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Hello Cellists Everywhere!

It’s lovely to have you onboard.

What a year this has been on so many levels for all of us and I do hope all is well with you and yours.

So many of us instrumentalists swung round at the start of lockdown and started a teaching practice online. I have found that I see, think and teach differently in this new, unforeseen scenario.

Many exciting ideas have come out of these strange times. As I could no longer run 1-day workshops or courses, I found myself inventing shorter, intense, developmental classes to continue connecting with cellists. The Online Time Line Series has been thrilling to build.

We take an Unsung Heroes Cello Ensemble score that isn’t too long for the time we have, and I share a set of ideas with you helping you feel you can develop it more on your own, and in the future, with your ensemble. After the class, I send out further notes to support your learning. Cellists from the USA, Canada & Europe have joined us and in some cases, this has been a lifeline to people whose lives have revolved around their involvement in choirs, orchestras and ensembles. Music was, and always will be a vital organ in our lives – professional or other.

In October I finally ran a face to face workshop. The long-delayed All About My Bow was so exciting to present with 15 cellists here in Lewes. It felt a big deal to be back: to be teaching with everyone facing me and not in our usual circle. The great thing was to find that the new seating plan worked really well. I was just hooked on an old way of doing things. The new sense of space we all observe, I thought may disconnect the players. In fact, the cellists (and our lovely team at All Saints Centre – our venue) were so glad to be with others, learning, thinking and growing, the energy bounced off them.

Everything connects and now, some of the overseas cellists have asked if I can run All About My Bow online. I will break this start to the series down into smaller sections and I will build more on this infinite subject over time. I find that two hours online with a short break is a good amount to work in. I will soon be posting the dates across the next year and will also be writing and compiling other parts of this massive project. Watch out for dates!

In 2021 I hope that the annual festival-feel Summer School in July, and the exciting new advanced level August course, Through Coloured Glass, will provide you with cello kinship (firm friendships flourish at Unsung Heroes) a fabulous weeks music-making, and an opportunity to immerse yourselves in music that I hope you will love and that affects your playing skills and your musicality at a deep level.

The new workshop Icons is back too with an opportunity to explore with a fabulous pianist, three pieces that are central to our repertoire. It is intended as a pre-performance class seminar. This is a day to think, ask questions, to explore issues with a small group that will expand your vision as we all prepare one, two, or all three for future performance.

I do hope you will stay in touch and feel free to ask any questions.