinity College of Music.

Teachers,Tessa Robbins, Dora Zafransky and post college Maria Lydka.

Joined ESTA in 1980 and attended many summer schools with a huge variety of great teachers!

Early career was a combination of group teaching, freelance orchestral playing and chamber music.

I have given teaching workshops throughout the UK as well as in Spain, South Africa and Poland with a regular class at the Zenon Brzewski International Summer School.

This summer will be the fifth time I have presented the Basics Technique Class at the UK ESTA Summer School.

In 2013 I presented a workshop called, ‘Getting it in to the Muscle’ at the 41st ESTA International Conference Oxford.

From1993 to 2003 I was Head of Strings at Bedford Modern School.

Visiting lecturer at Trinity College of Music helping and advising on the incorporation of Dalcroze and Kodály principles in to string teaching.

Birmingham Conservatoire lectures on the principles of teaching.

Over nearly forty years of teaching my influences have been very eclectic.

Other than the direct line from Carl Flesch and Rostal through Maria Lydka, Paul Rollands principles of movement, Alexander Technique, Kinesiology and work done with sport scientists.

In May 2011 I qualified as a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming which has profoundly influenced my approach to effective communication.

Currently I have a thriving teaching practice in Cambridge, run and direct the Stapleford Youth String Orchestra as well as continuing to run workshops.


Lower String Basics: Prof Laura Ritchie



Professor Laura Ritchie

Laura Ritchie is Professor of Learning and Teaching in Music. She is a teacher, mother, musician, and dreamer. She is recognised as an educational innovator and was awarded a UK National Teaching Fellowship in 2012.

At the University of Chichester she coordinates both the Music with Instrumental / Vocal Teaching and the MA Performance programmes. Laura has also co-authored the curriculum for the European String Teachers Association Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching, which is an international, distance learning course. Laura trained as a classical cellist in America (Northwestern University) and London (Royal College of Music) and her PhD research focused on psychology of music and specifically the impact of students’ self-beliefs on learning and performing. In her academic publications and presentations she promotes excellence across disciplines in teaching and learning, and in particular provides innovative ways to unlock student potential through practical teaching settings.

Laura pushes the boundaries of learning for her students and herself. She advocates experiential learning and fully immerses herself in learning projects, teaching by example.


Baroque: Dr Simon Jones


Dr Simon Jones


Feldenkrais: Jo Horder




I studied in London with Joan Dickson at the very time she was involved in founding ESTA UK. I went on to study in Salzburg with Antonio Janigro and in Düsseldorf with Johannes Goritzki. My career in chamber music has included many performances at the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank as well as numerous recordings for radio. I was a founder member of Divertimenti Ensemble and the Schubert Ensemble and principal cello of Kent Opera. My commercial recordings include several with Divertimenti, most notably the Mendelssohn Octet and chamber works of Arnold Bax, Brahms and Weber. As a freelance cellist I have played with the London Mozart Players and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Proms, Glyndbourne and throughout Europe. With my husband, violinist Paul Barritt, I am co-director of Tring Chamber Music, “West Hertfordshire’s best kept secret.”

I have enjoyed teaching cello students of all ages and stages privately throughout my career, as well as being a peripatetic cello teacher in West Hertfordshire schools.

In the early nineties just a few one-to-one Feldenkrais lessons transformed my experience of playing and performance. At the time it seemed like magic: musical intentions became effortless and pleasurable to express; technical challenges morphed from being daunting to becoming realistic, enjoyable projects. I felt an unexpected sense of limitless potential. Keen to understand this transformation I eventually embarked on the 4-year training to become a Feldenkrais Method Practitioner.

Since graduation as a Practitioner I have been teaching public classes in Awareness Through Movement as well as Functional Integration to private clients. In addition I run specialist Feldenkrais workshops for musicians, fusing my career-long experience as a cellist with a deepened understanding of movement and function. I have given workshops for ESTA, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Benslow Music, Arpeggione, CelloDynamo, and for Buskaid in Soweto, South Africa.


Classical Improv and Stage Fright: Rupert Guenther

Rupert Guenther developed and has taught his approaches to classical music improvisation, meditation, and healing stage-fright in hundreds of workshops and masterclasses for students of all ages in universities, schools and holiday music
camps throughout Australia, the UK, Italy, and Austria for over 15 years. He wrote and founded the classical improvisation courses at WAAPA (Edith Cowan University) and the universities of Monash, Queensland and Western Australia, and has taught masterclasses at Vienna University for The Performing Arts (Austria), the St Paul Summer Academy (Austria), and Vorarlberg State Conservatorium
(Austria), The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) international conference in Falun, Sweden, The International Society for Improvised Music (Denver USA, and Chateau d’Oex Switzerland), The Reflective Conservatoire (The
Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London), as well as private classes for some of the world’s top soloists, chamber ensembles, and key players from opera and symphony orchestras in Europe.
His background as a lifelong violin player includes a Bachelor of Music Performance in classical violin with Brian Finlayson at The Victorian College of The Arts (Melbourne University), a further 3 years of studies in Vienna (Austria) with the
renowned Professor Helfried Fister, and Masterclasses with Professor Igor Ozim throughout Australia and Europe. In addition he was mentored in improvisation and made recordings and performances with legendary musicians such as guitarists Stephen Housden (Little River Band) and Geoff Wright (JJ Cale), organist Chris Copping (Procul Harum) and keyboard wizard Allan Zavod (Frank Zappa & Jean- Luc Ponty). He has held principal positions with The Vienna Chamber Opera, Helios 18 Baroque Ensemble Vienna, The Johann Strauss Sinfonietta (Vienna), The Australian Pops Orchestra, and played solo electric violin in Greek superstar
Demis Roussos’ band, as well as tours with pop legends Olivia Newton-John, Anthony Warlow, John Farnham and The Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin.
He has toured and given recitals and live radio broadcasts worldwide for over 20 years, and has released over 28 CDs of his own original improvised music since 2003 including five CDs commissioned and recorded for Radio ABC Classic FM in

Chamber Music: Steve Bingham


Steve Bingham: Chamber Music

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 group has toured in Europe, the Middle East and Australia and has worked with distinguished musicians such as Jack Brymer, Raphael Wallfisch, Michael Collins and David Campbell. The Quartet’s educational activities have included residencies at London’s South Bank Centre, for several UK festivals and at Radley College. The Quartet is also known for it’s many performances of new works by some of the best young composers in Britain.

Steve has appeared as guest leader with many orchestras including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English 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. Johns’ Smith Square and the Royal Albert Hall.

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 also plays live with No-Man, the progressive art-rock duo of Tim Bowness and Steve Wilson.

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. His second solo CD, entitled “Ascension”, was released in December 2008 and has since been followed by “Touchable Dreams”, a CD of poetry and violin with Jeremy Harmer, “Third”, an eclectic mix of live-looped pieces, and in 2014 “The Persistence Of Vision”, which features the amazing Bach D minor Partita, and works by Michael Nyman. Steve has also released many single tracks, and has an active YouTube channel featuring many weird and wonderful video creations!

Beyond performing on the violin Steve is a conductor of some repute, and currently conducts the Ely Sinfonia, Ad Hoc Sinfonia and City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, with guest appearances with several other ensembles. Steve is a committed teacher, and is Editor and Webmaster for the European String Teachers Association (UK). He coaches on many chamber music courses as well as giving regular school workshops to all age groups. He is particularly known for his communication skills and enthusiasm. Steve is also Joint CEO of PartPlay, an exciting online music service for chamber musicians.

Steve’s interests include ornithology, photography and Celtic knotwork.


Lucy Hare: Setting Ourselves up for Success and The World’s Best Teacher



Lucy Hare – Musician (Double Bass) and Coach

Lucy has been a freelance bass player for 30 years playing in a huge variety of styles and places including BBCSO, LPO, Royal Opera House, BBCCO and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures dance company. For 10 years she ran an Argentinean tango quintet, Tango Volcano and became an obsessive tango dancer. A love of Celtic and Latin music began from being a founder member of the Oxford Concert Party, a whacky group of six musicians who have produced 8 CDs and one cookery book, and spent as much time working in prisons as they have in concert halls.

Her coaching work has taken her into corporate settings as well as many music colleges and orchestras. Lucy is a trainer for Barefoot Coaching, one of UK’s foremost coaching organisations. She is passionate about bringing energising and creative coaching work to performers everywhere.


Chris Haigh: folk session



When it comes to fiddle playing, Chris Haigh wrote the book. As a professional for over 30 years he has covered almost every aspect of fiddling, playing on over 100 albums, and working with artists as diverse as Morcheeba, Bob Geldof, Alison Moyet, All about Eve, Najma Akhtar, Andrew Cronshaw, Brendan Power, Diz Disley, Steps, The Coal Porters, David Soul, the Quireboys, Jyotsna Srikanth and Oumou Sangari.

He has played at private parties for Sting, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Princess Anne and countless others, and as a session musician has played on numerous jingles, and TV and film soundtracks.

He covers a huge range of fiddle styles with ease and authority, including many of those normally outside the scope of a folk fiddler; country, rock, jazz, western swing, klezmer and gypsy. He has written eleven books on fiddling, including the highly acclaimed “Fiddle Handbook”, and for Schott, books on rock, jazz, folk, Hungarian, French, country and klezmer fiddle. He organises an annual event, the London Fiddle Convention at Cecil Sharp House. Now in its 28th year, this brings together fiddlers from every conceivable tradition for a day of workshops and performances.

Chris’s website, gets over 1.5million hits a year and is probably the primary source of fiddle information on the web.


Concerts and party as usual too!







Simon Cartledge: Upper Strings Basics

I am really looking forward to leading the Violin Basics Class for the 5th time at the 2020 ESTA Summer School.

I started some teaching in1980 when I first left college having said I would never teach! Luckily for me I also joined ESTA. I was hopeless at teaching and although I had great intentions I really had no idea as to how to go about it. There was not training what so ever at college and being very full of audition concertos  and not thinking about basics it could have been very easy to get it very wrong!

The wonderful Judy Bird and Elspeth Iliff both took me under own their respective wings and to local meetings. I attended summer schools given by greats like Marla Mutchler, Geza Silvay and the world of effective string teaching/learning and playing started to open up to me. Joining ESTA was also the start of making some strong, life long friendships.

Although I had been in specialist music training from the age of sixteen and had a very advanced repertoire I had very little idea about basic technique and it wasn’t until I started to teach that I even started questioning how?

I still gain insights from pupils. The constant questioning and reinforcing of the basics is so good for all our playing

Pupils from my teaching practice now are going on to specialist music schools, music colleges and winning music awards to Oxford and Cambridge or being very knowledgable amateurs.

They all have a really deep knowledge of what works, how to approach learning and all with a very robust psychological approach.

Lots of this is thanks to the work I’ve been doing in Neuro Linguistic Programming. Through this training, which has been extensive, I have been lucky enough to work with some truly brilliant people. Post my master practitioner I did two, one week intensive courses with Christina Hall a practising psychologist now in her seventies. The courses were on how we use language and how some of the underlining beliefs and meanings are revealed in the way in which we speak. They taught me how we can shift words slightly to help produce a more productive way.  Before anyone says “Oh it’s positive thinking then,” It really is much, much more although the results are positive!

Judy Delozier with her work on somatic intelligence was also one of my trainers. She really brought up a whole new level of awareness and ways of developing excellent feed back loops by listening to our own system and observing others.

The Rolland workshops were the start of a far deeper knowledge of movement and the various string techniques. All with insights from the Alexander technique and a couple of sports scientists I’ve been lucky enough to work with.

I hope to guide you through clear and essential steps that will give you basic tools for group lessons or one to one teaching.

We will work on how to get the message across as directly as possible. Allowing play first with very little verbal direction and then refining the process. Right from the start I introduce action games that put in place the basis of vibrato, shifting and bowings. We will work on balance movements from the feet up.

I feel it’s the teachers job to hold the big picture in mind from the start so the learning isn’t just a linear process. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “ How do you teach vibrato?” and in truth if a pupil has started with me I very rarely have to.

We do talk about the quality of the vibrato but when the violin is properly in place, the left arm is nicely relaxed and balanced and the base of the first finger is free it pretty much comes through the desire to do it and then those lovely mirror neurones, which we all have, do the rest. One of our teaching mottos is ‘See something you like, nick it” If this leaves you feeling slightly panicked just relax,  all will be explained.

Through the week we can look at repertoire which supports the various techniques and ideas.

Humour, games and keeping it real are all really important. Come with your questions and sticking points as well as being open to learning. Let’s see if we as a group can come up with solutions.

To those that think, ‘Seen him before,’ well, even old blokes like me continue to go on learning and developing, so there will be even more new ideas and ways of approaching things.

In the words of the great anthropologist Gregory Bateson:”intelligence emerges when you have the right complexity of connection and the right energy relationships”

I can hardly wait!


Lower Strings Pedagogy with Prof Laura Ritchie

Welcome to a week of cello fun!

This week we explore the fundamentals of technique across all aspects of cello playing, involving both hands from open strings to octaves, with a focus on teaching and listening principles first introduced by Ivan Galamian and Hans Jensen.

Day 1: The mechanics of sound.

Today we find freedom in the sound, identifying the three main variables involved with bow contact and exploring how they influence making a good sound. This session is all about open strings, bow hold, bow angles (as introduced by Gerhard Mantel), bow speed, and of course bow changes.

Day 2: Scales and Rhythm.

We focus on three octave scales in their common major and minor versions, learning the patterns introduced by Galamian so that we can then have fun with rhythms! Practising in combinations of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 notes per beat will provide hours of both concentrated learning and tools for silly (and challenging) games in lessons.

Day 3: Finger training.

As any cellist progresses, learning involves more practice and careful treatment of the fingers, and an understanding of the workings of the muscles and tendons involved can be incredibly helpful. We unpack the anatomy of our arms and focus on applying principles of lifting, falling, and hand-shapes to studies by Cossman and Feuillard before putting them into practice in some folk-duets.

Day 4: Intervals and tuning

Today we deal with simple concepts that combine to form advanced techniques. Tuning and intonation, and intervals. Specific exercises and strategies for listening and practising are introduced. We find Tartini notes and the Pythagorean comma. Octaves are made fun with a series of one finger exercises, shifting drills designed to hone listening, and then thumb work. You do not need to be confident in playing these things to enjoy or get a lot out of today. It is a ‘how to’ day.

Day 5: Thumbs up!

Thumb position de-mystified is the theme for today. We put the principles of listening, intonation, good hand shapes, and nimble dexterity introduced throughout the week into practice through a series of progressive exercises involving 1) Tonalisation (listening) 2) A short etude, introducing the shapes and rhythms in a piece, and 3) Pieces, which are a selection of folk songs from across the world including favourites like Leather Britches and Mazltov!

Cossmann, B. (1876). Studies for Developing Agility for Cello. Available online:,_Bernhard)

Feuillard, L.R. (1919). Daily Exercises for Violoncello. Schott: London.

Jensen, H. J. (Ed.). (1994). The Ivan Galamian scale system for violoncello. Galaxy Music Corporation: Fenton, Missouri.

Jensen, H. J. (1996). Fun in Thumb Position. Shar Music: Chicago, Illinois.

Jensen, H.J., & Chung, M. (Eds.) (2016). Cello Mind. Ovation Press: Chicago, Illinois.

Mantle, G. (1995). Cello Technique: Principles and Forms of Movement. Indiana University Press: Indiana.


Dr Simon Jones: Baroque Workshops – Playing with Style!

Day 1: Introduction to Baroque styles and the basic principles of informed interpretation. What distinguishes the Italian, French, German and English styles? How can we perform- and teach – in a more stylistically-aware manner?

Day 2: The ‘new’ Italian style – virtuosity and passion. The session will explore the stylistic revolution brought about by the birth of the Italian Baroque and how this affected string playing. Ensemble performance sessions will look at selected Italian works, with consideration of the instruments and bows of the period, and what they teach us about how to play the music.

Day 3: The French style – elegance and order. This practical session will look at French dance music, and the rigorous way in which they used bowing patterns and ornamentation to increase grace and elegance.

Day 4: Austro-Germany – sophistication and refinement. This session will concentrate on the later baroque repertoire and consider how the concept of rhetoric can tell us so much about how to perform the music of Bach.

Day 5: England – royalty and theatricality. The session will look at how the theatre and opera house produced some of the greatest music of the period, and in particular the works of Locke, Purcell and Handel. Performance work will consolidate the work done earlier in the week and we will explore how English music incorporated elements from other important European styles.

Rupert Guenther: Classical Improvisation/Healing Stage Fright

The Lost Mystical Art Of Improvisation Recital/Lecture-Demonstration/Workshop with Rupert Guenther
Bring your instruments. No previous improvisation experience necessary.
Rupert Guenther presents his new breakthrough method of classical music improvisation, which allows classical musicians without any previous improvisation experience to improvise freely with real depth and meaning, and give wings to their own feelings, imagination and life experience, in much the same way that a painter creates pictures of the imagination onto a blank canvas.
The method utilises all the wonderful classical training, sensitivity, nuance and vast experience which classical players already have, and adds a working grasp of the four parameters of music which form the basis of all music throughout time.
Through this we develop a living relationship with the full range of tonality, and engage as much the intuitive/imaginative self as well. The deeply compositional
qualities of this approach makes improvisation not only a reliable art form but also a deeply rewarding personal “journey” experience for performer and audience alike,
for fun at home or on the concert hall stage.
It is suitable for instrumental performers and teachers from primary and high school level to university and professional levels. This practical hands-on approach creates the skills, resources and confidence for classical players and instrumental teachers to perform and teach classical music improvisation in an age-appropriate, effective and rewarding way for themselves and their students.
It forms a profound basis for both music composition and interpretation, and additionally, adds energy and insight to every performer’s musicianship whether in improvisation or traditional repertoire. This approach is open to all instruments including voice, percussion, piano, strings, brass, woodwind etc, so creating a very inclusive approach to ensemble and group improvisation lessons and performance.
* all concepts, text, course content, description, including the name Integrated Contemporary Performance are copyright © and remain the property of Flat-Out Artists Pty Ltd

Workshop in healing stage-fright. Bring your instrument! All welcome. Practical approaches for musicians with Rupert Guenther.
Stage-fright is a big issue for some people, and a significant issue for many. If you do get really nervous to the extent that you can’t express yourself or share and enjoy what you really love about music in your performances, this workshop will
enable you to begin to heal your fears around performing, and regain your original inspiration for taking up music in the first place. You will learn practical on-the-spot approaches which will change your whole experience of playing in public, and begin to dissolve the old patterns which caused you to feel anxiety instead of joy. Includes specific take-home techniques and practical tools for on-stage use in even the most
demanding performances.
* all concepts, text, course content, description, including the name Integrated Contemporary Performance
are copyright © and remain the property of Flat-Out Artists Pty Ltd


Lucy Hare: Setting Ourselves up for Success

How do we view our pupils, and how does that impact their progress? This workshop will be a practical look at how our thinking affects our teaching, and how we can use this to propel our students towards success. Participants will come away with a greater understanding of how to positively impact their students, and a fun and empowering coaching technique to use in their teaching.

Lucy Hare: The World’s Best Teacher!

Is this you? How do you measure up against the teacher you would love to be? This confidence-building and uplifting workshop will uncover the skills and experience you already have, and explore areas you would like to develop further. This is all about YOU!

Participants will come away with a greater sense of what they already do well, and an idea of how to move forward towards being a ‘Best Teacher’. They will also learn how to use a flexible and practical coaching tool. 

Jo Horder: Feldenkrais

Play with Ease

The morning movement classes will be a space to explore your potential to play with greater ease and pleasure and to pick up helpful ideas to enrich your teaching practice.

We will address issues which are common to all musicians, including:
-How to stand/sit well with your instrument.
-How to use your hands and arms most effectively.

-How movement as you play can become easier and more pleasurable.

We will explore the following areas:


Balanced skeletal support is fundamental in creating the conditions for freer movement, liberating our relationship to the instrument. We will explore and experience a dynamic equilibrium in sitting and standing.

Shoulder girdle:

Understanding the anatomical structure of the shoulder girdle is crucial to exploiting the full range of movement available to the arms and hands. We will relate easier movement of the arms to your developing experience of equilibrium. More skeletal support can reduce inefficient effort and the risk of strain or injury.


Well regulated breathing is an important tool for reducing tensions, stress and anxiety. We will include focus on the breath in the movement explorations.


Active visualisation can help us develop easy, efficient and healthy movements. Through focused visualisation we can imagine and

project pathways to improvement in all areas, including effective methods of practising.

What happens in a class?

These will be relaxing, non-competitive, explorative classes. I will lead you verbally through gentle and easy movement sequences (in sitting and standing) which are designed to increase your awareness of unconscious, unhelpful habits and open up new possibilities for change and improvement. You will refresh your relationship to your instrument based on a felt experience of easier movement. You will learn a variety of strategies for supporting and improving your personal practice, performance and teaching.

What is the The Feldenkrais Method?

A unique and practical way to help you do the things you want to do in life, Feldenkrais is an educational method focusing on learning and movement, and is named after it’s originator, Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) who was an engineer and physicist and Europe’s first-ever Judo black belt.

The method involves neither exertion, exercise, stretching nor fitness. Relaxed attention is combined with movement riddles to stimulate brain plasticity – intriguing, illuminating, accessible to all – helping us learn (or rediscover) how to move more easily and efficiently in all areas of our lives.

Steve Bingham: Ice Breaker

For this session there’s a chance to meet the ESTA (UK) team and your fellow Summer School delegates over a stand-full of string music! There might even be a chance to have a go at conducting….

Phil Aird, Steve Bingham and Sheila Holdsworth will be there to answer your questions about ESTA (UK), the Summer School, or anything else string-related, and we’ll be playing a variety of string music – both familiar and unfamiliar – under the baton of Steve. There will be a chance for volunteers to conduct a movement or two, and if you have any pieces you’d like the group to try out – perhaps to see if they’d be suitable for your school or adult ensemble, or just because you’ve never had a chance to play them! – please either bring along a full set of parts or let Steve know in advance so that he can source a set (

This is a relaxed, fun session that we hope everyone will join in with. A great way to get to know everyone at the start of a week of exciting concerts and presentations!

Chris Haigh: Exploring folk fiddle workshop

Folk Fiddle. How hard can it be?

There is a tendency for the uninitiated to assume that, by comparison with classical music, folk is simple, requiring little in the way of technique, discipline and musicality. With tunes often no more than 32 bars in length, and little requirement to go beyond first position, how demanding could folk fiddle be?

There are certainly many fundamental differences between classical and folk.

Actually, it’s the classical players who have it easy. There’s a sheet of music, with the title, the name of a composer, and a stave of music which, with the possible exception of some bowing and fingering marks, will be exactly as the composer intended. All you have to do is copy what’s on the page.

Folk fiddle is a whole different kettle of fish. If you, as a classical player, were to blunder into a typical pub “session”, you would be as out of place as one of those fiddlers would be in a symphony orchestra. Your overwhelming need for written music, your inappropriate vibrato, and your excruciatingly long bows would all mark you out as an absolute beginner, never mind your years of classical training. You would be baffled by the way tunes start and finish, and flow imperceptibly from one to the next, without any apparent plan or discussion.

The book “Exploring Folk Fiddle” aims to explore, from general observation down to fine detail, what the fiddler needs to know to survive in this apparently chaotic musical environment, and how a bland 32 bars of sheet music can be brought to life when played in the proper style and context.

This workshop, based on aspects of the book, will first introduce you to a selection of folk fiddle traditions from across Europe.

Firstly we will look at an Irish polka. From the workshop participant’s point of view, there will be two challenges here. Firstly, to get a half decent bowing technique, so that it doesn’t sound like a roomful of classical musicians (!) and secondly, to learn and play the tune by ear rather than from music. This may be a new and intimidating experience for some, but it is an important lesson in understanding what is very much an aural tradition. By listening instead of reading, you quickly gain an understanding of the structure of the tune, and an insight into the very different mindset of the traditional musician.

Secondly we will try a Scottish jig. Again this will require some work on the bowing to give it the lift and drive which comes only through experience and can never be lifted directly from sheet music (though you’ll be delighted to hear that for this, and the rest of the workshop, we will be reading!) This particular jig, the Dhu Hill, is a rare and beautiful tune in the phrygian mode. It gives lie to the often heard idea that “diddly-eye” traditional tunes all sound the same.

Thirdly we will sample some klezmer. This is the Jewish dance music tradition from 18th and 19thC eastern Europe. The tune we will play is a khosidl- a guaranteed floor filler at any Jewish wedding. It is in the darkly evocative freygish mode, and we may even try singing as well as playing the tune.

Finally a Kopanica from Bulgaria. Like many dance tunes from the Balkans, the challenge and excitement for the player comes from the rhythm, in this case 11/8. Whilst for dancers this is thought of simply as a pattern of long and short steps, for the western musician it is a grouping of twos and threes- in this case 2,2,3,2,2. A warm up of the basic rhythm makes it a lot easier to grasp the overall feel of the tune, which when played at speed is a thrilling ride.

The workshop is for all strings. It will mostly be unison playing, though with the klezmer tune we may try splitting roles to give an idea of a more authentic string band feel.



As usual we have a stunning line up for our concerts. The first evening will start with a jam that everyone can join in with if you’d like to! It’ll be lead by folk hero Chris Haigh and internationally acclaimed violinist Rupert Guenther. If the thought of just joining in scares the life out of you but it’s something you’ve always wanted to do then this is the time to have a go in a totally safe and supportive environment!

For our other 3 concerts we will have the privilege of being able to draw on performers from the courses running alongside us, EPTA and Audition/Perform  Gary Levinson, concert master from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Robert DeMaine, principal cellist of the LA Philharmonic for one of the evenings. The other 2 evenings will be given over to the students of Audition/Perform and to Murray McLachlan from EPTA.

It’s always a fabulous end to our busy days with superb performances from superb players!


Summer School Day 1: August 09

  • 1pm-3pm: Registration
  • 3.00-4.30 Folk Music with Chris Haigh
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: String Orchestra Ice Breaker: Meet the ESTA (UK) team and fellow delegates over a stand-full of string music!
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Jam session with Chris Haigh and Rupert Guenther

Summer School Day 2: August 10

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Feldenkrais
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Upper Strings/Lower Strings Basics with Simon Cartledge and Prof Laura Ritchie
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Baroque with Dr Simon Jones
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Classical Improvisation with Rupert Guenther
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Chamber Music Steve Bingham
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert

Summer School Day 3: August 11

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Feldenkrais
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Upper Strings/Lower Strings Basics with Simon Cartledge and Prof Laura Ritchie
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Baroque with Dr Simon Jones
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: TRADE DAY
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: TRADE DAY
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert

Summer School Day 4: August 12

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Feldenkrais
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Upper Strings/Lower Strings Basics with Simon Cartledge and Prof Laura Ritchie
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Baroque with Dr Simon Jones
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Healing Stage Fright with Rupert Guenther
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: Setting ourselves up for Success with Lucy Hare
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: Concert

Summer School Day 5: August 13

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Feldenkrais
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Upper Strings/Lower Strings Basics with Simon Cartledge and Prof Laura Ritchie
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Baroque with Dr Simon Jones
  • 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
  • 3.00pm-4.30pm: Masterclass session with Gary Levinson and Robert DeMaine
  • 4.30pm-5.00pm: Coffee
  • 5.00pm-6.00pm: World’s Best Teacher with Lucy Hare
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Dinner
  • 7.45pm-9.00pm: PARTY!

Summer School Day 6: August 16

  • 8.30am-9.15am: Daily Feldenkrais
  • 9.30am-11.00am: Upper Strings/Lower Strings Basics with Simon Cartledge and Prof Laura Ritchie
  • 11.00am-11.30am: Coffee
  • 11.30am-1.00pm: Baroque with Dr Simon Jones


Prices for 2020: 


  • ESTA member –  £555
  • ESTA non member –  £645
  • ESTA student member – £469
  • ESTA student non member – £525
  • Overseas delegate – £645


The week’s cost includes food and accommodation.

We have a limited number of ensuite rooms this year so we’ve created a discount code worth £20 if you don’t mind sharing 1 bathroom between 3 rooms. Use the code Shared to get the discount. If you pay the full price you will automatically get an ensuite room. We do have limited numbers available so book sooner rather than later!

NB! people booking on the student rates will automatically be allocated shared bathrooms!


Daily rates are available:

  • ESTA member £120
  • ESTA non member £145
  • ESTA student member £85
  • ESTA student non member £115

If you would like to book individual days, please email

The daily rates include lunch and dinner.

Please note: If you book individual days and would like overnight accommodation please be aware there will be a £45 charge for each night booked. This includes breakfast. Please note that if you book later rather than earlier you may be in shared bathroom accommodation due to the limited number of ensuite rooms we have available. Many apologies!

Any nights booked outside the course dates will be £45. If you would like to stay outside the course dates please let me know or email/call the university directly on or 01243 812120.

Additional Information and FAQs


If you are arriving on Sunday August 9th please register with the accommodation office marked number 24 on the campus map, they will book you in and give you your room keys. We will set up a desk with your name tag which you can then pick up. Sheila and Julia will be there from the previous night so don’t worry if you arrive earlier than this. You will be given an ID tag and allocated a room plus a parking permit if needed.

If you are attending separate days, please call Sheila on arrival on 07973 168 204 or Julia on 07910 152460. Please be aware that the mobile signal is poor on campus (for us anyway!) so please leave a message if we don’t answer – we’ll check our phones regularly.

The University accommodation office is very helpful too, they can direct you to the music department on arrival. The office is marked as number 24 on the map.

Departure times:

The course finishes at 1pm on the 14th of August. Lunch on the first day and last day will be served. The University have a check out time of 10am. There will be a place where you can store bags after check out.


Linen and towels provided. The University has some basic toiletries for sale in their accommodation office.


There is no bar but in previous years, we have organised our own bar! There are some very nice pubs nearby too.

Contact Numbers:

If you need assistance please call Sheila Holdsworth 07973 168204 or Julia Atkinson 07910 152460. Mobile coverage is poor on campus so please do leave a message-we’ll be checking regularly.

Venue Address:

Chichester University
College Lane
West Sussex
PO19 6PE

01243 816000


See map – BOC Campus Map 2018

Parking is on site. You will need a permit which we will issue as part of the registration process.

Train Station is approximately 15 minutes walk. There is a taxi rank at the station.

Taxi numbers: Station Taxis 01243 884 884

If you are arriving via Gatwick, there is a direct train from the airport to Chichester. If you need any help with travel email and I’ll try my best to help!

Interactive Map of the campus


ESTA is not responsible for the insurance of any instruments. Please make sure you have adequate insurance cover for your instrument. There will be no lockable storage area as such but your rooms are very near and lockable.


Please remember to bring your instrument – most classes require them!


Icloud wireless network available in social areas. Separate connection in bedrooms.

Private Consultation:

Lessons etc can be arranged privately with most members of staff. Please feel free to approach them directly during the week. Richard Crozier from the PG Cert course, which is running alongside the summer school, is more than happy to talk to anyone interested for next year’s course. Please feel free to approach him.


There is a non-smoking policy throughout all the buildings and grounds.

Social Rooms/Bedrooms and Facilities:

Check in for accommodation is 3pm, check out 10am. Each bedroom is lockable. This year we have a mix of ensuite and non ensuite rooms. There is a discount of £20 if you don’t mind a non ensuite room. Use the code ‘Shared’ to get this discount and I will automatically allocate you shared bathroom accommodation. Each set of 6 rooms share 2 bathrooms.

NB! people booking on the student rates will automatically be allocated shared bathrooms!

Lounge/Kitchenette with kettles and fridges in Halls of Residence are available for use. Each set of 4 bedrooms has access to a kitchen. The cookers are all non working so no cooking facilities available. Please bring your own tea/coffee/milk/wine if you’d like to make out of hours drinks. Washing machines are available at £1.80 a wash.

Food is served in the dining hall, marked 07 on the campus map. If you have any allergies please do let us know.

Swaps music table:

As last year, we will have a table where you can bring your old unwanted books and swap them for whatever is there! A good chance to take a look at different music without having to buy it.

Trade day:

On the Wednesday we will have some trade stands in the Chapel for you to visit. We would really encourage you to do this as we get a lot of support from them and it’s vital we keep our relationship with them as positive and as healthy as possible. Last year, someone actually bought a viola from them!

Shops near by:

There is a shop on site. It has limited opening hours but is useful! There is a Coop at the bottom of College Road too. The conference office will also sell you washing powder and other items.

Useful stuff:

On the PDF above, the canteen is listed as 07, the office for accommodation is 24 and the music block is 19/20. Parking, if you are driving please park in the long term car park which is situated near block 16. The first small car park you come to is only short term. You will need the long term one. The parking people are a third party company and Chichester tell us they have eagle eyes….you will need a permit which we shall provide!



Event Details

Start date: August 09, 2020

End date: August 14, 2020

Start time: 13:00

End time: 13:00

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


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

We have two funds, The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund (NJNF) and the Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund (JDCMF). 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:

To apply for a bursary click here



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 responsibility to loss or damage to instruments or personal belongings. You are strongly advised to provide your own insurance for instruments and other valuables.