Learning an instrument brings with it not only the joy of making music, it also develops emotional, cognitive and social skills. We consider ourselves very lucky to have found in music a beautiful way of living and we believe that every child should have at least the chance to try it.
Our teaching methodology follows the principles of the positive approach, always keeping in mind that the ideal learning experience should be based on enjoyment. With young children (from 4 years old) we use a combination of the Kodaly and Dalcroze methods, prioritising musicianship over technique in these first years of learning. The combination of these two methods allows quick development of aural skills: sense of pulse, rhythm, inner-ear, singing, memory and the capacity of multitasking. For older and more advanced students we combine musicianship with a more traditional approach, working with repertoire of great pedagogues such as Wohlfahrt, Kayser, Mazas, Kreutzer, Rode, Dont, etc.
We prepare our students for exams, ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall, understanding these as a little part of the whole learning process. We are committed to give our students regular performing opportunities, both solo and ensemble concerts, to share their music with family, friends and the local community.
Weekly ensemble classes take place at St. Andrew's, the Parish of Alexandra Park (Alexandra Park Rd, N10 2DE) on THURSDAYS after school. It is known that individual lessons are the core of instrumental teaching but they are not enough by themselves. Musicianship and ensemble playing are key for a thorough development of the young musician. We also appreciate how hard it is for parents to find the time for their children to attend separate individual, musicianship, ensemble and orchestra classes. This is why we have designed this program in which musicianship and ensemble are integrated in the same session, allowing one-to-one lessons to focused on technique and repertoire.
Chamber music is one of the most important experiences for a young musician. It helps to develop not only musical ability, but also social and team-working skills. We started this project with the aim of giving our individual students the opportunity to perform and share learning with their peers. This is not only motivational but highly beneficial to their learning.
Regular concerts are held at the end of every term to share all the work done with families and friends and to give students the opportunity to perform regularly in front of an audience.
What makes us different from other ensembles
Small groups, up to 10 children per class coached by two teachers. This gives them a lot of individual attention.
Ensemble playing and musicianship integrated in one session. Musicianship based on the Kodaly and Dalcroze’s Eurythmics methods: Lots of singing, movement, rhythm-cards activities, etc.
Apart from standard music, we use simplified notation (sticks and reduced stave). This enables every child to join in from the beginning regardless of their reading skills.
Children grouped by age rather than level as we specialised in working with mixed abilities. We arrange the music to suit each student individually. They always have the opportunity to choose between an easier part to begin with and harder ones to challenge themselves as they see fit.
From 4 to 16 years old (Early Years to Advanced Strings). Songs learnt from the beginning (singing) are applied to the instrument in different ways later on. By the end of the term they are able to perform some of the pieces together at different levels.
- 4:00-4:30, EARLY YEARS: singing, movement, mini-percussion, essential aural skills and lots of fun for 3-5 years old. The violin is introduced gradually through games and simple activities.
- 4:30-5:15, INITIAL STRINGS: musicianship and ensemble playing for 6-8 years old children. Beginners and Pre-grade 1 standard or similar.
- 5:15-6:00, INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED STRINGS: musicianship and ensemble playing for 9+ years old children. Ideally in Grades 1/2+ standard or similar.