|Written by Susanna Riddell|
|Friday, 28 September 2007|
Ensemble playing allows young musicians to practise a huge number of skills, some of which simply cannot be achieved playing as an individual…
…listening and becoming more aware of other musical lines around their own, learning to be flexible and adjust, and also learning to work as part of a team. Sight-reading improves in leaps and bounds – once young players discover it’s OK to leave the tricky bits until they have practised them and just play the bits that they can (all the time following the music), they quickly learn to play more and more.
Alongside these musical skills comes an inevitable building of confidence, stage presence and a huge sense of achievement – not forgetting the “buzz” of playing your own instrument and hearing the sound of 30-40 other instruments as well!
Such vital foundation work is carried out in the smaller ensembles, the Wessex Starter Strings, Wessex Middle Strings and the Wessex Youth Fanfare.
Wessex Starter Strings
Rehearses 9:15am - 10:30am
Catering for (as the title suggests) youngsters with a playing ability of approximately grades 0-2 (pupils need not have taken any exams, we simply use the levels as a guide to help us decide which group would work best for the individual), the WSS rehearses for 75 mins each Saturday morning. They have also appeared in local music festivals, most recently winning 1st prize in their ensemble class at the New Milton Music Festival in 2009!
Playing a variety of music based on a chosen theme, members of the WSS take part in 3 concerts a year, entertaining audiences with not only their lively performances, but also with their choice of concert dress – often costumes appropriate to the music.
Wessex Middle Strings
Rehearses 10:45am – 12pm
The WMS is an intermediate group, accepting young musicians with a playing level of approximately grades 3-5.
Rehearsing for 75 mins each Saturday, members of the WMS have the opportunity not only to work on more advanced repertoire than the WSS but also to reap the benefits and rewards of longer rehearsals:
- working in a more detailed fashion
They're no strangers to the world of busking either. Having played in Poole's Dolphin Centre, Bournemouth's Square and Pier Approach, they have collected donations from delighted passers-by, in aid of many different local children’s charities.
Wessex Youth Fanfare
Rehearses 9:30am – 12pm
The Wessex Youth Fanfare is a wind band with currently more than 30 players. Catering for wind and brass instruments of all shapes and sizes from the piccolo to the tuba, the WYF is one of the Centre's louder ensembles!
It offers places to young musicians with a playing ability of grades 2-3 upwards. As wind and brass players require grade 6 or higher to be able to request an audition for the Wessex Youth Orchestra, these members tend to spend many happy years learning their trade with the WYF, rehearsing a wide variety of music from film to musicals, jazz and rock.
The Fanfare rehearses for two and a half hours each Saturday, with a break in the middle of the morning allowing the musicians to catch up with the latest news from their friends in the Centre’s canteen and tuckshop.
The very nature of orchestral wind and brass writing means solo parts. So until these players reach the technical levels required to be able to join the WYO, the WYF provides them with a more general ensemble training.
Working as part of a section (safety in numbers!) offers a more relaxed and supportive environment to learn the skills of an ensemble player, before allowing them to leap into the big wide world of orchestral music.
Music Theory Classes
Grades 4 & 5…………..9am – 10:30am
Grades 2 & 3………….10:30am – 11:30am
Beginners & Grade 1…11:30am – 12pm
Did you know that you can’t take Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music practical grades 6, 7 & 8 unless you have passed grade 5 in music theory? Also, did you know that if you have grade 6 or above on your instrument, you have already earned some UCAS points for your university entrance.
Theory classes are included in the fee when you join the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians. Using not only the traditional theory workbooks but also quizzes and games, the classes maintain a light-hearted atmosphere whilst still ensuring a 99% exam pass rate!
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 April 2009 )|