The Jackdaws Music Educational Trust instrumental and vocal courses are open for booking today! The 2018/19 programme offers more variety than ever, so there is sure to be something for everyone.
The course venue, an attractive house in Somerset (pictured to the left), near Frome, contains excellent facilities, including a Steinway Model B piano, and several practice rooms. If you decide to take the plunge and book a course, you’ll enjoy the most beautiful countryside, scrumptious home cooked food, and plenty of opportunity to hone your piano skills whilst meeting new like-minded friends.
This is the fourth year that I have run a weekend course at Jackdaws, and I’m always delighted to be working amongst such an illustrious cohort of course tutors. This year, I’ll be focusing on piano technique. Throughout this weekend, I hope to illustrate the possibility of improving your skills irrespective of age or ability. Students often complain of tension, pain, and discomfort when they play, which probably stems from moving around the instrument in a less than ideal manner, resulting in many technical issues. During the course, I’ll consider the reasons for tension and examine useful ways of alleviating it, by focusing on establishing freedom and relaxation whilst playing.
Each course member will be given ample opportunity to hone and improve their technique; we will work at rotational wrist motion, strengthening fingers, and developing completely free arm movement; encouraging the use of arm weight, with the aim of producing a warm, pleasing tone. Technique will also be evaluated and assessed in the context of each student’s chosen repertoire, therefore participants are advised to bring two to three contrasting pieces to the workshops, although these do not have to be performance ready.
I really look forward to meeting you.
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.