Summer School 2016

Residential at Chichester University. If you're local please feel free to commute but if you can, do emmerse yourself in the whole experience. It's amazing what conversations get started at breakfast!

Here you can book the entire week. If you just want individual days then please see the relevant day, please be aware that the daily rate does not incliude accommodation. This is an extra charge of £35 per night. (Accommodation is included in the whole week's fee.)

Professional Development lies at the heart of the European String Teachers Association and each year the Summer School draws together a world-class faculty of teacher-presenters to share experiences and pedagogic insights into teaching and playing string instruments.

2016 promises an inspiring series of workshops, lectures, demonstrations and concerts. Participants range from young professionals to semi-retired players giving a unique mix of experiences and opportunity for sharing of ideas and knowledge. Informal chamber music groups spring up every evening around suppertime and after the concerts.

The programme retains its ever popular Basics (String Pedagogy) classes which take an in depth view of how we play and teach string instruments. Every year these classes take on their own special life as the presenter and participants change and the class evolves to suit everyone's interests and needs.


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  • Faculty

    Presenters and presentations.

    The programme retains its ever popular Basics (String Pedagogy) classes which take an in depth view of how we play and teach string instruments. This year the upper strings class will be led by Jessica O’Leary and lower strings by Naomi Butterworth. Each morning we will start with Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg. There will be some great practical sessions from Richard Batty; ‘How to run yourself as a Business’. Dale Chambers; ‘When the tutor book ends’, and a session on ‘How to promote your instrument in schools’. Pat Legg will also give practical advice on teaching adults, and Paul Harris will examine the way children read music.

    Why not be brave and attend Cathy Elliott’s ‘Bass for non-specialists’ classes? Cathy will also examine the legacy of Paul Rolland.

    Chris Haigh returns, due to popular demand, with some more alternative styles; jazz, old time, folk and bluegrass.

    Steve Bingham will be on hand to guide you through the world of electronics and to give string repertoire session. And, of course, we have a fabulous line up of concerts by the Castalian Quartet, The Bingham Quartet and David Le Page.



    Steve Bingham

    Steve Bingham studied violin with Emanuel Hurwitz, Sidney Griller and the Amadeus Quartet at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won prizes for orchestral leading and string quartet playing. In 1985 he formed the Bingham String Quartet, an ensemble which has become one of the foremost in the UK, with an enviable reputation for both classical and contemporary repertoire. The quartet has recorded numerous CDs and has worked for radio and television both in the UK and as far afield as Australia. The group has toured in Europe, the Middle East and Australia, and has worked with distinguished musicians such as Raphael Wallfisch, Jack Brymer, Michael Collins and David Campbell. The quartet's educational activities have included residencies at London's South Bank Centre, for several UK festivals and at Radley College. Steve has appeared as guest leader with many orchestras, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English National Ballet and English Sinfonia. He has given solo recitals both in the UK and in America; his concerto performances include works by Bach, Vivaldi, Bruch, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Sibelius, given in venues as prestigious as St.John's Smith Square and the Royal Albert Hall. In recent years, Steve has developed his interest in improvisation, electronics and World Music, collaborating with several notable musicians including guitarist Jason Carter and players such as Sanju Vishnu Sahai (tabla), Baluji Shivastrav (sitar) and the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. Steve has appeared on three World Music CDs with Jason Carter and is a guest artist on the CD Confusion Rides by singer/songwriter Mark Fawcett. Steve also plays live with No-Man, the progressive art-rock duo of Tim Bowness and Steve Wilson. His debut solo CD Duplicity was released in 2005 and has been played on several radio stations, including BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. His second solo CD, entitled Ascension, was released in 2008.


    Henry Fagg

    Henry Fagg is an Alexander Technique teacher and musician based in London who has taught the Alexander Technique at the Royal College of Music, Trinity Laban, Tonbridge and Uppingham schools and on various chamber music courses.

    With a background in educational research, he has published work on the science and philosophy of the Alexander Technique. In 2015, he wrote the chapter ‘The Alexander Technique as adaptive behaviour’ for a new book Connected Perspectives: The Alexander Technique in Context (Hite Publications), and an article entitled ‘Nine Modern Contexts for the Alexander Technique’ for the prestigious Alexander Journal (published by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT)).


    Jessica O’Leary

    Jessica toured internationally and recorded extensively as a professional violinist and member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Principal 2nd violin of the Orchestra of St. John’s for twenty-five years.

    Combining performing, teaching, examining, adjudicating and editing for Faber, Jessica has a persuasive portfolio career. She is a content consultant for ABRSM, for whom she also presents seminars and is the Violin Moderator for the 2016-19 syllabus. Her Best of Violin grade (1-5) books are published by Faber and are also available on an innovative KR iPad App for which she is a consultant. Music Teacher magazine has published her Violin Notes and other articles.

    Jessica is passionate about playing and teaching music in a variety of styles and has worked with Madonna, Led Zeppelin, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House.

    Coming from a family of innovative string teachers, who were the first to start the Suzuki method in Europe, Jessica played in the Cork, Irish and European Youth Orchestras. She teaches violin and viola and directs string ensembles at Eltham College, St Paul’s Girls’ School and Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She has been a tutor on National Youth

    Orchestra Outreach days, works with the Autistic society and regularly plays chamber music. Jessica was recently awarded an ARAM.


    Naomi Butterworth

    Naomi was a scholar at the RAM, where she won all the chamber music and cello prizes including the Suggia Award, which enabled her to continue her studies with Paul Tortelier at the Paris Conservatoire and afterwards with William Pleeth at Guildhall. Subsequently she played principal cello for Richard Hickox, did continuo work for Sir John Eliot Gardiner, worked with the ECO and CBSO and then joined the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields with whom she played for twenty years, often as principal cello. Her solo career has embraced numerous recitals, and concerto performances all over Europe. She has performed and recorded chamber music extensively for the BBC and for Chandos with the Ambache Ensemble, Granville Ensemble, Wibaut Trio and the Dartington Trio. Among her TV appearances was an early involvement with the Tortelier masterclasses.

     An experienced teacher, Naomi has worked extensively with the NYO, Oxford and Cambridge music faculties, Birmingham Conservatoire, RCM and now principally Trinity Laban. She has also conducted and coached chamber music, most recently in Africa and the Far East.

    On a lighter note she has played piano and double bass for the Cambridge Footlights, touring with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and the rest, and was cello teacher to Prince Charles! She is a prolific painter with various commissions and exhibitions to her credit. She is married to composer and organist Antony le Fleming.



    Cathy Elliott

    Cathy has been teaching young bassists since the 1980s when small basses first became available. She has a wealth of experience working with young people from the age of 5 to 18 and beyond. Cathy pioneered the introduction of bass quartets into the curriculum for young bassists and has also written and published two methods: Ready Steady Go! for beginners and An Introduction to Thumb Position. Cathy was part of the Millennium award winning team who wrote The Essential String Method published by Boosey & Hawkes and continues to contribute to the rapidly growing body of repertoire for young bassists through her publishing company Bartholomew Music Publications. Cathy’s thriving teaching practice is woven around concerts with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, London Mozart Players and tours with Rambert Dance Company. She frequently works with string teachers and for a number of years was Project Director for the European String Teachers’ Association (UK). In 2009 Cathy was recognised as a Young Bassists Ambassador by the International Society of Bassists and in 2014 was the recipient of the ESTA award for services to ESTA. After some time away from the ESTA family, she is delighted to join them again for the 2016 Summer School.


    Simon Jones

    Simon studied at Bristol, Oxford and York universities, gaining his PhD in 2003. He led the European Baroque Orchestra in its inaugural year, subsequently touring and recording with the leading period instrument groups, and was concertmaster of The King's Consort from 1997 to 2004.

    Simon is Head of Strings at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and combines this role with external consultancies and diploma examining for the ABRSM. He continues to perform and record with award-winning UK ensembles such as The Sixteen and Arcangelo as well as enjoying commercial recording work for film and TV. Simon is a trustee of the European String Teachers’ Association as well as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has published several works relating to his research into historical performance practice and is proud to be the ABRSM’s violin consultant.


    Chris Haigh

    When it comes to fiddle playing, Chris Haigh wrote the book. As a professional for over 25 years he has covered almost every aspect of fiddling, playing on over 70 albums, and working artists as diverse as Morcheeba, Alison Moyet, All about Eve, James Galway, Michael Ball, Andrew Cronshaw, Brendan Power, Diz Disley, The Coal Porters, David Soul,  Jyotsna Srikanth and Oumou Sangari.

    He has played at private parties for Paul McCartney, Sting and Elton John, has filled the Albert Hall with goth rockers All about Eve, and appeared at the Hammersmith Apollo with Riverdance

    He covers a huge range of fiddle styles with ease and authority, including many of those normally outside the scope of a folk fiddler; country, rock, jazz, western swing, klezmer and gypsy. He has written eight books on fiddling. His most recent is Exploring Klezmer fiddle

    He has been playing klezmer for many years, has worked with most of the Jewish klezmer and function bands in London, and has performed at hundreds of weddings and bar mitzvahs. He appeared on the BBC documentary Klezmer! in 2013, and was invited to appear at the first klezmer festival in Malta.

    He is also well known as a gypsy jazz fiddle player, and has played with Diz Disley, The Hot Club of London, The Kimbara Brothers, Le Jazz, and the Quecumbar Allstars. His book Exploring Jazz Violin is the most comprehensive tutor on the subject, and he is well known for the accessibility of his jazz teaching method.

    He is much in demand for his workshops, appearing regularly at The London Fiddle Convention, the Fiddle Festival of Britain and  Strings at Witney. He has taught at several Universities, including the Folk and Traditional music course at Newcastle University.


    Richard Batty

    Richard has a full time private teaching practice in the heart of rural Cambridgeshire teaching piano, guitar and trumpet with an average of 70 students.  He has had an extensive performance career, and 40 plus years of private teaching experience. He is also greatly experienced in tutoring and mentoring in the business world, where he has run courses dealing with maintaining and expanding business in industry at a national level.  Working on the principle that in essence running a teaching business is in fact little different to running a shop or a factory, today's session is about discovering the potential in yourself to get your students, and then how to keep them.


    Paul Harris

    After studies at the Royal Academy of Music ad the University of London, Paul Harris has now established an international reputation as one of he UK’s leading educationalists.

    He studied the clarinet with Professor John Davies, winning the August Manns Prize for outstanding playing, composition with Timothy Baxter and conducting with Maurice Miles. He then went on to study music education at the University of London where he was a pupil of Professor Keith Swanwick.

    He now has nearly six hundred publications to his name mostly dealing with a vast array of subjects concerning music education. His Music Teacher’s Companion (co-written with Richard Crozier), won the UK’s MIA Best New Book award. In addition he has written many works ranging from short education pieces to seven concerts, a ballet and a children’s opera.

    He writes regularly for many of the major international music magazines, including Music Teacher, BBC Music Magazine, the ABRSM’s Libretto, and the American ICA journal.

    He is an examiner and adjudicator ad is frequently asked to take part in national events including the Chamber Music for Schools Competition, Music for Youth, the BBC Young Musician of the Year and is a rregular judge for Classic FM’s teacher of the year.

    Paul’s innovative teaching techniques have found support all over the world and combine thoroughness, imagination and practicality, the defining qualities of his outstandingly successful work.


    Dale Chambers

    Dale Chambers studied the viola with Roger Best (Alberni Quartet) and Christopher Wellington (Rasumovsky Quartet) whilst at Surrey University and later at The Royal College of Music. He has also worked as a professional singer throughout his life.

    He has performed with many of the major orchestras in the UK, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Birmingham Royal Ballet in addition to his work as Head of Strings at The Royal Grammar School in Guildford. Performance venues have ranged from the West End and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to boats on the river.

    Chamber and Ensemble Music is a particular passion, and performances have ranged from regular appearances at music societies in the UK with the Guidantes Quartet and Cappricio, to larger ventures, including performances of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Nigel Kennedy and concerts with Alvin Stardust. He coaches on the Grittleton Chamber Music Course each summer, giving performances and masterclasses throughout the fortnight and is an Examiner for the Associated Board.


    Pat Legg

    Pat Legg, over the years, has taught pupils of all ages and in many different places of learning. She took part in the highly innovative Tower Hamlets (London) String Project,(1982 – 1989) was Professor of cello at Trinity College of Music, and in 1991 helped set up its new Degree Course which included the study of Kodaly, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Alexander Technique, and Communication and Teaching Skills.

    She also was a frequent lecturer on Music Education and String Teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, and The Guildhall School of Music, Schools of Music, and recently has travelled abroad to various countries lecturing on Music Education and how to teach the cello.

    Pat’s cello teaching books are published by Faber Music, and have been used in the Associated Board and Trinity Guildhall Exam syllabuses. Titles include such topics as The Tenor Clef and Thumb Position. She also has 200 Ensemble pieces that she has either arranged or composed for varying number of cellists and for various levels of difficulty.

    Recently, because of her other commitment, to filming butterflies, she has mainly taught Late Starters. Of all her teaching experience she has found teaching adult learners to be the most helpful to her own development as a teacher.




  • Details and Costs


    Sunday 31st July to Friday 5th August, 2016



    Chichester University Music Department


    College Lane


    West Sussex

    PO19 6PE  



    If you wish to apply for a bursary click here


    Bursary Information

    If you would like to apply or have already applied for a bursary, please fill in the online booking form but do not proceed to the payment section. On notification of any award we will then ask you for the outstanding amount. Email if you have any questions.

    ESTA member -  £549

    ESTA non member -  £649

    ESTA student member -  £420

    ESTA student non member  -  £480

    Daily rates are available:

    ESTA member £110

    ESTA non member £130

    ESTA student member £80

    ESTA student non member £90


    Please note: If you book individual days and would like overnight accommodation please be aware there will be a £35 charge for each night booked. This includes breakfast. If you would like to book, please email and you will be sent a payment link.

  • Presentations


    Steve Bingham

    String Orchestra Repertoire and Electric Strings

    Steve Bingham will conduct a string orchestra session on a range of repertoire and will be aiming for delegates to discover some music they won’t have played before, to discuss rehearsal techniques and ways of working better as an ensemble. But by far the most important aim for this session will be… have some fun!

    In Steve’s second session Electric Strings he will discuss electric string instruments and live-looping. He’ll cover the basics of what you need to actually make them work, some techniques to improve the sound, ways to add new sounds and effects and specific playing techniques for electric instruments. Steve will also look at the building blocks of live-looping, the hardware and software needed, and the sort of musical effects that can be produced.

    There will be a chance for some hands-on playing, so bring an electric instrument if you have one. There will also be some loaned instruments available to use.


    Henry Fagg 10 ways the Alexander Technique will improve your string playing and teaching

    “Many musicians are not aware that when they come to play their instrument, they are actually using two instruments. Their Self is the primary instrument and the musical instrument is the secondary one. If one is ever to find full pleasure and comfort with playing one’s secondary instrument, one’s primary instrument must be working in a way which allows that.” Ashok Klouda, cellist.

    The Alexander Technique is a way of ensuring that our primary instrument – our whole self – is in optimum working order when we come to play music. An analogy from our secondary instrument illustrates the point: how could we expect an out-of-tune violin or a poorly balanced bow to best support our music-making?

    Although there are many musicians who are superbly coordinated without having learnt the Alexander Technique, the majority of musicians do not have their best coordination available to them all of the time. In fact, research into musicians’ health is of serious concern. In a recent survey, 86% of British orchestral musicians reported experiencing musculoskeletal pain during the 12 months prior to the survey, and another large Australian study found that 67% children and adolescents had also experiencing playing-related musculoskeletal problems at some point in their lives.

    The Alexander Technique helps by reawakening our natural poise in movement. Students of the Technique learn to become aware of, and then gradually strip away, the accumulated habits of tension and reaction that interfere with healthy coordination. Lightness, sensitivity and adaptability are restored to movement in all our activities.

     For string players in particular, applying the Alexander Technique has the following wide-ranging benefits:

    It helps to prevent pain and discomfort not only when playing, but also in related situations, such as when carrying an instrument or sitting for hours in rehearsals. It is a skill for self-care, and will therefore also help your students practise intelligently, efficiently and safely.

    It brings about a profound awareness of the force of habit on many different levels. This is invaluable in the demanding process of learning a musical instrument, since ‘you cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it’.  Included is an awareness of musical habit, and the Technique therefore helps to free up spontaneity, creativity and emotional connection in performance.

    It helps address performance anxiety by bringing about greater awareness of, and ultimately control over, the typical startle pattern which can often hamper performance.

    The Workshop

    This workshop for ESTA will draw on:-

    • Henry’s experience as a violinist and Alexander Technique teacher;
    • the Alexander Technique teaching programme for undergraduates at the Royal College of Music;
    • the latest scientific research into motor control and learning.

    The workshop will present big ideas, but will root them in useful practical demonstrations and activities. Participants will come away with a new sense of what coordinated movement can look and feel like, and be able to incorporate it into their playing and teaching. At the end, each participant will receive a summary sheet detailing the ’10 ways the Alexander Technique will improve your string playing and teaching’.


    Upper Strings Basics

    Jessica O’Leary

    In these practical, interactive and fun sessions, Jessica will give professional insight into how we can excite our students about music, encourage well rounded musicianship and show how they can deliver their best under pressure. Do bring your instrument, as the sessions will involve lots of short extracts to hear and feel the ideas develop.

    During the course, Jessica will explore:

    Session 1. Creating the Distinctive elements of Shape, Tone and Performance with reference to Musical Artistry, Technique and Psychology.

    We have all had the scenario: a student plays to the best of their ability ten minutes before a concert or exam and then plays at an entirely different level under pressure. Oh dear - the parents, student and teacher are all unhappy but what went wrong and how can we avoid it next time? Is the reality that in performance, students rarely give their best or can we build in resilience and awareness? What are the tools that professionals use? Under pressure, we know that variety in tone, shape and a sense of performance are the elements that abandon us first, so how can we build them in reliably? How can our preparation in every lesson, both mentally and physically, help our students to be more confident and bullet proof? For example, what would happen if they played from memory or varied their point of gaze or if we varied the percentage of teaching time spent on right or left hands? If we truly minimized their tension levels in preparation so that they could concentrate more on the musical elements (mostly right hand), would that help to carry them through despite nerves? Students often regress by three weeks under pressure, but if we start from the opposite end of the spectrum and talk to them about the musical character and excite them about the sound and smuggle in the notes, they are much more likely to retain the musical elements in performance. We will discuss how to achieve this practically from the beginning stages of playing to the most refined, so that nerves are minimized and the character of the music carries the performer and audience along. Do bring your instrument, hear the difference in the tone, feel the difference in the ease of movement and be reminded that the notes are just the beginning of the emotional response and what hooks us all on playing.

    Session 2. Explore how examiners apply ABRSM’s marking criteria and how as teachers, we can use it every day to create well-rounded musicians. If you have ever wondered how to get those extra marks in an exam, then this is the session for you! Students and parents are familiar with criteria in all subjects these days and it can be used in every lesson to give confidence that playing and listening skills are on the right track. Even if parents have no musical experience, an email with the criteria a month before any performance (so they know where the level is too) can be helpful – that way, there shouldn’t be any surprises! It’s fun to see how quickly these questions improve awareness and ability in learners: ‘Play half a scale and then mark yourself from the criteria – was the tone even, pitches tuned and playing flowing and shaped? What does shaped mean? Play the first phrase of this piece – does it fit into the Distinction category? If not, what could be changed?’ If parents are supportive, they can call out a list of scales and hear if they sound confident and tuneful. They can check if the pieces can be played all the way through with dynamics/ charm/ humour and commitment? They can take them to a concert or encourage listening at home. Giving students the criteria will empower them to analyse their own playing, identify issues and quickly create their own bank of exercises to solve technical and musical concerns. This will then lead to a higher level of engagement, quicker progress and independent learning. In reality, all of our students will eventually stop having lessons and wouldn’t it be a sign of our success if they sent their children to us to learn too….

    Session 3. How do scales actually help? Is sight-reading necessary and is Aural training just another hoop to be jumped through once a year? Jessica will examine the links between these areas and how they feed directly into becoming a well-rounded musician. Developing creativity using scales and sight-reading can be done in only one minute of improvisation in a lesson. Does it really make a difference? YES! Smuggling in scales and sight-reading in (almost) every lesson to develop technical skills and aural awareness is easy and Jessica will give specific examples for every level. In studies about confidence in playing generally, the ability to look at a new piece of music and keep going within the time and key (despite errors) seems to give the most confidence. Linking patterns like scales, arpeggios, dominants and chromatics to visual and aural awareness makes a huge difference to fluent playing and is easily done in a few minutes each lesson. This is an opportunity to share any material or ideas that have worked for you in developing this side of learning.

    Using a range of the latest apps and more familiar methods of teaching, Jessica will show how to develop awareness so our students are confident and competent enough to join orchestras and approach new music alone.

    Session 4. Choosing repertoire and programmes.

    Some students love slow and romantic repertoire and we all know those who only want to play fast pieces! This session will cover how to best equip players in all repertoire (and tempi). How can we ‘sell’ the idea of a piece to a student and develop the techniques and styles that are less comfortable for them? How many pieces are other teachers covering in a term or in a year? How do we approach music in different Periods and communicate their features to an audience? What differences do we need to make between a Classical Sonata and a Romantic Concerto in performance and is there an ‘acceptable’ style of playing Baroque pieces these days? Have you ever wondered how much vibrato to use and how it varies in width and velocity on different strings in a Romantic piece? How does the bow weight, articulation, distribution and point of contact vary between periods? What effect do the acoustics have and how can we accommodate? If you have ever wondered how professionals create variety in their sound to reflect the genre, this practical session will cover the techniques and ideas to give a wealth of knowledge to our students. Do bring along pieces to share that have proved particularly successful and loved by learners.


    Session 5. Changing clefs? 

    Jessica will give ideas for violinists playing or teaching the viola clef and cellists learning tenor or treble. What are the issues and how best to manage them? There are some old tricks, but learning a clef properly does not need to be difficult and with a little experience, it can quickly be reliable. Do bring an instrument to this session as a little transposing is always useful for us all! We will discuss how bowing technique will need to change to reflect thicker strings or higher positions. Do bring along any repertoire that is useful for viola groups or tenor/ treble clef cellists. 

    Second session. ABRSM

    Using the ABRSM criteria for creative lesson ideas 

    This session provides inspirational insights that will help your students to excel in the qualities and skills that ABRSM examiners use to assess the musical outcome in a graded music exam - pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. 

    Jessica will explain how examiners use the ABRSM marking criteria to assess different aspects of playing, and how to get the most from the examiner's mark form comments. She will demonstrate the vital musical ingredients, using the new violin repertoire, which make for characterful, stylistic and communicative playing. Come away with fresh ideas and practical resources that will help develop your students' awareness and control of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance.


    Lower Strings Basics

    Naomi Butterworth

    Optimum result with the minimum of effort.

    The fundamental importance of learning the cello correctly at the beginning is vital, particularly as it is such a physical discipline. Incorrect technique, especially with a child is very difficult to undo as so much is also tied up with confidence and can ruin a potentially talented player.

    There are numerous cello methods, cello tutors, thousands of opinions, some conflicting, some valid and some too complicated to absorb. I hope that I can cast a little light on this confusion and  help form a clear path for your teaching and playing.

    I have spent much of my life undoing disorganised gifted cellists, rather disillusioned and in much muscular pain and indeed reduced in confidence as a result of being informed of their defects, often a very challenging start for them at music college, when they naturally become much smaller fish in a big pool.  My motto is "go with nature".  Everything physically, working properly will be going with the natural flow of the human body. Then of course the mind will be more relaxed and able to cope and a freedom of expression, sound and even joy will develop.

    Detailed technical discussion will be an idee fix throughout the week, how to practise, related exercises, seating, vibrato, whatever  seems relevant, and then gradually  the icing on the cake with music and interpretation, colour, and maybe a master class and some cello ensemble works.

    Music is the art of sound so at the very beginning finding a voice, a feeling of connection from our bodies is vital---like a brush stroke or in the saddle, or just a voice. Through the bow (and of course the left hand, but not immediately) we give vent to our feelings, it being an extension of our own inner response right from the start.

    I will address "nerves" with hopefully some helpful remedies, how to cope and how not to cope and some observations of great players with whom I have worked and chatted, to name but a few Rostropovitch, Radu Lupu and Jacqueline Du Pre.

    I will discuss instruments, with all their possible defects, equipment, prices, availability etc.

     Finally I do believe teaching has to be entertaining as well as serious, and one needs to know when to release the pressure to get good results, after all it is a joy to have this wonderful gift at any level.    


    Cathy Elliott Bass for non-specialists

    Are you a teacher with a guilty secret?

    You don’t really know how to help the bass players in your string group?

    You don’t understand why the basses in your group play too loud and late?

    You dread the moment when you might have to take on a double bass pupil?

    Your bass pupil is rapidly reaching the limits of your experience?

    You are dying to play the bass, but never dared admit it?

    Be brave and attend Cathy Elliott’s ‘Bass for non-specialists’ classes.

    It is not rocket science!

    The skills of learning and playing a string instrument are directly transferable so with a bit of practical advice and the opportunity to play a double bass you will soon be taking off into a whole new world, with a new guilty secret.

    Ooh! Isn’t the bass fun!!

    In the first session we will look at basic set-up and equipment to give you and your students the best physical starting point.

    After that we will explore problems and solutions for young bassists in a string group. The session will be practical, so everyone can get a chance to experience the things that are easy and those that are difficult for bass players.

    We will make a long list of all the things that are the same for all the string instruments in the first years of learning and delve into the few but significant differences for young bassists.

    For example: Just because you can play all the notes of a G major scale in first position on the double bass, that does not make it comparable to G major one octave on any other string instrument.

    Within the eight notes of the scale you have to select from both first and second finger patternsWithin the octave the bow has to find the correct angle for every string – yes, it start on the E-string and uses all four stringsUnless you play from the top down, it does not start on an open string

    Perhaps the easiest way to get a handle on what I mean is to imagine playing G major two octaves on the violin (C major on viola or cello) but with all the complications rolled together into the first octave.

    There will be a session for emerging and seasoned bass players when we will look at fingering, positions and shifting for students at grades 3-6 and beyond. Sessions will be tailored to those attending.

    Every session will end with a bass quartet performed by the assembled company.


    "Freedom of movement – Paul Rolland revisited" Cathy Elliott

    Are you going to teach a student to play a tune, or are you going to teach them to play the violin?

    Freedom of Movement

    Paul Rolland revisited

    A little over 30 years ago I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the ideas of Paul Rolland while a student teacher attending weekly training sessions on the Tower Hamlets Project, led by Sheila Nelson. It was an inspirational time and has informed my teaching to this day. I was fascinated by the way the focus was on what the head, legs, arms and elbows were doing and rarely on the instrument or the point of contact between the body and the instrument though fundamentally influencing both the quality of sound produced and the freedom with which we move around the instrument.

    From an early age Rolland was interested in ‘how things work’ and the biomechanics of playing the violin always intrigued him. It was his work teaching groups of children the violin in the 1960’s that really catapulted the string-playing world away from the idea that only people with certain physical aptitudes could play a string instrument. Gone was any mystique that might previously have been attached to the physical processes of playing. At a time when body awareness was a little considered topic and certainly players and teachers did not have the understanding most now do of Alexander technique and other philosophies that inform the relationship between mind and body, tension and relaxation; Rolland bought the ideas of balance and freedom of movement right to the heart of string playing.

    Thanks to the University of Illinois String Research Project, started in 1966, we can see Rolland in action describing his sequence for basic instruction in technique in a series of documentary films made in 1974. Today the films remain as fresh and inspiring as ever – even if somewhat dated in style, fuzzy and with everyone dressed in their ‘Sunday best’ – however, I find them a salient reminder of an observation by a teacher working with Paul Rolland:

    “I think teachers have to decide: are you going to teach a student to play a tune, or are you going to teach them to play the violin?”

    This summer in Chichester, we will watch Rolland at work; revisit some of the basic movements he presents and pool repertoire ideas that allow us to work through these principles with our students. Before coming to the session you might want to give some thought to aspects of technique that often need correcting and how you like to fix them. Dry technical exercises are never terribly exciting to most students so of course you will need to have a motivating piece of repertoire up your sleeve to sweeten what might otherwise be seen as a bitter pill!

    Here are some starting points:

    • Wonky angled bows
    • Uneven string crossing
    • Scratchy sound
    • Spiccato (bouncy bows)
    • Shifting
    • Vibrato

    “Get them started right and aim them in the right direction and they will reach the top…. It is a fallacy to believer that the careful teaching of fundamentals will slow down the pupil….Most elements of string playing can be introduced, in embryonic form of course, during the first year of instruction , and refined thereafter…. One would be quite surprised at what pupils can be started on during the first and second years….”

    Paul Rolland


    Simon Jones Baroque

    String music from the Baroque period offers a fantastically varied and accessible source of repertoire for various sized chamber groups, orchestras as well as for solo performers. However, many of the performance directions in baroque scores are hidden and a lot of decoding is usually necessary in order to make performances stylish and convincing. This session will discuss how to approach repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries through the lens of historical awareness and will aim to show that a little knowledge about how composers might have approached their music can have huge benefits for performance and for the enjoyment of those taking part. Some of the matters under discussion will be pitch, ornamentation, tempi, dance and rhetoric, and repertoire suggestions for different ages and standards will be discussed.


    Chris Haigh

    These four workshops, although each independent and on a separate topic, are thematically linked. They will demonstrate the historical development of fiddle music from Ireland and Scotland to the Appalachian Mountains of America, where old time music evolved into bluegrass in the mid 20thC. Having mastered some of the techniques of improvisation found in bluegrass, we will conclude with jazz, where improvisation is paramount.


    I will first briefly describe the fiddle styles of Ireland and Scotland, consider their similarities and differences, and talk about the concept of regional style. We will try a number of different tune forms- the jig, reel, polka and strathspey. For each we will consider appropriate bowing, articulation and ornamentation, looking in particular at rolls, cuts and bowed trebles. I will also talk about the origins of these tune forms, and their relationship to dance.

    2. OLD TIME

    Most of the settlers who arrived in the Appalachian Mountains in the 17th and 18thC were “Scots Irish” from northern Ireland. They brought with them their fiddles, dances, songs and tunes, and over the next couple of centuries these gradually evolved into a distinctively American repertoire and approach to playing. We will try out some of the distinctive bowing patterns or “shuffles” which help to make these tunes danceable, and look at the use of open string drones which are essential for an authentic country sound.


    There is often some confusion about the borderline between old time and bluegrass. In fact bluegrass is a very specific approach to playing, and incorporates elements of old time, along with gospel, blues and jazz. What we call bluegrass today is based on the repertoire and style of Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys in the mid 1940’s. We will try a number of old time tunes and show how to make them sound bluegrass. One of the challenges of bluegrass fiddling is the instrumental “break” where the fiddle takes the lead. The original approach was simply to play the basic melody, decorated with elaborate double stops. Later a more improvised approach used bluegrass “licks” which can be assembled into a flashy-sounding solo.

    4. JAZZ

    Jazz is an American music form which grew out of blues and ragtime in the early 20thC. At first it was mostly wind instruments such as trumpet and clarinet which took the lead, but in the 1920’s Joe Venuti showed that the fiddle was equally capable as a jazz instrument. For classical players, improvisation always seems daunting, but through simple use of major, pentatonic and blues scales we will discover how easy it can be to solo freely over a straightforward chord sequence. We will also try a few classic jazz licks from the likes of Venuti, Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith.


    Richard Batty Setting up in Business

    Richard will cover 3 main topics:

    1. Setting up:  This will include finding premises, using your home, self employment and company status, dealing with your legal and tax obligations.


    2. Marketing yourself: Getting yourself noticed in the increasingly crowded teaching world, understanding and defining your prospective students  


    3. Maintaining your business:  Banking, accounting and invoicing. Planning for the future and understanding why students leave and how to keep them.   


    Reading and the Language of Music

    Paul Harris

    Reading and the Language of Music:  As music teachers, of the three main areas of study that fill up most of our contact time with pupils — the development of technique, the nurturing of artistry and actually learning the language itself, it is, arguably, the latter that often gets minimal attention.  But it is of extreme importance, especially if we are to help developing musicians achieve their full potential and become fully functioning independent musical thinkers and practitioners - at whatever level.  Indeed it is far from an exaggeration to say that those pupils who might not instinctively ‘get’ the main concepts of musical language (and are not taught it) will probably give up at some point, often sooner rather than later, confused, puzzled and maybe disappointed. This is of considerable concern to us as music teachers, as ’those pupils’ in this instance, may constitute a distressingly large number of our students.  If we take the view that music enhances lives, this would inevitably cause us considerable upset.  

    In this session Paul will try to redress this situation. He will investigate the areas of our world that may be said to comprise the Language of Music, why they are so important and explore, in particular, the processes that are required in the reading and true understanding of our language. Most teachers are happy to teach technique and some will go on to help pupils develop aspects of artistry too.  But often they will struggle to teach their pupils the language of music.  Few feel confident to include the essential guidance their pupils need in musical understanding, or indeed know how to find the time within the typical thirty minute weekly lesson to include these essential areas. As well as revealing some very practical and surprisingly unexpected strategies surrounding teaching the Language of Music, Paul will also touch on his very influential approach of Simultaneous Learning – his highly acclaimed positive and pro-active style of teaching that allows language to be assimilated alongside technique and artistry with the minimum of fuss, into regular lessons (whatever their duration.)    


    We live in very changing times. Learners today are very different from learners from even five years ago.  If we are to sustain the great art of music and encourage more to engage with it, our teaching must absorb and reflect these changes. It needs to be holistic and relevant.  The teaching of the language itself must form a central part of what we do.  This session will help to put all this into a practical perspective. 


    Dale Chambers How to promote your instrument in schools


    ·         If only the bottom of the pyramid was the same size as in the ‘olden days’.

    ·         If only parents these days understood what it takes to learn a stringed instrument.

    ·          If only children these days had the attention span of gnat


    The world is full of ‘if onlys….’ Well this session will knock many of these on the head, acknowledge a few truths about our world and status and encourage and inspire you to evangelise your instrument ‘back home’ and generate a legion of devoted followers. Well, that’s the idea anyway.


    The plain fact is that it is not enough to be talented at playing (though this helps). It is not enough to be fabulous at teaching (though this definitely helps). What you have to be is a politician. Many of you already know this, and this session will give examples of:

    ·         How to deliver an effective assembly at primary level to generate pupils

    ·         How to generate finance to support your teaching from commercial bodies

    ·         How to set up an effective string scheme using group tuition

    ·         How to inspire pupils to play the viola and double bass

    ·         How to harness the support of Head Teachers – knowing the buttons to press


    And much more.

    Second session:

    When the Tutor Book Ends


    Every teacher has been there at some stage in their career. What shall I teach this pupil next? I need a fresh approach and need to be seen to be moving forwards (even if, in reality we are just standing still) and for whatever reason the prospect of an exam is unappealing to either student or teacher – possibly both!

    This session will seek to explore how best to use repertoire (as opposed to a tutor book or set of studies) to further technique and enjoyment of playing using the medium of real music. Not restricted either to the early years, but also to that sometimes awkward gap between exams where there isn’t a ‘method’ or tutor book readily available. Those participating are encouraged to bring along material which will facilitate discussion, especially those pieces of music which are ‘off the beaten track’ but have been a success as a teaching aid.

    There will be opportunity for participation both verbally and musically from everyone and the session will culminate in the drawing of a ‘road map’ of where we would like students to be heading together with examples of the musical tools they could use to help them achieve this goal.


    Teaching Adults Pat Legg

     In all Pat’s years of teaching she has learnt more from working with adult pupils than with any other age group of cellists.

    Their enthusiasm and determination is wonderful: their desire to overcome any physical obstacle they may have; their love of music despite often having been discouraged as a child; and their desire to join in as much music making as possible.

    Their decision to take up an instrument is a big step. The first lesson can be full of fear and trepidation. Frequently asked questions are Am I too old? Will I ever make a good sound? Will I be able to learn to read music? Of course they can, and will, but it takes longer.

    Like all pupils they have their individual needs. But with adults, our approach needs to be different. It’s not only about learning how to play the instrument but about maintaining their confidence to do so.

    Our job as teachers is to give them that confidence. To help them play as well as they can, and to lead them on to musical activities which will help them to progress further and at the same time give them a love for what they are doing.

    You will all have good ways of teaching the cello but with adult learners we need more than that. We need other skills such as using relevant language; choosing suitable music; what to suggest about practising, to name but a few.

  • Timetable

    Summer School Day 1 July 31

    11.30am-1.00pm Registration

    1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch

    2.00pm-3.30pm String Orchestra Repertoire with Steve Bingham

    3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee

    4.00pm-5.30pm Alexander Technique for String Players with Henry Fagg

    5.30pm-6.30pm Consultation Period

    6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner

    7.45pm-9.00pm Folk Fiddle with Chris Haigh –


    Day 2 Summer School August 1

    8.30am-9.15am Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg

    9.30am-11.00am Basics with Jessica O'Leary (upper strings) Naomi Butterworth (lower strings)

    11.00am-11.30am Coffee 11.30am-1.00pm Baroque with Simon Jones

    1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch

    2.00pm-3.30pm Old Time Fiddle with Chris Haigh

    3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee

    4.00pm-5.30pm Electric Strings with Steve Bingham

    5.30pm-6.30pm Bass Clinic with Cathy Elliott

    6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner

    7.45pm-9.00pm Concert: Castalian String Quartet


    Day 3 Summer School August 2

    8.30am-9.15am Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg

    9.30am-11.00am Basics with Jessica O'Leary (upper strings) Naomi Butterworth (lower strings) 11.00am-11.30am Coffee

    11.30am-1.00pm ABRSM Jessica O'Leary

    1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch 2.00pm-3.30pm Jazz Fiddle with Chris Haigh

    3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee

    4.00pm-5.30pm Starting up in Business with Richard Batty

    5.30pm-6.30pm Bass Clinic with Cathy Elliott

    6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner

    7.45pm-9.00pm Concert: Daniel Palmizio (Viola) Alissa Firsova (Piano)


    Day 4 Summer School August 3

    8.30am-9.15am Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg

    9.30am-11.00am Basics with Jessica O'Leary (upper strings) Naomi Butterworth (lower strings)

    11.00am-11.30am Coffee

    11.30am-1.00pm Reading and the Language of Music with Paul Harris

    1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch

    2.00pm-3.30pm Bluegrass Fiddle with Chris Haigh

    3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee

    4.00pm-5.30pm Promoting your instrument in schools with Dale Chambers

    5.30pm-6.30pm Bass Clinic with Cathy Elliott

    6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner

    7.45pm-9.00pm Concert: Bingham String Quartet


    Day 5 Summer School August 4

    8.30am-9.15am Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg

    9.30am-11.00am Basics with Jessica O'Leary (upper strings) Naomi Butterworth (lower strings) 11.00am-11.30am Coffee

    11.30am-1.00pm When the tutor book ends with Dale Chambers

    1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch

    2.00pm-3.30pm Teaching Adults with Pat Legg

    3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee 4.00pm-5.30pm Paul Rolland Legacy with Cathy Elliott

    5.30pm-6.30pm Bass Clinic with Cathy Elliott

     6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner

    7.45pm-9.00pm PARTY!!


    Day 6 Summer School August 5

    8.30am-9.15am Alexander Technique for string players with Henry Fagg

    9.30am-11.00am Basics Tutti Strings

    11.00am-11.30am Coffee

    11.30am-1.00pm String Orchestra and Feedback


      Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Breakfast 07:30 - 08:15 31st July 1st August 2nd August 3rd August 4th August 5th August
    08:30AM - 09-15AM  

    Alexander for String Players

    Henry Fagg

    Alexander for String Players

    Henry Fagg

    Alexander for String Players

    Henry Fagg

    Alexander for String Players

    Henry Fagg

    Alexander for String Players

    Henry Fagg

    15 Minute change over
    09:30 - 11:00            
    Coffee 11:00AM - 11:30AM
    11:30 - 13:00            
    13:00PM - 13:45PM - LUNCH
    14:00 - 15:30            
    15:30PM - 16:00PM - COFFEE
    16:00 - 17:30            
    Consultation Period            
    18:30PM - 19:30PM - DINNER
    Summer School Day 1 11.30am-1.00pm Registration 1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch 2.00pm-3.30pm String Orchestra Repertoire with Steve Bingham 3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee 4.00pm-5.30pm Alexander Technique for String Players with Henry Fagg 5.30pm-6.30pm Consultation Period 6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner 7.45pm-9.00pm Folk Fiddle with Chris Haigh - See more at:
    bnbSummer School Day 1 11.30am-1.00pm Registration 1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch 2.00pm-3.30pm String Orchestra Repertoire with Steve Bingham 3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee 4.00pm-5.30pm Alexander Technique for String Players with Henry Fagg 5.30pm-6.30pm Consultation Period 6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner 7.45pm-9.00pm Folk Fiddle with Chris Haigh - See more at:
    Summer School Day 1 11.30am-1.00pm Registration 1.00pm-1.45pm Lunch 2.00pm-3.30pm String Orchestra Repertoire with Steve Bingham 3.30pm-4.00pm Coffee 4.00pm-5.30pm Alexander Technique for String Players with Henry Fagg 5.30pm-6.30pm Consultation Period 6.30pm-7.30pm Dinner 7.45pm-9.00pm Folk Fiddle with Chris Haigh - See more at:

  • Terms and Conditions

    Conditions of Booking.  Booking is open to members and non-members of the European String Teachers Association. For details of membership of ESTA(UK) please contact the membership secretary or visit our ESTA Benefits page.  


    In case of illness or other circumstances beyond our control we reserve the right to alter advertised presenters but will inform you if this proves necessary.  


    Payment: Online payment must be made in full. Individual sessions or meals not taken will not be refunded.

    Cancellation of booking: Refund policy. Before April 30: 90% refund. Before June 30:  50% refund. July onwards: 0% refund.


    Request for media coverage.  ESTA requests permission to take photographs and/or videos for the sole use on the ESTA website and social media. ESTA will never sell or distribute images to third parties.  If you do not grant permission please email


    Liability: ESTA and Chichester University accept no responsibilty to loss or damage to instruments or personal belongings. You are strongly advised to provide your own insurance for instruments and other valuables.

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