Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: ME147B
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
Playing viola can be more challenging than violin: the strings and bow are slightly heavier, you have to read alto clef, there are larger finger stretches between intervals, and you are mostly playing inside parts in ensemble music. The instrument even comes in slightly different sizes!
This intensive workshop provides support for specialist viola players who are learning in mixed violin/viola classes, playing chamber music, in orchestras and other ensembles. Also suitable for violin-players who would like to explore viola-playing.
What will we cover?
- reading alto clef fluently, and swapping between alto and teble clefs
- playing on the C string: getting the best tone into your low notes
- bow control and bowing techniques
- intonation and accurate finger placement
- playing in 2nd, 3rd and higher positions.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- read and play more confidently in alto clef
- understand how to make your C string speak well
- find, and move between, positions above 1st
- efficient and comfortable left-hand fingering patterns on the viola.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for players (violin or viola) at Grade 3 standard and above. You will need to know at least the basics of playing in 3rd position, and have good bow control.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is a practical workshop, comprising tutor demonstration and explanation, practical exercises, studies and pieces. Music will include solo and ensemble repertoire.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring your own viola, pencil and eraser, and a notebook. If you have a particular piece of music on which you would like advice, please bring that as well. All other musical materials will be supplied by the tutor.
If you are a violin player interested in exploring how to play viola as well, and do not have your own viola, City Lit has two violas which can be used in class. Please check with the Music Department before enrolling to ensure an instrument will be available for you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers regular courses in Violin and viola, up to advanced level, as well as a wide range of ensembles suitable for viola players. Read our blog Choosing a string class at City Lit to see the full programme.
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.