The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund

Do you want to develop and broaden your teaching skills?

Would you benefit from a bursary from the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund?

  • The purpose of the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund is to award bursaries enabling ESTA UK members to develop and broaden their teaching skills.
  • Bursaries are awarded to attend short courses on string teaching
  • Bursaries are awarded to enable established teachers to take a limited number of one-to-one private lessons in ESTA’s Play Better, Teach Better programme.

What has the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund achieved?

  • Nutshell bursaries have been provided since 1990. In the last 13 years alone, a total of 110 bursaries amounting to over £30,000 have been awarded.

Nannie Jamieson

Browse course reports from past bursary applicants



The Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Hidersine logo
Jargar logo
Thomastik-Infeld logo
Universal Edition logo


What inspired the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund?

The Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund was launched by Yehudi Menuhin in 1990 to honour the memory of Nannie Jamieson who was the first Organising Secretary of ESTA UK. For many years she was the viola player in the Robert Masters Piano Quartet before becoming Professor of Viola at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She also taught at Chetham’s School, Manchester and Homerton College, Cambridge. She helped her students to obtain wide experience of teaching by encouraging them to attend courses here and abroad. She often paid the fees out of her own pocket and the Nutshell Fund continues this aspect of her work. In 1981, her outstanding work was more widely recognised when she was awarded an MBE for services to music.

Teaching was Nannie’s passion. The name of the fund was adopted from the title of a demonstration lecture, developed by Nannie, which covered a great deal of the basics of violin and viola playing. She called it Technique in a Nutshell. Later, she documented her views in an ESTA publication of the same name.

The bursaries were funded from initial contributions of £30,000, collected shortly after Nannie’s death in 1990. Since then, the assets of the Nutshell Fund have grown through specific fund raising activities and generous donations. More recently, there has been corporate sponsorship which has allowed many more bursaries to be awarded. ESTA UK graciously acknowledges the considerable assistance recently provided by Thomastik Infeld Vienna, Wittner and Jargar. The ESTA Bursary Committee, which administers the NJNF, is always delighted to receive further donations to help more and more ESTA members develop and broaden their teaching skills.

In 2003, the committee of the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund published an appreciation of her life and work. The booklet, ‘The Red Hot Magnet’, was aptly named from a phrase borrowed from one of Nannie’s exercises for the left hand. Copies of the booklet may be obtained from The high respect which Nannie earned from everyone is clearly apparent in the articles from all of its contributors. Here are just a few.

“I can still hear Nannie Jamieson’s voice as we discussed over decades so many subjects, musical, human and, of course, ESTA.”
Yehudi Menuhin

“I remember her in many ways: the oriflamme of her hair atop her twinkling eyes, her enthusiasm for music and people, and her outstanding dedication to her students.”
Christopher Bunting

“That the world should go on as before without Nannie Jamieson seems inconceivable. Her warm personality, her charm, her great humanity, her helplfulness to her students, to her colleagues, to her innumerable friends and particularly ESTA, as well as to myself, were certainly unique”
Max Rostal

“Who will not remember Nannie’s great sense of humour and her tremendous perseverance – it was virtually impossible to say ‘no’ to her.”
Igor Ozim

Please fully read these criteria before applying for a bursary using the application link at the bottom of this page:

  • You have to be a string teacher or a trained player who intends to become one.
  • You must be a full Member of British ESTA. Free student membership does not include eligibility to apply for a bursary (to join ESTA UK please use this link or contact the Membership Director ).
  • You are asked to provide a short CV and be recommended by a Member of British ESTA and indicate reasons for financial need of a bursary.
  • Preference is given to post-graduate music college students to enable them to attend short (one-week) courses on string teaching. The ESTA Summer School held annually in August is particularly good, but Colourstrings, Kodaly, Dalcroze and other similar ones are sometimes chosen.
  • For string teachers with some years experience bursaries are given towards the cost of the Play Better Teach Better programme if financial support is needed. The bursary will fund up to 2/3rds of the lesson fees to a maximum of £300 for a series of 6 lessons within a 12-month period with an approved teacher. The Bursary Officer should be notified of progress and the Treasurer sent the agreed invoice. A report on completion is required as with other bursaries.
  • Bursaries are usually for a maximum of £300 and limited in number. They are awarded to adequately qualifying Members on a first come, first served basis each year at the discretion of the EBC.
  • You are expected to write a report on the course and how it has helped your teaching, to be submitted within one month of the end of the course. This report or extracts from it will appear on the ESTA website and might be published in the ESTA’s arco magazine.
  • The Fund cannot help with the cost of instruments, travel, entering competitions or post-graduate performing courses.

For further information on this bursary fund please email us at

Bursary application link

If you would like to support the work of the Nannie Jamieson Nutshell Fund, to help us to continue to award much-needed bursaries, you can make a donation using the form below.