New music, new challenges and robots galore! - Week 2 Day 1
30th July 2019
Our students are taking things to the next level.
Lee Reynolds conducting our orchestra
This week’s programme leaders are already encouraging our young musicians to push the boundaries of what they can do, challenging them to make the most of every session.
First today was Whole School Warm Up with Adam Saunders, a firm favourite here at Ingenium. He energised our students with catchy tunes to sing along to and body percussion to get the mind and body working as one.
It was into sessions we then went, all eager to soak up new knowledge and make marvelous music. This began for our orchestra with a journey into Bizet’s Carmen Suite with new conductor Lee Reynolds. As well as familiarising themselves with the material, the group focussed on making one collective sound, listening to everyone around them for balance and keeping together. At one point, Lee stood back and the students took ownership of the music; without a conductor, they had to work together as a team to make one joint piece of music.
Orchestral rehearsals well under way
Adam Saunders is leading the way for the choir this week. Our students were immediately engrossed with Adam’s testing but engaging method of learning all material by ear. With this new approach the group were constantly widening their capacity for memory and were challenged to internalise each and every note and nuance of their parts. Exciting new repertoire including an arrangement of Nina Simone’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ is giving the group potential for great things this week – we can’t wait to see what unfolds.
Choir with Adam Saunders
The saxophones began week 2 by exploring their theme for the week: space. The day centred around exploration of Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ from The Planets Suite, beginning with studying the score whilst listening to the orchestral original. The saxophones will work on emulating these orchestral sounds as closely as possible this week. Other sessions were spent workshopping their original collaborative composition, a reaction to the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing. Starting with a look into which extended techniques could be used to emulate space, the saxophones created their framework. More is very much to come!
Saxophones in rehearsal
Piano students immediately got stuck into their first day of lessons and practice with our first class team: Simon Callaghan, Clíodna Shanahan, Richard Sisson and Hiro Takenouchi. In lessons the students refined their technique and then applied this and their growing performance skills to playing material through to their tutors. The whole school echoed with Chopin ballads, Rachmaninoff epics and even new compositions – such an array of music at a high standard already!
Individual piano practice
For our conductors the focus today was Ravel’s Piano Concerto. They read through the score, picking out challenging sections and then followed along to the score with a recording. After the morning break they began working on the piano reductions with leader Tim Redmond and repetiteur Roberto Secilla, hearing the parts weave together and melodies come to the fore. Other considerations included how to adapt to live performances, as opposed to recordings.
Our conducting students getting into scores
Musicianship is an integral part of the day for our students, giving them the opportunity to enhance their musical knowledge and broaden their experience. Today’s sessions included jazz piano with Adam Saunders, Kodaly method with our pastoral staff member Eli and performance etiquette with Richard Sisson. The saxophones learned some conducting skills with Roberto Secilla, while Lee Reynolds led our orchestral students in a series of fast paced challenges to get them thinking quickly as one entity - improvements soon showed!
Musicianship with Lee Reynolds
‘Robo-runway’ was the name of tonight’s epic evening activity. The challenge was to dress a member of each team as the craziest, funniest looking robot, before each of them made their strut down the runway. All got involved and despite varying results everyone had a great time!
There’s so much more to come this week, and the best way of finding out is to check back tomorrow!
See more photos from this summer on our Facebook page.
Musicians of the day:
- Sacha, Aoife and Sofia B, for confident singing, making excellent progress and volunteering to support singers outside of their section
- Kasia & Joey, for being the newcomers to the conductors but getting stuck in straight away, hitting the ground running, and making a fab contribution.
- Enric, for being receptive to ideas on Beethoven, and learning the power of the pivot diminished 7th chord! Also for covering challenging ideas, and applying them to other contexts.
- Henry, for taking the lead in composition, contributing good ideas and for amazing slap-tongue saxophone technique!
- Amy, for spending the whole day propelling the orchestra with her sound, and covering both bass parts herslf. Also for superb orchestral etiquette, asking pertinent questions and sorting other issues out on her own without stopping rehearsal.
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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