Jazz numbers, songwriting success and a magnificent Ceilidh! - Week 3 Day 2
7th August 2019
Work levels are high and minds are continuing to be filled with new musical ideas.
Jazz band with Michael Chillingworth
The orchestra had a focussed morning of sectionals in their respective wind and string groups. Flute tutor Lisa Nelson worked on breathing and communication, whilst with violin teacher Miranda Allen it was all about playing as a section and putting enthusiasm into the playing to create a professional orchestral sound. The whole group then came back together to look back at Haydn’s Symphony No. 97. Dionysis Grammenos worked carefully on their tuning, explaining that because they all come from different parts of the world, the ‘A’ they are used to tuning to is not the same as in this British setting, making the seemingly simple task of tuning actually a lot more difficult than it seems. From this they continued their detailed work on the piece before moving onto they Honneger’s Pastorale D’Été. The conductor focussed on creating a united rhythm from the beginning of the piece due to its slow tempo, making for a productive session with the young people, who were starting to really grasp how important the tuning and rhythm of classic works such as these affect the performance.
Wind sectional with Lisa Nelson
Our vocalists explored new ways of approaching music, including how to channel their personal experiences and emotions into their singing and interpretation of music. The students then extended their learning methods with an African greeting song taught by ear, displaying how improvisation and ornamentation can make repetition interesting, and add so much to the structure of the music we are performing. This allowed the musicians to think about their pieces in multiple ways: not just as dots on the page but the expression and phrasing that makes up the emotion behind these.
Trying solos in choir rehearsals
Over the past two weeks, the saxophone programme has included an introduction to many of the key elements of jazz. Michael Chillingworth took the group through the basics of jazz harmony, from recognition and use of modes to an explanation of how to navigate some common jazz chord progressions. They discussed how to begin forming solos, techniques to get used to chord changes and what to do when faced with truly tricky progressions. The students learned the difference between classical and jazz mouth positions, mouthpieces and reeds, as well as technical aspects like articulation and phrasing. They were also given the opportunity to try out everything they had learned in jazz ensemble pieces and practice of a improvising over a basic chord sequence. Sarah Markham was also on hand to give useful advice in individual lessons with each member of the group.
Pianists refined their technique in individual lessons, sight reading sessions and with duets. The piano can often be quite solitary in performance situations, so this week is all about collaboration for our musicians and learning from each other to excel in the best possible way. From the sessions, new duets have begun to form and more partnerships for exceptional music to come.
Trying new things in piano lessons
Today’s Musicianship presented even more fun and new options for our students, including Scottish Reel Music, Songwriting with Clare Wheeler, Improvisation with Matt Sharp and Alexander Technique with Helen Kearns, as well as Jazz Band once more with Michael Chillingworth. All insightful and important in their own ways, each of the classes opened our students’ minds to those elements of music we don’t always talk about in intense rehearsals, and reminded them that music is an all encompassing form.
Wind, brass and percussion collaborating in Musicianship
Another Ingenium tradition that made its return tonight was the Ceilidh. This grand Scottish event, filled with plaid bows, quirky facts, catchy tunes and of course, lots of dancing had our students up and full of energy from the first second. There were classic dances like the Virginia Barn Dance, in which everyone involved themselves and put their best foot forward, and others that were less known but still provided our students a gateway for lots of laughs and good times. At the end we all gathered to wish one of our students a very happy birthday with an authentically Scottish rendition of the well known tune, before saying farewell to our students for the evening.
What more is to come? The only way to know for sure is to come back tomorrow and find out!
See more photos from this summer on our Facebook page.
Musicians of the Day:
- Orchestra: Lorenza, for being serious and professional, trying really hard to find what the conductor wants and inspiring the rest of the section
- Vocal: Aoife, Felicity, Manuela and Megan, for being more confident, trying solos and sharing their personal stories
- Saxophone: Vera, for being enthusiastic, up for trying things, having a great lesson and staying engaged and concentrated all day
- Piano: Liza, for learning her Chopin so well, thinking about dynamics and ways to make her playing even more expressive
Programmes range from 1 week to 4 weeks long. Students can attend one immersive programme, or broaden their experience by combining programmes to suit their interests.
We love speaking to young musicians, teachers and families from around the world - so don't hesitate to get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!
Phone: +44 (0)20 7060 4076
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