Release and Breathe. A day for all string players and observers.

Transforming stage fright into stage presence

Tuesday June 13 10.30-5.30



There has been so much pressure on performers at the beginning of the digital age to produce, to be visible, effortful and to project forward. But the tide is changing. A recent article in the Guardian suggests that a new generation of musicians, having grown up with everything available new, shiny and on line now, are searching once more for the mysterious, the shared, dare one say the spiritual experience of music live and in the moment. How, as teachers, can we support them in this search? Can we rediscover for ourselves and help them how to relax mind and body, to listen inwardly, to follow, and to surrender to the present moment whilst maintaining the degree of control needed to play? Can we help them transform stage fright into stage presence?
During this workshop we will explore freedom and presence through the liberation of the spine and the breath. Through gentle yoga based practices, we will find our ground, our backs and look at even the smallest movement as it originates at our centre. Through breath work we will learn how the natural expansion and contraction of the body supports effortless phrasing and technique from bow changes to shifting. Through mindfulness practice we will learn how to free ourselves from crippling thoughts and judgements and delight in the present moment. Our aim is to give you a set of tools which you can use daily in your own practice and with your students to develop presence both in the practice room and on stage. This is a hands on day in which each participant will receive individual attention and which will leave space for questions and discussion.

For more information please visit


If you'd like to speak to Jane please ring 07726 895309

Observers will participate in the yoga and meditation practices.

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  • Faculty

    Ruth Phillips











    Ruth Phillips studied with Johannes Goritzki and has a Mas­ter’s degree from SUNY at Stony Brook, New York, where she studied with Timothy Eddy. As a regular participant in the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove, she worked with Andras Schiff, Steven Isserlis and Sandor Vegh. Ruth played with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for many years and with Glyndebourne Touring and Garsington Operas. She is currently co principal with Opera Fuoco in Paris and runs ‘Breathing Bow’  retreats in Provence helping cellists who suffer from tension and stage fright. Ruth has presented workshops for ESTA and at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2016 She completed two trainings with the Buddhist mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach. She has written for the Strad and BBC Music magazines.


    Jane Fenton














    Jane Fenton received her performance diploma from the Guildhall School of Music where she studied with Stefan Popov and Raphael Wallfisch. It was there that she worked with David Takeno and became one of the founding members of the Guildhall String Ensemble. She is also co-founder of the Alcala International Festival. Jane played with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for many years. She was principal cellist with Glynde­bourne Touring Opera for eighteen years and is currently principal cellist with Garsington Opera. Jane is a ITEC qualified massage therapist and a yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga, having completed her training in 2003 under Peter Blackaby in Brighton. She has taught yoga as an aid to performance in schools as part of the secondary school curriculum.

  • 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.

    The European String Teachers' Association accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to instruments or personal belongings. You are strongly advised to provide your own insurance for instruments and other possessions.

    ESTA reserves the right to take photographs and video content. If you have any objections please email

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