Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's Never Too Late!

Tutor Books for the Adult Learner

by Tracy Battensby
(June Emerson Wind Music)

Having worked at June Emerson Wind Music for many years I’ve always had an interest in titles that are aimed specifically at the adult learner. Of course there’s no reason why us grown-ups can’t use any one of the excellent methods available but it’s also nice to have something tailored to those who may be nervous or uncertain about taking up a new challenge.

And why do we take up such a challenge? Well, for personal enrichment, to deepen appreciation and understanding and perhaps have a bit of fun along the way. Speaking for myself, my memories of school music lessons aren’t great – they were inconsistent and ‘bitty’, not least because we had a different teacher almost every term, and I felt that there was such a lot I missed because of the constant upheaval. School music teaching has moved on (thank goodness) and now there are many private teachers who are sympathetic to an adult learner’s particular requirements.

Of course, it may be that you just want to pick up where you left off, and there is a rather good new series aimed at those who have prior knowledge of their instrument. Compiled by Larry Clark, the books review basic theory and include exercises and studies to help build strength and technique: 
I Used To Play Clarinet
I Used To Play Saxophone
I Used To Play Trumpet

Trevor Wye produced ‘The Adult Flute Student’ several years ago and it contains a lot of wise information relevant to the more mature player (not just the flautists):
The Adult Flute Student

 It’s good to hear about the experiences of other learners – bear in mind that there will be somebody out there who’s having the same issues (good or otherwise) that you are. The ABRSM hosts a lively forum and there’s lots of useful information at (and I must admit that I love the sound of as well…!).

Pam Wedgwood and Heidi Pegler have produced two excellent series – for piano and for the fledgling singers among us – entitled ‘It’s Never Too Late’. How very true.

If you want to try any of these books (including the piano and singing ones) please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you along the path of lifelong learning.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cardiff Clarinet Convention

Sunday 24th April 2016

at Cardiff University School of Music

Are you a clarinet student, teacher or general enthusiast? Would you like to improve your performance skills, work as part of an ensemble and receive coaching from top clarinet professionals? If the answer if yes, then the Cardiff Clarinet Convention 2016 is for you!

This year, the Convention is excited to announce that Anna Hashimoto will be joining course leader Leslie Craven in delivering a series of masterclasses and recital performances. Anna is currently a St John’s Smith Square Young Artist, Vandoren-UK Artist and clarinet tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire. Convention masterclass participants will also have the opportunity to work with accompanists Christopher Williams and Joanne Sealey.

Anna Hashimoto

The Convention is generously being supported by Vandoren-UK, D’Addario/Rico, John Packer, Silverstein Works, Woodwind & Co, Forton Music and June Emerson Wind Music. Many of the sponsors will be on hand throughout the day with trade stands full of exciting clarinet accessories to be trialed and purchased.

To get the most out of the Convention, it is advised that you should be grade three or above standard. You can download your application form HERE.

Adults - £25
Under 18 years old - £20
Students in full time music education (conservatoire or university) - £15
Students of the Cardiff University School of Music - free

Please follow our Facebook and Twitter page for any developments.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jess Gillam's World

February 2016

“One of the best young saxophonists in the UK” 
- Snake Davis

I have had such a great month! I have mainly been preparing for my BBC Young Musician Category Final Audition next month and have also performed a concerto with the Junior RNCM Symphony Orchestra.
Jess rehearsing 'Out of the Cool' by Dave Heath
with the Junior RNCM Symphony Orchestra
On Saturday, I performed Dave Heath’s “Out of the Cool” with the Junior RNCM Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall in Manchester conducted by Juan Ortuno. As I have said in previous blogs, I absolutely love performing concertos and I find the experience truly enjoyable – there is something about standing in front of an orchestra and performing a piece with so many different colours and sounds. Having rehearsed the concerto with the orchestra considerably more than if I was performing with a professional orchestra, I felt as though I knew the orchestral parts well and I felt very involved with the music.
Being filmed for BBC Young Musician
Some of the rehearsal for the concerto performance was filmed by BBC Young Musician to use in the backstory before my performance in the Woodwind Finals. I have been spending a lot of my time over the past month preparing for the competition, which will be televised in April/May. I have had to find a balanced practice routine where I can stay energised and focused throughout the whole of the session to ensure that I don’t practice bad habits.
Jess performing with John Harle
I have had lessons with John Harle and Rob Buckland and they have both helped me to find a practice routine that is focused and beneficial! As well as filming the concerto rehearsal, the BBC also filmed one of my lessons with John Harle in Canterbury, an interview with Rob Buckland and they also came to film in Ulverston (my home town) to interview me. I have enjoyed the filming very much and I am very interested to see how it will be edited!
I will be spending the next month focusing, researching and practicing my programme for the BBC Competition!


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