This August I’ll be welcoming lots of string players to the University of Chichester Conservatoire for the European String Teachers Annual Summer School. I am the Course Leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching, which is a specialist course taught specifically for and by each instrument family. For example woodwind teachers are led by Paul Harris, singers are led by Janet Murno, pianists are led by Emyr Roberts. It is a unique and specialist course designed for private teachers to deepen their practice and gain a postgraduate qualification. Graduates have the option of going on to complete an MA as well.
At the Summer School I’ll be overseeing the course and I also have the privilege of leading the Lower String Pedagogy classes. It’s going to be a great week and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new cellists and teachers!
Saturday / Sunday April 18-19
Venue: University of Chichester
- Cello orchestra
- Chamber music
The Chichester Cello Weekend, organised by Professor Laura Ritchie, brings cellists keen to develop their performing skills, technique, and musical appreciation together for a remarkable weekend of music making. All music is arranged to suit participants’ individual levels, and everyone plays in a fantastic cello-orchestra that rehearses throughout the two days. Sunday’s 4:30pm gala concert is open to friends and family.
Music includes from arrangements of popular hits to Bach to a contemporary gamified piece of music by Rebecca Askew and a special commission for the group by Bruno Newman. Participants will have opportunities to work with composers, to play solos for our guest artists: Ivana Peranic and Emma Collingham, and to participate in workshops on working with an accompanist and chamber music, where they can experience playing with a piano trio.
Participant fees: £35 students, £55 adults. Book online: http://bit.ly/CelloWE2020
For more information contact Laura on firstname.lastname@example.org Read more
It seems a lifetime ago that the 2018 Cello Weekend happened. Two very full months ago a wonderful cross-section of cellists came together to play, learn, and celebrate making music and one another. The ethos of the weekend is one of inclusion and of expanding experience.
In everyday life opportunities to experience and participate in music making can be difficult to find – especially if you play a big orchestral instrument and are perhaps not in an orchestra. What about other opportunities? You may be too young, or think you are too old, or not good enough, or don’t know anyone, or don’t know where to look, or there just aren’t many opportunities near you, or…
This is my contribution to cellists at the University and in the locality. This was the 11th Cello Weekend at the University of Chichester. Read more
This morning at OER, I typed as I listened to the keynote. David Wiley started with definitions. (featured image CC-0 by Alan Levine)
I have a tricky time understanding the labels. Names go with identity, and that is very important, but … I tweeted that I got stuck at the first half of his first question. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but if you’re talking definitions, that means semantics comes into it, and well that is a sort of provocation for me.
An analogy- I realise it is very extreme, and draws a simple connection where there are really a dozen steps, but it illustrates a point- We learn. People, providers, researchers, all like to label the learning. We breathe, and we don’t really talk about it because it is natural to breathe – we all do it. People do discuss air, but generally they label the air when there is something wrong with it- like pollution… If we label the air because it’s broken, does that mean we feel the need to label learning because it’s broken too? Perhaps.
I think many people learn inside of their labelled boxes. How did it get into this boxed state that we have to label the stages of opening the lid. Are we backwards in learning? or just looking at learning backwards?
The seeming desire for so many boxes across education is something that baffles me. Read more
A week ago I was in Los Angeles with a small group of my students and one of my colleagues. We lived together, travelled together, worked together, performed, taught, improvised, and laughed. It is a final-year credit bearing class at the University of Chichester that started as a student initiative four years ago. The first group’s story became a book (you can download it for free via the link) and they named the initiative Musiquality, bringing quality and connection through music and education. Each year since the students have created an educational outreach project that touches the lives of children and adults, and inevitably changes their own lives as well.
This year the students involved in the trip raised over £1000 performing at gigs and busking and I raised money too, giving a benefit concert and through leading my community orchestra. Together we raised just under $2000 and bought 60 ukuleles to use in workshops and then donate to the establishments we visited. Read more
Kamloops. Creativity in the Open. Out in the open. The Wilderness stretches as far as the eye can see, and there is water in the valley, snow on the distant mountains, etched clouds above, and wonderful smiles to surround us on the TRU (Thompson Rivers University) campus here in Canada. It was an opportunity to push boundaries and explore. My appetite for learning is large and this was a feast.
The convergence of beautiful surroundings, people, thought, has been magic over the past few days during the Creativity in the Open event, organised by Tanya Dorey. It has been a privilege to share so much with these people. It started as a conversation at an online meeting between academics from diverse fields – a curriculum designer, a biologist, a philosopher, and a musician. It was our ‘play-date’ where we could talk and snatch a precious few moments to know one another better than text-base interactions allow. (there’s a story connecting that meeting to the event that just happened, and that will be in the collaborative magazine Kintsugim issue coming out in about a week)
There is an inherent joy for me, in being at a place and an event where creativity is valued, welcomed, and fostered. I knew that I came bringing something that would be new for people – playing instruments and giving them the tools to make some recognisable sounds in a short space of time. Working together in different ways than the everyday desk environment provides, and using a different medium to convey creativity – sound. I would be pushing people, but there were also opportunities for people to push me. Read more
Yes you can. That’s a powerful refrain in my life, and it underpins so very very much. I had the privilege of teaching on the ‘Applied Imagination’ module at the University of Warwick yesterday. To contextualise, this class sits within Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) and the students come from all different departments and schools across the university- trans, inter, cross disciplinary are all big themes of the class, as well as thought, imagination, belief, and accomplishment.
It was such a special morning. I set off pre-dawn with my little care packed full of instruments, as my session would use music, but music as a metaphor. I know that people are not going to learn to be ‘musicians’ in a couple of hours, but music is so wonderful – it moves, it grooves, it makes you feel, and for so many of us it remains untouchable. I love to bring people to something that is perceived as being outside their reach. <— Hold that thought; I’ll return to it in a minute. Read more
@laura_ritchie modelling our own practice as creative educators in different medium @HerefordArtsCol
—Sarah-Jane (@sarahjfc) 20 September 2017
I felt privileged to be there. Really, it was moving. You reminded us of what we do and sometimes as teachers we forget- Seeing him get it and the look on his face. When he looked at you like that, that is what it’s all about. Witnessing that learning happen was really something. -Holland Otik
What was this all about? I was invited to speak at the Hereford College of Arts 10th Annual HE Symposium to speak on ‘the value of a creative education’.
I haven’t written on this blog in a very long time. Academically it is the busy season… strange though, classes end and it gets busy. I haven’t been idle, and have been writing. In fact I have been writing to the tune of 72,300 words that have come together in the form of my first ebook.
Exactly two years ago I was part of an epic journey with five of my students and it is time to share it. …just as soon as I learn about the last little bits of how to upload these files… Scrivener has been an awesome tool. While I get my head around ISBN numbers and the different files I need to upload, have a peek at the cover. Well, the cover so far – it could still change. I am very grateful to the friends and strangers who have given me feedback about the design so far.