Courses 2020

  • The Timetable
    Timetable2019

    Choosing your courses

    First and foremost, ensure that none of the sessions of your chosen courses clash. Several courses run over more than one session, and the sessions do not always follow immediately after each other. Check the crosses on the timetable carefully. We realise that some courses will clash, but this is the inevitable consequence of offering such a wide range of subjects. You need to decide whether you want to try something completely new, or whether you wish to stick with the familiar. You also need to think about whether you wish to concentrate on one area, or have as much variety as possible. Whatever you decide, you must commit to the courses as timetabled, and attend ALL session
    Consider your own personal stamina. It could be possible to enrol for courses that fill every session, but you might find yourself exhausted by the middle of the week! There is entertainment of one sort or another every evening, and you could end up having a lot of late nights on top of a heavy schedule during the day. We encourage students to organise their own ad hoc groups, to ensure that they can make the sort of music they want to, even if it isn’t available on the timetable. In the past such groups have included madrigal singing, recorder groups and doo-wap singing. If you think you might be interested in setting up a group of this type, either put a note on the M4P facebook page, or let us have details to put in Summer School News, or put up a notice once you are at the school.

  • S - Symphony Orchestra

    Aims to join together the various instrumental courses. Players of all standards are welcome, and we will try to support and accommodate less experienced players. However, we recommend a minimum playing level of about Grade 4/5. For more accomplished players, and for those already playing in orchestras, it will give an opportunity to build on technique and work with a different conductor for a week. Percussionists if you wish to play percussion in the Symphony Orchestra please apply for this course (limited to 6).

  • SWO - Symphonic Wind Orchestra

    A large ensemble for wind, brass and percussion, playing an exciting and diverse mixture of original works and arrangements to stimulate and challenge. Players of all standards are welcome, and we will try to support and accommodate less experienced players. However, we recommend a minimum playing level of about Grade 4/5. For more accomplished players, and for those already playing in wind orchestras, it will give an opportunity to build on technique and work with a different conductor for a week. Percussionists if you wish to play percussion in the Symphonic Wind Orchestra please apply for this course (limited to 6).

  • C - Choir

    Does exactly what it says on the tin! Suitable for those with some sight singing experience, including those of us who have always secretly wanted to sing in a four-part (SATB) choir and those of us who haven’t sung since school (regardless of how long ago that was). We also aim to offer experienced singers and musicians plenty of challenges so there will be plenty of new repertoire to develop your sight-singing abilities. This is best described as a fantastic bonding experience for all who attend. Fun warm-ups, little bits of useless information about how to make a decent noise and exciting repertoire all make for an uplifting end to each day.

  • BS - Brass + Sax

    This course is open to Brass players and Saxophone players of all abilities and levels of experience. We will rehearse a wide variety of music and musical styles as a large multi-part group ensemble. Time will be spent working on a number of of pieces with the aim of improving each player's music reading, interpretation and technique in a supportive environment where we hope to make noticeable improvements throughout the week. The group will perform some of the music rehearsed in the summer school final concert.

  • JB - Just Brass

    This course is open to Brass players of all abilities. We will have a mix of both large and small ensemble groups and most students will experience both. Repertoire will include quartets, quintets and larger ensemble pieces. The Tutors will work with the groups in order to help them progress and improve throughout the week working on sight reading, stamina development and enhancing ensemble skills. At the end of the week we intend to perform in one of the concerts as a mass ensemble of all the students on the course. There will also be some opportunity for smaller groups to perform if they wish to. Time will be spent helping individuals progress in their weaker areas within a supportive environment.

  • F - Folk

    Things ain't what they used to be...
    This year we will be looking at songs of social change, reflecting the times we all live in and the times we have all lived in. Songs such as Dylan's 'The Times they are a changing', Richard Thompson's 'Time to ring some changes' and others including 'Mr Punch and Judy man'. The group will write two songs on this theme and compose two tunes - a jig and a reel - for the performance on Concert day.

  • U - Ukulele

    This is our sixth year of delivering a progressive ukulele course, aimed at players of all levels. For students who are beginners, we will cover all the initial playing skills and continue to develop them during the week. In addition to song accompaniments and a wide range of playing techniques, we will also cover finger picking and melodic playing.
    This year we will also be introducing an advanced instrumental ensemble session for students with more experience. This will be an enjoyable course with lots of scope for fun and personal development for all playing abilities

  • Playing in the Band (Ceilidh)

    This will be an opportunity for instrumentalists to play traditional music as part of a band. The music will be suitable for all playing abilities and any singers or non instrumentalists will have the option of playing percussion parts or easy ukulele chords. The theme for this year will be The BIG Red Ceilidh, wear anything red. This is not timetabled and there are no rehearsals you will be playing for the ceilidh on the Friday night.

  • J - Jazz

    The Jazz Course will be run in three groups as in previous years and led by Richard Ormrod, Julian Martin and Paul Baxter. The total number of students over these three courses will be 45. The emphasis (as always!) will be on developing a practical understanding of the issues involved in performing in jazz groups including: ear training, demystifying theory, building confidence and developing a personal voice. And it will be a lot more fun than that sounds.

  • WM - World Music

    In 2020 World Music will be looking at the music of South Africa including the folk traditions, the urban pop music and the unique and powerful sound of South African jazz. This course is suitable for players of all instruments and, whilst there might be some singing involved the course is not aimed at vocalists. There will be a strict cap of 25 players after feedback from previous years.

  • CVA - Contemporary Voice A

    In this class, the practice of contemporary singing will be delved in to, exploring not only how to use the voice, but how to develop your individuality and sense of style, to convey your ideas effectively, to be a fully empowered musician in a band, and to create a meaningful and connected performance. To help improve all round skills, we will focus on songs that have been chosen by the tutor as well as an individual song chosen by each student with which they are already familiar. We will examine emotional motivations, phrasing of the melody, rhythmic feel, harmonic awareness, improvisational methods and performance skills through this repertoire. This class will work towards the solo performances of your chosen pieces and time will be spent on the arrangement of each piece in collaboration with the accompanist. We will also focus on learning about vocal technique and warm ups, practise methods and general musicianship skills.
    Class limit 10. There are two sessions CVA and CVB both are the same material. Sign up for either NOT both.
    The class will cover the following topics:

    • Physical and vocal warm-up
    • Voice technique
    • Rhythm work
    • Contemporary phrasing and expression
    • Basic improvisation
    • Choosing repertoire and exploring jazz standards
    • Exploring a variety of interpretations and emotional motivations
    • Using a microphone
    • Creating intros, endings, and simple arrangements that are your own
    • Understanding charts
    • Setting song keys and transposing
    • Band communication skills

  • CVB - Contemporary Voice B

    In this class, the practice of contemporary singing will be delved in to, exploring not only how to use the voice, but how to develop your individuality and sense of style, to convey your ideas effectively, to be a fully empowered musician in a band, and to create a meaningful and connected performance. To help improve all round skills, we will focus on songs that have been chosen by the tutor as well as an individual song chosen by each student with which they are already familiar. We will examine emotional motivations, phrasing of the melody, rhythmic feel, harmonic awareness, improvisational methods and performance skills through this repertoire. This class will work towards the solo performances of your chosen pieces and time will be spent on the arrangement of each piece in collaboration with the accompanist. We will also focus on learning about vocal technique and warm ups, practise methods and general musicianship skills.
    Class limit 10. There are two sessions CVA and CVB both are the same material. Sign up for either NOT both.
    The class will cover the following topics:

    • Physical and vocal warm-up
    • Voice technique
    • Rhythm work
    • Contemporary phrasing and expression
    • Basic improvisation
    • Choosing repertoire and exploring jazz standards
    • Exploring a variety of interpretations and emotional motivations
    • Using a microphone
    • Creating intros, endings, and simple arrangements that are your own
    • Understanding charts
    • Setting song keys and transposing
    • Band communication skills

  • A - Big Band

    This course is aimed at the traditional Big Band line-up (normally 5 Saxes, 4-5 Trombones, 4-5 Trumpets, Bass, Guitar, Piano and Percussion) and may also include some guest vocalists. A wide range of pieces in a variety of traditional big band styles will be studied. If certain instruments are oversubscribed (often the case with saxophones in particular), it may be necessary to either direct students to other courses (such as Saxophone Choir), or for students to take turns in playing.
    The course is intended to develop and improve ensemble playing by students in a wide range of different big band styles.

  • JR - Jazz Roots

    This course focuses on pre-bebop music and will include repertoire drawn from Dixieland, Blues, Gospel and Ragtime. We will listen to some seminal performances of the time and see how we can best draw from them. Some reading will be necessary for the ragtime component and in general the course would suit an early improviser or someone with some classical skills looking to branch into jazz. The ability to interpret a simple chord sequence would be helpful to anyone attending, although the principles will be dealt with during the week. There will also be some playing by ear. Above all it will be a lot of fun!

  • 1ST - 1st Steps in Improvisation

    This course offers an opportunity for students who have little or no experience in improvisation to explore the principles and put them into practice in a relaxed environment. We will look how to decide on a pool of notes that can be applied to a given musical situation primarily using simple modes. This course is designed to be fun and stress free, so we will also look at "Magic scales" that can be used to ensure that the performer is never capable of playing a "wrong" note when improvising.

  • OMG - The Other Music Group

    The Other Music Group is a course which focusses on enjoyable music making using a variety of recently written flexible score pieces, the performance of which can often be a challenge, will more than likely be unusual and will almost always raise a smile and be great fun. The beauty of flexible scoring is that all instruments, including voice (mikes will be provided), are very welcome and a key aspect of its performance is the mixing, matching and balancing of the instruments to hand. We will be painting from a unique sound palette and ultimately our sound world will depend on the range instruments which enrol on OMG. Music technology will be embraced as appropriate. Some of the pieces will involve pre-recorded soundscapes, some pieces will be entirely acoustic and others might involve some sound processing. Skills in reading conventional notation will be useful, but we are also very likely to take a look at works involving graphic notation and textual instruction. These flexibly scored pieces derive their musical influences from all genres to date and so are highly eclectic in the styles they evoke. If this all sounds interesting, please sign up and bring your best listening and performing ears for perhaps a little aural reboot - OMG! Attendance of both sessions is required.

  • G - Composition - Composer - Arranger - Composer

    Single group session and one-to-one tutorials
    Max Class 10 students
    This course is aimed at early stage and developing composing students who will benefit from a quite tightly defined brief. After a group introduction on the first day, the course will be taught through one- to-one tutorials of about 20 minutes each day supplemented with support at other times during play- throughs, try-outs and performance.
    The brief this year is designed to shine the spotlight on an area which, due to the inevitably tight summer school composing deadlines, rarely receives the attention it deserves. The skill set needed to write effective arrangements involves various amounts of composing technique depending on context. At what point does the composer become arranger or the arranger become composer? This area of overlap is not only fascinating, but can be hugely beneficial to examine when developing composing skills.
    Please bring to the course two pieces or excerpts not by you which are linked by some extra-musical theme, idea or notion. They need to be contrasting and would be best sourced from very different genres, eg. ancient and contemporary, classical and folk, rock and baroque and so on – the choice is endless. These will then form starting points for looking at issues of arranging which will in turn draw on our composing skills and ultimately lead to writing new original work.
    The M4P Summer School timetable presents a wide array of exciting and enticing courses. If you are considering enrolling on this course please resist the temptation to fill your entire day with courses! To get the most out of Composing Skills it is crucial that you leave sufficient space free during each day for time to develop your composing. This will often mean going off to find a quiet place to work and write for several timetable sessions a day.

  • CC - Clarinet Choir

    A course exploring the many and varied works for clarinet choir including original works alongside effective arrangements. We hope for as full an ensemble as possible so do bring auxiliary instruments. There will be the opportunity to try other members of the clarinet family. This course is more suitable for grade 5 players and above.
    Directed by George Sleightholme

  • SC - Saxophone Choir

    A course for all saxophones. Repertoire will include original works for saxophone choir as well as recent and popular arrangements of well-known works. Please note participants on this course are required to attend both sessions.
    Directed by Stephanie Reeve

  • CW - Chamber Winds

    A course to develop ensemble skills in small one-to-a-part groups focussing on listening, leading/following and rehearsal techniques. Confidence in music reading is essential for this course as ensembles will rehearse independently as well as being visited by one of the tutors for coaching each day. The focus will be on the wind quintet and while we aim to use original music some arrangements may be used to allow for numbers and variety of instruments. Please do bring your own music if you have anything you would like to try. Ensembles may change halfway through the week. Please fill in the student information form with details of your current playing level and previous chamber music experience. Tutors may contact students before the start of summer school to ensure that they are placed in suitable groups. Informal performances to be given in the final session. Less advanced players may like to try Woodwind Ensemble.
    Directed by the Woodwind team

  • WE - Woodwind Ensemble

    A larger directed woodwind choir exploring symphonic movements and lighter arrangements alongside original works. As a flexible ensemble parts are adapted to sit numbers applying and there will be advanced and intermediate parts available for most instruments. While there will be some variety of repertoire these rehearsals will eventually focus on two or three pieces for the final performance, with the aim of developing techniques such as listening and playing with good ensemble skills. There will be a limit on numbers accepted onto this course. For smaller, one-to-a-part groups please see Chamber Winds.
    Directed by Jenni Britton

  • BSE - Baroque String Ensemble(s)

    This new course brings together many elements of chamber playing with an exploration of the wealth of Baroque music written for strings.
    This flexible group will begin the week playing as a large, conductor-less ensemble led by the tutors. As the week progresses, and as numbers allow, there will be opportunities to break out into smaller chamber groups to work on specific repertoire. Concerti Grossi will give the opportunity, for those students who wish it, to take on a solo role in the ensemble.
    Work during the week will include exploring Baroque technique on a modern instrument, leading and following in the group, building listening skills and rehearsing and creating a performance with no conductor.

  • SO - String Orchestra

    This course aims to provide a good introduction to string orchestra playing for those new to large ensemble work, whilst allowing more experienced players to develop their ensemble skills, learn to lead a section, or take a solo role.
    Sessions typically start with a warm up, focussing on a particular aspect of instrumental technique (e.g. tone production) or ensemble skills (e.g. matching bowing style in a string section) before moving on to rehearse a variety of string orchestra repertoire. This year we have expanded to a double session, allowing time to take on some larger scale works and hopefully spend some time divided in sectional rehearsals.
    A range of music will be studied during the week: some more simple pieces to really concentrate on quality ensemble playing and some more difficult repertoire to stretch ourselves – or just simply for the experience!

  • Dalcroze Euhrythmics

    Instructed by Helen Dawson
    This is not a timetabled course, but it takes place every morning between 08.30 and 09.00
    Dalcroze Eurhythmics explores the elements of music (rhythm, pitch, phrasing, form etc.) through whole body movement. Exercises might involve stepping a rhythm, feeling a steady pulse in various parts of the body, or mapping out the phrases of a piece of music in movement.
    Objects such as balls, hoops and scarves are used to help the body feel specific movement qualities: a ball might be bounced to feel the weight of the downbeat, or rolled to express the duration of a note. A scarf might be used to show the line of a musical phrase. Through these exercises a physical feeling for music is developed, increasing rhythmic confidence, developing co-ordination and control, and building skills of communication, expression and creativity. The morning warm-up sessions are open to all, regardless of prior experience or musical background.

  • CSS - Classical Solo Singing

    Max number of students 10
    This is a class focusing on the classical music repertoire - Opera, Oratorio, English song, Chanson and Lieder. This will be an invigorating, but fun class where we investigate together all the elements which make a performance (vocal technique, language, posture, interpretation etc). Please bring repertoire that you are familiar with but also use it as an opportunity to think outside the box - try that piece you’ve always wanted to have a go at but never had the courage to do so. Please bring enough repertoire to cover all the week as ideally everyone will perform every day. Also please bring copies for our wonderful pianist.

  • ComC - Community Choir

    Max number of students 25
    This is your opportunity to join a Community Choir. All welcome. No experience of singing is necessary. The focus is on enjoying singing together, singing your heart out and having fun. We will look at a range of repertoire - spirituals, rounds and easy part songs taught by ear with no sight reading required. Come and join us and have a hoot!

  • OTP - Opera/Music Theatre Performance

    This is a class in which we plan to learn, stage and perform a collage of music from the Opera and Music Theatre repertoire - the repertoire has not been confirmed yet but will be announces later in the year in the Newsletter. This is an ensemble class but there will be opportunities for standouts and solos. No stage experience is needed just a will to give it a go!

  • P - Percussion Ensemble

    So much more than just "CRASH, BANG, WALLOP!", percussion ensemble takes an accommodating and extremely musical approach to the diverse and exciting world of all things hittable. Improve your listening skills and build your confidence by playing from existing percussion scores as well as exploring your creative side with the opportunity for collaborative and group devised work. Music reading is advantageous, but by no means essential! Performances will take place at the end of the week. A great course for building on your rhythmic abilities, gaining confidence in your performance and/ or exploring a world outside of your regular musical endeavours! Please note that numbers on this course are limited to 14 places on a first come, first served basis.

  • Orchestral and Band Percussion

    If you like the sound of performing in a percussion section, and want to improve your abilities, this course will give you the skills to survive and thrive in an orchestra or wind band percussion section. Please note that it is a requirement that to play percussion within the Symphony Orchestra or Symphonic Wind Band you must enrol on those individual courses as a Percussionist. Because of this, course numbers will be limited to the various ensembles. Also please note there will be no percussion ensemble within this course; please sign up for the separate Percussion Ensemble course where numbers will not be so limited. The sessions for Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Band are mostly full ensemble rehearsals. If you are a keen beginner, please let us know in advance, and we can utilise one tutor to overlook the section, and another tutor to do some sectional/more private work if required.
    There will be opportunities to look at percussion parts from the orchestral repertoire and gain experience in sight reading. Whilst experience in playing percussion is not mandatory, it is helpful.
    The tutors are flexible, and students should be too. Parts are changed around depending on abilities. This ensures you are not out your depth, and fun/enjoyment guaranteed!
    The course will give both group and individual instruction on the following instruments: bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, timpani, xylophone and glockenspiel, tambourine, triangle and miscellaneous percussion. Instruments will be provided, however students are encouraged to bring any percussion instruments, sticks and beaters and any percussion music they may wish to study during the week. The course tutor will be on hand within the percussion sections to guide students through the music and to give advice on techniques to improve students playing abilities and build confidence towards the final performances at the conclusion of the week.

  • RO1 - Rhythm Orchestra 1

    This ensemble is open to any instrumentalist or singer of any standard who wants to improve their abilities in reading and rhythm. Each session begins with 'skill-drills' focused on a particular aspect of rhythmic understanding. The rest of the session is devoted to reading, rehearsing, perfecting, and performing the daily rhythms, putting these skills into practice.
    You are placed, by register, in either the highest, high, low or lowest section of our four-part orchestra and choose any note or notes to play while you read the piece and concentrate on counting, following the conductor and getting the rhythm right. Singers are offered a microphone to balance with the ensemble and participate in the same way as the instrumentalists.

  • RO2 - Rhythm Orchestra 2

    The pre-requisite for entry to Rhythm Orchestra 2 is to have completed Rhythm Orchestra 1 in a previous year. RO2 is a continuation and extension of the materials covered in RO1 with deeper engagement in, for example, on-beats and off-beats; subdivision (quavers, triplets, semi-quavers, quintuplets etc); odd- time meters like 7/8 and 3/16; additive rhythms (mixes of twos and threes); traditional rhythms like samba and bossa nova and more.
    In both groups Graeme guarantees that there will be lots of fun and laughter as he leads you to the lush fields of possibility just beyond your comfort zone.
    Please note that Rhythm Orchestra does NOT perform in the final concert. The sessions are focused entirely on developing skills that participants will find useful when playing with other groups preparing concert performances.