The children learn in small ensembles with those of a similar ability, as well as in masterclasses in their specific instrument groups.
Each day starts with a small ensemble session, in which they will work on ensemble pieces. The children work through many pieces during the work, and choose their favourite to perform in the concert at the end of the course.
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, or dealing with nerves.
There is a course competition in which everyone plays a piece they have prepared, which provides a great opportunity for the tutors to hear the children individually and to help them with any particular issues.
Each day a tutor will perform a short piece and talk it through with the children; and the tutors during the course hold an open rehearsal, so that the children see how top musicians work together on a piece of music.
Every afternoon, we head onto the sports field or sports hall for two hours of organised sports and activities - even keen musicians need a break sometimes! Grade 8+ students in the Workshop spend the first hour of the afternoon with their tutors continuing with their musical studies, and can then choose whether to continue with music or to join the others in the sports session. At Easter some of the older children choose to use this time to put in some study towards their GCSE/A level exams.
The day ends with a massed ensemble session and the handing out of daily prizes and awards.
Children in The Workshop (for Grade 8+ musicians) follow a separate programme, further details of which are given in The Workshop section. Daily Timetable
9.15 – 9.25 Registration for day pupils
9.30 – 11.00 Small Ensemble.
The children will be in a group with brass players of a similar ability and will work on various pieces of music with their tutors. Each group is taken by a lead tutor, assisted by other tutors and members of staff. Children work in groups with those of a similar ability.11.00 – 11.30 Break
11.30 – 1.00 Masterclass session.
Here, the children will work in small instrument-specific groups (ie just horns; just trombones etc) with the tutors who play that instrument. There may also be an interactive session on breathing techniques; there may be a short concert given by visiting leading musicians; or one of the tutors may “take” an exam or have an audition, during which children can learn what to do to be successful (and what to avoid!). 1.00 – 2.00 Lunch and free time
2.00 – 4.00 Sport
4.00 – 4.30 Break/Tuck Shop
4.30 – 5.30 Sectional rehearsals. 5.30 – 6.00 Massed Ensemble, Tutor demonstration, daily prizes and awards.
At 6pm, day children will depart and the residential students will have supper, followed by evening activities. After showers and a short DVD, lights go out for children aged 12 and under around 9.30: teenagers stay up later until about 10.30pm.
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