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Latest News

Open day at the Farncombe Estate

19 August 2009

The Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds will be holding a free open day on 13 September to celebrate the launch of its new course programme. Farncombe will be hosting over 300 courses from January to December 2010.

 Highlights of next year’s programme include Recorder Day on 30 January, Improve Your Viol Playing! From 5-7 March, Advanced Folk Fiddle from 30 April-2 May, Early Music Workshop on 13 June and a varied selection of music appreciation courses, including one on Wagner’s Ring Cycle from 4-6 June.   The courses, all aimed at adults, offer a flexible approach to learning with an emphasis on enjoyment and personal development.

Pro Corda launches opera course

18 August 2009

Pro Corda has launched a new opera course as part of a series of courses exploring the performing arts through ensemble training. The ‘Pro Corda Plus: Opera’ course was piloted last year under the direction of Susan Singh, who for many years trained the child performers at English National Opera.

This year’s course will run during half term from 26 October – 1 November and will be open to young musicians aged 10  - 18 who wish to explore the world of opera production. The curriculum will focus on all aspects of opera production, and in addition to the full company and smaller group rehearsals, all participants will take part in choreography classes and creative musicianship sessions. New incidental music will be developed and incorporated into the final production. Participants will also work with a leading set designer and in the technical theatre classes to design and build the set, design the lighting and make the costumes.

The cost of attending is £580, which includes all tuition and full board accommodation. Some means-tested bursaries are available. To apply, complete the online form. For any other queries call 01728 831354 or email

New scholarship for guitarists

18 August 2009

The newly-established Julian Bream Trust (Registered Charity Number 1130890) has announced the creation of scholarships which will be made available to exceptionally gifted students of either classical guitar or lute at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), the Royal College of Music (RCM) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). 

Each Julian Bream Trust Scholarship (JBTS) will be awarded on the basis of musical merit and will cover the full cost of tuition fees at the rate set by the relevant institution for Home/European Union students.  The selection of JBT scholars will be carried out by each of the above institutions in accordance with its normal auditioning procedures and criteria. Applicants may be of any nationality, but must be under 20 for undergraduate and under 26 for postgraduate programmes. Junior Awards will also be made at the RAM and the RCM for students at the Junior Departments.

Violin and Cellobabies Training Day

4 August 2009

The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) hosts a Violin and Cellobabies Training Day on 12 October.   Hosted by the Glasgow branch of ESTA, this day is open to new Cellobabies and Violinbabies teachers in Scotland and the North of England. Kay Tucker, the vision behind the scheme, will take teachers through how to make best use of the teaching materials.

There will be demonstrations with young beginners and video material of Tucker teaching more developed students. The day will end with an opportunity for questions and discussion. Tucker will also be introducing her new Violababies books for the first time. Cellobabies and Violinbabies resources will be available to view and buy on the day.  

The course takes place at Jordanhill Church Hall, Glasgow. Fees are £45 for ESTA members and £60 for non-members. For more information, contact Pat Field on 0141 589 0049,

Sound Sense offers free insurance package

29 July 2009

Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community musicians, is now offering its members free public liability insurance. Following negotiations with insurance broker Hencilla Canworth Ltd, the organisation's individual earning members are now insured for £5m of public liability cover for all their workshop and teaching activities as part of the membership package.

The policy covers members for their legal liability for damages including claimant legal costs for accidental injury to any person or accidental loss or damage to third party property while undertaking any activity connected with the organisation or participation in community music activities. The cover is worldwide excluding the United States of America and Canada, provided that the member is usually resident within the UK.

‘More and more organisations are requiring that musicians who teach or run workshops carry their own public liability insurance,’ says Sound Sense chair and community musician Catherine Pestano, ‘so being able to include it free is a great new benefit of Sound Sense membership: I know it will save me money!’

Other benefits of membership include access to criminal records checks, free national advertising, exclusive information on jobs and funding, an exclusive email helpline, and a free subscription to Sounding Board, the UK journal of community music.


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