The summer adventures of our teachers!

This year, rather than asking our pupils what they did over the summer, we decided to ask our teachers. And – predictably enough for our hard-working team – they certainly kept busy!

Rachel Cooper, violin teacher

‘I ran my summer orchestral course with 30 8-16 year olds: SURSUM 2017. Our theme was musicals, playing Lion King, Les Mis, Phantom, Gershwin and much more.  We made things, we played in the rain, played steel pans, had a talent show, a banquet and an amazing concert…

I also started my second year of Suzuki training and got inspired by a top Belgian teacher who helped me understand what nurturing children during their music education really means. I feel more motivated and excited than ever about teaching and giving the children we teach more than just a knowledge of the violin…a love of music and a pride in themselves!’

                Rachel Cooper and SURSUM pupils, including some from LMM

Mina Chivite, violin teacher

‘For a few weeks this July I did some chamber music coaching with a piano student from Interlochen Centre for the Arts who was here [in London] on school holiday. We worked on the Franck Sonata for piano and violin. It was very nice for me to play it again and I loved teaching at an advanced level.’

Gosia Kuznicki, violin and musicianship teacher

‘Danusia and I completed Level III Kodály [training] in Canada! Which was a gruelling ten days of fighting with jetlag and an abundance of assignments. We were mentored by educator James Cuskelly, who provided the highest level of Kodály training I’ve ever experienced. The remainder of the summer was spent cruising the Mediterranean with Graffiti Classics, a comedy string quartet!’

Gosia and Danusia in Canada for Kodaly training

Danusia Adamska, violin and musicianship teacher

‘This summer I played a solo with ELLSO (East London Late Starters Orchestra) Performance Ensemble, did a cruise with Graffiti Classics, and I went to Canada for Kodaly Methodology Level lll [training] with Gosia. And during my Level ll Kodaly course in Scotland we had a ceilidh. Highlight? The helicopter dance:

Danusia with the ELLSO Performance Ensemble

Anna Caban, violin teacher

‘I did Colourstrings violin teachers’ training between 29th of July and 4th of August in Edinburgh as part of the NYCoS (National Youth Choir of Scotland) Kodaly Summer School – huge inspiration from Géza Szilvay, lots of great ideas for teaching and happily I met Danusia there! Apart from learning the method I had a chance to dance Ceilidh for the first time and it was absolutely amazing.
I also took part in a BBC Proms Inspire concert with Aurora Orchestra playing one of the 5 winning pieces (the orchestral one) from the competition for young composers. Really talented young musicians and great pieces.
At the end of the summer I went for a hike in the French Alps and spend four days surrounded by beautiful pictures and sounds (you can’t say it’s not music related when you listen to the cow bells’ sounds!).’

Anna enjoying the Scottish scenery during some time out from her Kodaly training

Cathy Fox, musicianship teacher

‘I went to Helsinki, Finland for 5 days to take part in a violin teaching course with the Colourstrings team. While we were there we were treated to a concert by the Helsinki Strings who were amazing!
I’ve performed with Opera della Luna at Wilton’s Music Hall in a performance of a Strauss comic operetta with updated script to include comical references to modern day politics (strong and stable!).
I did a day trip to Malvern and played for an outdoor prom concert with favourites including The Sound of Music. While we were rehearsing there was a hot air balloon taking off nearby and a car race where drivers had to make stops to put on outfits and perform other comic tasks in their vintage cars.
I spent a week working on NLMS music summer course for adult amateurs; leading the orchestra and taking sectional rehearsals.
I also took part in a photography walk around Limehouse basin with St Katherine’s Precinct and did a walk around Rotherhithe and the Docklands, making a stop at Surrey Quays city farm to see the animals.’

Hot air balloon in Malvern

Gudny Jonasdottir, cello teacher
‘This summer I did a festival where I had to play baroque cello for a week, which took me a bit out of my comfort zone. But I love it! Other than that I mostly spent the summer with my family and practising to get back to into shape after maternity leave.’

Abbie Inman, cello teacher
‘I spent about 5 weeks mostly teaching cello at the Kampala Music School in Uganda. I also did a few therapy sessions with a little autistic boy, who has improved hugely since I started working with him last year! When I wasn’t at the music school, I was often with my friends in the nearby slum areas. Playing, singing and reading stories with the kids there. Loads of fun!’

Abbie teaching at the Kampala Music School

Sarah Hill, violin teacher
I went to Marnaves Summer Baroque which is a baroque course in the south of France where we studied Corelli’s Concerto Grosso with Maggie Faultless (Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music) as well as doing chamber music and playing in solo masterclasses all on baroque instruments. We also did baroque dancing each day, yoga, swimming and ate all vegetarian food! Totally inspiring week.
In addition, I went to China with the London Arte Chamber Orchestra where we played tango music with dancers in 5 different cities!’

Sarah in China (second right)

Rebecca Palmer
‘In July I did a facilitators’ course in workshop leading with English National Opera and The Royal Opera House. I developed improvisations on the violin, working with a pianist/composer with voices and took part and led workshops using the violin and voice with opera related themes. There were also some fantastic exercises for working with ensembles and pairs which were covered, which I will definitely find useful in teaching LMM violinists.
After this, I went for a break in the Swiss Alps, staying just above Lake Geneva and spending lots of hours outdoors walking in the great scenery.’

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