String ensemble

Course Dates: 23/04/24 - 02/07/24
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Keeley Street
Come and play string repertoire in a friendly group, and develop your confidence in ensemble playing. Suitable for those who have been playing violin, viola, cello or double bass for at least two years, playing at Grade 3 standard or above. Please click the 'start interview' button to apply. This is to make sure we have a balanced array of instruments for our ensemble. Break week 28 May 2024.
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String ensemble
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  • Course Code: ME124C
  • Dates: 23/04/24 - 02/07/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 19:30
  • Taught: Tue, Evening
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Robert Puzey

Course Code: ME124C

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Full Tue, eve, 23 Apr - 02 Jul '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

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

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

What is the course about?

You will learn how to play with other orchestral string instruments in a small ensemble, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. We cover a range of repertoire in different styles, and the music accommodates different levels of playing experience, from Grade 3 standard upwards. There will be different repertoire each term. Repertoire for this term: tbc.

What will we cover?

Ensemble playing skills:
- How to listen to other players and play in tune and in time with each other
- How to hold your own part in a group
- Working as a group following a conductor.

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

- Play in tune and in time with others by listening and following the conductor
- Hold own part while playing in a group
- Match bowing styles, articulation and dynamics with the rest of the group.

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

You should be at least Grade 3 standard on your instrument and able to read music notation. You do not need to be able to sight-read.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.

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

You will learn as a group, playing with the whole ensemble and in groups in each part. The tutor is both conductor and teacher, and will explain and demonstrate both technical and musical elements of the repertoire.
You are expected to practise your parts between sessions.

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

Please bring your instrument, a pencil, and a folder to keep your music organised. Music will be provided in advance via Google Classroom. Please advise the Music department in advance if you do not have access to a printer.

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

You may stay in String ensemble for as many terms as you wish. Different repertoire will be covered each term.
You may also be interested in our two-day intensive String winter / Easter / summer schools. City Lit also offers courses for Strings (Violin/Viola, Cello) at all levels to advanced.
You may wish to support your learning through a focus on reading, writing and hearing music and musical patterns. For details visit our blog on Musicianship and music theory at City Lit.

Robert Puzey

Robert Puzey has enjoyed a varied career teaching and freelancing on violin and viola in London and the South East. He plays with (and jointly runs) The Oberon String Quartet which provides music for weddings and other functions. His teaching includes schools in north London and work with adult string players at City Lit. He also plays chamber music with the Max Bruch Trio. Other playing in recent years has included concerto appearances on both violin and viola, as well as work with the Orchestra of St John's, London Gala and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestras. His further activity with amateur musicians has included leading The Chamber Orchestra, a string orchestra based in central London. He is now incorporating more conducting for string courses at City Lit and also for an amateur string orchestra in north west London, along with Saturday workshops in north London. At City Lit he teaches Violin and viola classes from beginners to advanced, Chamber music, regular intensive String Schools, and is Principal violin for Orchestra workshops.

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.