'Elongation and extension can only occur when pulling and pushing have come to an end. This is the revolution' - Vanda Scaravelli  - Awakening the Spine


The Breathing Body / The Breathing Bow


listen inwardly : relax back : follow : surrender : breathe.


November 21 (4pm start) – November 24 (morning departure)


A workshop for string players wanting to release holding patterns in the mind and body to free up energy, flow and inspiration.

Open to 12 professional, student and teacher string players. Price for 3 nights full board and coaching: £290.
£50 deposit is required, refundable up till a month before the event.


- with Ruth Phillips and Jane Fenton. 

To book email info@thebreathingbow.com





During this retreat set in 33 acres at the western edge of Bodmin moor, we will begin the search for freedom and presence not in an endless quest for control but 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. In the quiet Cornish countryside we will develop a set of tools for daily use to promote presence both in the practice room and on stage, to find freedom on our main instrument, the human body, and to reconnect with our joy in music making.


I feel like a new person!  I can't believe how different I sound! My mind is truly blown!

Millie 2017


Ruth and Jane were skillful and patient facilitators of a natural process, creating a tangible sense of joy in the room

Sophie, 2017


Lavethan house and cottages are surrounded by 33 acres of land including many huge trees, pastures, beautiful garden areas, a wilderness area, a small swimming pool, a river and great views over the valley to Lavethan wood. There is no other building in sight.








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  • Faculty


    Jane Fenton – Release and Breathe. Jane is an active chamber and orchestral musician. She 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 has gone on co-found the International Music festival in Alcala. Jane played regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and was principal cellist with Glyndebourne Touring Opera for eighteen years. She is currently principal cellist with Garsington Opera. Jane is a qualified ITEC massage therapist and is a yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga, having completed her training in 2003 under Peter Blackaby in Brighton. Jane has taught yoga as an aid to performance in schools as part of the secondary school curriculum and is convinced of the benefits it can bring to every aspect of a musician's life.


    Ruth Phillips – The Breathing Bow. Ruth is a baroque and modern cellist. She has a Master's degree from Stony Brook University in New York where she studied with Timothy Eddy. A regular participant in the International Musicians' Seminar at Prussia Cove, other sources of inspiration have been regular coaching 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. Ruth runs 'Breathing Bow' retreats from her home in Provence in which she helps cellists overcome problems with tension and stage fright. She is qualified in Voice Movement Therapy and has completed two trainings with the Buddhist mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach. Ruth practices yoga and meditation daily.


    Jane and Ruth have played together for 25 years, and ran their first workshop for ESTA in London in June, 2017.




  • 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 sheila@estastrings.org.uk

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