Archive for September 2014

One Day Taster Courses

One Day Taster Courses

JackdawsWe have officially reached autumn and we’re looking forward to the next few months of courses at Jackdaws because our One Day Courses will enter their fourth season.

One Day Courses are the perfect introduction to making music at Jackdaws. In 2011 we decided to swap our usual programme of weekend courses in November and December for a series of one day singing taster sessions. It turned out to be a success – three years later, we are running day courses on topics from Playing Jazz to using Alexander Technique.

With top quality tuition and a famous Jackdaws lunch provided, taster days are open to musicians of all levels and give you the opportunity to try something new. Perhaps that’s playing a new genre of music at “Jazz Day”, or singing as part of your first opera chorus in “Come and Sing the Magic Flute”.

What’s happening this year?

Jackdaws Day CoursesAlexander Technique for Musicians
Ann Hetherington
Saturday 15 November


Singing for the over 50s
Penny Jenkins
Sunday 30 November


Jazz Day
Ralf Dorrell
Saturday 6 December


Singing with Confidence
Jessica Walker
Sunday 7 December


Come and Sing Mozart’s Magic Flute
William Carslake
Sunday 14 December

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Ameral Gunson at JackdawsThe latest course to sell out from our 2014-15 season is Ameral Gunson’s Singing and Imagination. Ameral joins Graham Fitch, whose Practising the Piano, went to a waiting list two weeks ago.

If you missed out on booking for Singing and Imagination, we recommend Advanced Singing Technique with Teresa Cahill instead. Teresa is one of the great British sopranos. Her career has taken her across the globe and seen her perform under Sir Georg Solti, Normal Del Mar, Vernon Handley, Otto Klemperer and alongside Roger Vignoles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Placido Domingo at the most prestigious classical festivals – the Proms, Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne (and that’s just in the UK!)

She has been visiting Jackdaws since the beginning with her course for advanced singers. Bring your own choice of repertoire from opera, operetta and oratorio in German, French, Italian or English and we will discover the depth of interpretation possible using vocal technique.

If the theatrical, creative imagination element of Ameral’s course appealed to you, then perhaps you the upcoming Audition Preparation Weekend in November would be a better alternative.

Led by vocal coach Audrey Hyland and opera director Saffron van Zwanenberg, this weekend should be the focus of your preparation for upcoming vocal auditions, whatever your ability. The panel, who both have extensive experience on audition panels, have structured the weekend to feature enactments of audition scenarios, vocal tuition and performance tips to raise the level your performance and give you the competitive edge.

To view all Jackdaws Vocal Courses, visit the Voice page.

Jackdaws programme of One-Day Taster Courses are also selling well, and serve as a fantastic introduction to areas of music you may not have considered – Alexander technique, anyone?

Advanced Singing Technique Course Details
Friday 17 – Sunday 19 October 2014
Course No. 3113
Level: Advanced
Fee: £200

Audition Preparation Weekend Course Details
Friday 7 – Sunday 9 November 2014
Course No. 3115
Level: A
Fee: £200

B&B available from £30 per night

The Dangers of Perfectionism

The Dangers of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is surely something we all aim for…

Flowers in the Jackdaws Rose GardenWe imagine playing that Rachmaninov prelude, or Schubert dance, the Chopin G minor Ballade, or a Bach fugue “perfectly” from start to finish. Every note flowing as though there was no question of it being anything but perfection.

But Perfectionism can, and does, impede our essential musical response. One obvious example is a fear of playing wrong notes; caution takes over instead! Why don’t we trust our musical gut reactions? They are of great importance if we are to play with any conviction. Come and bring your ideas, believe in them, why shouldn’t you, they too can make sound sense!

One obvious example is a fear of playing wrong notes

Stepping away from the need to reach perfection allows us to see the bigger picture, which can often be lost when focusing on small sections. Playing music in its entirety will give a greater sense satisfaction from our playing. We forget the frustrations of “wrong notes” and begin to enjoy the music more.

This course is not about ignoring wrong notes, it is about not allowing them to impede further (more important) work on the rest of the piece.

Following her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, Ruth Harte performed widely in Britain, including the Wigmore Hall and South Bank,in Canada, Europe, The Far East, Australia and New Zealand. Her tours have included both solo and chamber music recitals as well as masterclasses and broadcasts. She was elected Warden of the Private Teachers Section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1992-3 and her own teaching practice is central to her musical life. She has had long experience as an examiner and adjudicator, is a Fellow and former professor of the Academy and was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours in 2007 for services to music.

Jackdaws Tutor Ruth HarteThe Dangers of Perfectionism Course Details
Friday 26 – Sunday 28 September 2014
Course No. 3110
Level: All
Fee: £190
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

Singing in French

Singing in French

Flowers in the Jackdaws Rose GardenThe French chanson and mélodie repertoire contains some of the most beautiful songs ever written, by the greatest composers in history. Fauré, Berlioz, Poulenc, Duparc, Debussy, Ravel, Chausson…

Robin Bowman is an expert in French song. For 30 years he was French consultant to the National Opera Studio, London, and from 1997 to 2008 was Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music. For 25 years he taught at the Académie Internationale Maurice Ravel, and spent a further 11 at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. He played for the classes of Pierre Bernac, the singer for whom Poulenc wrote more than half of his songs, during the last ten years of Bernac’s life in the 1970s. Robin was delighted to be on the adjudication panel for the Kathleen Ferrier Competition 2013.

To learn French song is to learn French culture, custom, ideas, history and traditions.

When taught and coached well, French is a healthy and rewarding language for singing. This course is open to singers of all abilities and will enable each participant to study and perform three or four French songs of their own choice, further preparing their favourite for an intimate Sunday afternoon concert at the end of the course.

Robin Bowman and accompanist Edwige HerchenroderSinging in French Course Details
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 September 2014
Course No. 3107
Level: All
Fee: £190
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book