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Viola Explorations: 6 sessions

2 December 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm GMT

|Recurring Course (See all)

An event every week that begins at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, repeating until 20 January 2021

Viola Explorations course icon

Exploring improvisation; take a walk with notes to places you have not yet been.

For any violist who has the curiosity and courage to leave the dots and go on a journey of creative exploration. I have found that unearthing the harmonic and rhythmic structure of a piece of music and using that as a simple starting point for improvisation deepens my understanding of the music and sets me free.

In this course we explore what it means to follow our inner ear, letting it guide our imagination. I draw these starting points from well known pieces for viola or music you love to play. Bring along a favorite classical piece, pop ballad or folk tune. Join me in uncovering the hidden bass line in a piece of solo Bach over which we can improvise or discover how playing over a drone or within a mode can bring out new flights of imagination in your own playing.

We return to our chosen composition and discover how this journey into improvising may have changed the way you hear the music and how you might now want to play it. Aspects of technical execution – use of bow, vibrato and tone production – are also explored as we respond to the music with fresh ears.

“After I had improvised and then went back to playing the notes I had more freedom in terms of thinking about how I can interpret”
Under Graduate violin student

“Zoom offers a kind of privacy so that I can try improvising and not feel too exposed”
Post Graduate viola student

Practical Information

Who is it for: viola players
Tutor: Sophie Renshaw
Number of particpants: up to  4
Length of session: 60 minutes
Number of sessions: a course of 6 sessions
Dates and times: 5.30pm-6.30pm on Wednesdays |  2, 9, 16 December 2020 | 6, 13, 20 January 2021
Cost: £120 for the course of 6 sessions

What you need to bring:
Your instrument and a favorite piece/tune
Headphones and a device that will allow you to receive audio files and play them back as you play along (iphone, computer, tablet)
Before the course commences, you will be sent an email giving links to downloadable resources to view in preparation

List of forthcoming sessions in this course


2 December 2020
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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Sophie Renshaw