Our courses are five days long and run from Monday to Friday. They involve hard work and a lot of fun, and children and teenagers love them!
Our key aim is to make sure children are inspired and taught to play as well as they possibly can, while having a great time with friends (old and new) and talented and enthusiastic tutors.
Our tutors are chosen from amongst the finest performers and teachers in the UK. They combine immense technical knowledge and musicianship with the skill and enthusiasm to pass on their skills to the next generation of brass musicians. Because the courses are specifically for brass players, we can give them the instrument-specific attention and focus that they would not get on an orchestral course.
For those staying on a residential basis (usually about two thirds of those attending), there are fun activities in the evenings to ensure everyone is happy (and exhausted, if a day of brass playing and two hours of sport hasn't done the trick!) by bedtime.
The children learn in small ensembles with those of a similar ability, as well as in masterclasses in their specific instrument groups. There will be sessions on particular aspects of brass playing, such as breathing; and on general aspects of musicianship, such as preparing for an exam or an audition. There is a course competition, and each day one of the tutors will perform and discuss a short piece.
Alongside our Summer Courses for all brass players, we also run The Workshop, which is a separate advanced and intensive course aimed at high level performance.
It is suitable for advanced players (Grade 8+), and
is a great opportunity to work with and learn from world class players and teachers. Ideal for those thinking about attending music college, as well as highly talented individuals who want to play with others like them.
Even enthusiastic musicians need a break, and so each afternoon we leave the music room and head off for a two hour sports session. The children play in their four house teams, and the sessions are designed to ensure that that everyone can enjoy them.
When the day children have gone home, the emphasis of the course switches from music to having a lot of fun with new friends.
Each evening there will be activities and games - we usually do a big and very interactive quiz on the first night (in their house teams) to get everyone involved; other activities include outdoor games such as softball rounders or football, a treasure hunt, table tennis, party games, Brass Academy's Got Talent etc.
Anyone aged 8-18 who plays a brass instrument and has passed their Grade 1 is very welcome on all our courses.
The Workshop, which takes place alongside our regular Summer Courses, is solely for those who have passed their Grade 8 or Diploma.
On each of our courses, there is a competition. This is designed to be as relaxed, informal and unintimidating as possible: the children will play in front of a small group of peers, and it is an excellent opportunity for the tutors to hear the children individually and to help them with any particular issues.
A new venture for us! We will be holding a One Day Course on Sunday 6 January at Purcell School in Bushey, Hertfordshire. It will broadly follow the structure of a day on our Easter and Summer Courses: ensemble work, sectional rehearsals, a sports session and a final concert.
Our Easter Course 2019 will take place Monday 8 - Friday 12 April at Purcell School, Bushey, Hertfordshire.
We are holding two Summer Courses in 2019. Our first runs from Monday 5 - Friday 9 August at St John's School in Leatherhead, Surrey, and will include the Workshop for those who have passed their Grade 8 exam.
We are holding two Summer Courses in 2019. The second will take place Monday 19 - Friday 23 August at Purcell School, Nr Bushey, Hertfordshire. As well as our usual brass course, we will also be running the Workshop for Grade 8+ brass players.
The music played on our courses is a mixture of the best that brass music offers, from classical, film and jazz music. Click here to go to our YouTube page where you can see video of our end of course concerts from 2017 and 2018.
As the Kinks said, "Give the People What They Want": and they want hoodies! We have sold nearly 150 since introducing them in 2017, and will be doing them again in 2019.
Purcell School suits our requirement extremely well. It is one of the country’s leading specialist music schools, and so has all the music facilities we need: and it is relatively small, with everything close to hand, which makes it a friendly and welcoming place to be - we are the only course present while we are there. The boarding accommodation is outstanding, and as Purcell is a senior school, the bedrooms are for between one and four children - so no huge dorms that do not suit older children and in which younger children are less likely to get a good night's sleep!
St John's School Leatherhead is a new venue for us for 2019, and we are confident it will be an exceptional backdrop for a great course.
Your instrument! And a piece of music you have prepared to play in the competition. A full suggested packing list is sent out ahead of the course, but read on for brief further information.
£70 for the January One Day Course. £565 residential, £410 day for all Easter Course bookings made before 1 February 2019 and for all Summer course bookings made before 24 May 2019. For bookings after these dates, the cost is £595 residential and £445 day.
Some questions crop up regularly, so here are the answers to some of these frequently asked questions: things such as what ages of children come on our courses, how many children are on each course, who will be teaching your child, what the accommodation is like, etc etc. If you need any further help on anything, please do contact us