Playing Away

This is the time of the year when music publications aimed at teachers and musicians are full of ads for summer schools, which must mean that it’s time I got around to updating the “Creative Workshops” page on the Full Pitcher website. As our “Get Creative!” pages are resources specifically to support creative music-making, I only post details of courses with a focus on improvisation & composition (I’d be delighted to hear from anyone running such a course, anywhere in the world) but there are hundreds of other UK courses available, covering everything from bagpipes to music technology.

Every year, Rhinegold Publishing produce an “Annual Guide To Summer Schools”. This year it’s a 52-page small-print publication! This is sent free of charge to “Music Teacher” subscribers but non-subscribers can purchase it from the publisher’s website. For experienced amateurs, the breadth of choice is just amazing! But, if you dig around, there is also plenty on offer for less experienced musicians and for children.

Here, I’d like to introduce you to two small UK venues which are big on broadening musical experience and fun:

First, there is the Hindhead Music Centre, where the calendar of summer courses embraces both children and adults, with tuition levels from beginner to diploma. There is even a course, “Discover Music!” for children who don’t yet play an instrument and those who have just started. The centre is a country house, set amidst acres of National Trust commons and there is free time in which to swim in the pool or explore the glorious countryside.

Another of my favourite places is Benslow Music Trust, where adults can enjoy a mind-boggling range of courses – classical, folk, jazz, world music – you name it, they do it! It’s a friendly place and there are courses at various levels. Benslow courses are mainly short weekend or mid-week courses.

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