Chamber music skills: advanced

Course Dates: 14/01/21 - 25/03/21
Time: 14:00 - 15:30
Location: Online

Learn the skills you need to master your ensemble parts online for small, mixed instrumental ensembles with one player per part. You will need to be at least grade 6 standard (grade 8 for piano) and a confident music reader able to comprehend full scores (multiple music lines). Please click on the pink 'start your interview' button to apply.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

This online course is designed to look in depth at repertoire to be played in the group at a later time. You will work towards producing a virtual ensemble recording, to be put together with separate individual parts.
You will also have the chance to listen to recordings, play along with backing tracks, study and read from full scores plus discuss practice methods and ensemble techniques during a weekly video call forum. This online course is designed for advanced players who are interested in joining the practical chamber music class at a time when it is possible to offer it again on site. For more information, read tutor Gisela Meyer’s reflections on studying chamber music online.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

Ensemble skills:
- Studying scores to understand how the parts fit together into a musical whole
- Features such as form, texture, harmony, rhythm, rubato, tempo changes etc
- Listening and comparing different recordings, playing along with them and working towards own, informed choices
- Playing in time with a metronome and backing tracks, provided by fellow players
(one at a time), to understand in detail the relationship of own part each of the others
- How to use gestures for leading and following; non-verbal communication with your ensemble
- Techniques for balancing and blending within an ensemble
- Practice and rehearsal skills such as isolating and interpreting phrases.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Demonstrate your own part for a small ensemble with some confidence
• Play in tune and in time with a metronome/backing track or other students virtually
• Understand how your own part fits into the musical ensemble, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the repertoire studied
• Co-operate with others in a small group to identify problems and find solutions
• Respond positively to musical critique and suggestions from your tutor and peers
• Record your part to put together virtually in a small group.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You need to be at least a Grade 6 standard (piano: Grade 8+) and have confident music reading skills. You will be playing parts for small groups - up to two ensembles – with the view to eventually play these ensembles in person when it is safe to return to normal teaching practices. You will need to work co-operatively with others. You need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English and participate in class discussions. Some experience recording your own playing will be advantageous.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Weekly video call discussions of ensemble works, individual parts, techniques and skills
• Self-directed study and group study of materials on Google Classroom
• Tutor explanation, presentation and some live demonstration
• Playing along with the tutor and/or students in breakout rooms (one part at a time)
• Practicing parts for pieces with a variety of other instrumentalists in groups of 2 or more
• Analysing and critiquing recordings of chamber music and some student recordings
• Some listening and score reading will be required as homework.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please have your instrument, a pencil and eraser, metronome and a music stand or a device you can clearly and comfortably read music from (computer/tablet). The ability to print your parts will help, otherwise using a device that you can annotate a score digitally is also acceptable (support can be provided for this if needed). The tutor will provide or recommend suitable music and backing tracks for the various ensembles within the class, but you are also welcome to suggest music you are interested in playing.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may be interested in further ensemble courses, string, wind, or piano courses, plus score reading, theory and musicianship courses.

Tutor Biographies
Gisela Meyer Tutor Website

Gisela is a multi-skilled musician: She works as a pianist, piano accompanist, classical soprano, cellist and teacher. Following undergraduate studies in Frankfurt-am-Main and a postgraduate diploma (piano) in Weimar, Gisela obtained a MMus in Accompaniment at the Guildhall School for Music and Drama. She has also studied singing privately with Jessica Cash, focussing primarily on oratorio and art songs. Gisela performs regularly in recitals as a soloist (as pianist or singer) and also sings and plays in a variety of chamber ensembles. In her freelance work she accompanies concerts, exams and recitals for professionals, students of various music colleges and Grade exam canditates. She is a consultant for Islington Sixth Form college, with her roles ranging from acoompaniment and teaching to the conducting of exams and auditions. Gisela has worked for City Lit since 2001, as accompanist and tutor. Presently, she teaches Piano, Singing and Chamber music (Level 2 and Advanced).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

This course has now started

Course Code: ME104B

Started Thu, day, 14 Jan - 25 Mar '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £159.00
Senior fee: £127.00
Concession: £97.00

Call us to check your level, see if you can still join the course or to discuss other suitable courses

020 7492 2630

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.