I hope everyone is well and managing this second lockdown. My days have not changed so much as I have mostly worked from home this year, and in the last six months have adapted to Zoom’s technology little by little.
Today I took a moment to reflect on how quickly we have all adjusted to using technology to continue classes and workshops online. Back in April, coaching the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on a week-long virtual course felt hugely daunting, but now after months of trialling different ideas and learning the strengths and weaknesses of different online platforms, planning an online workshop has become a usual event.
Last weekend I had the pleasure to coach the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra‘s clarinet section on Respighi’s Pines of Rome. A wonderful tone poem alongside Fountains and Festivals in the Roman Trilogy, there was plenty to go into both for context and background, as well as the clarinet parts themselves. I used it as an opportunity to do some research myself, and shared some powerpoint slides, played excerpts from existing recordings, and we all got involved in playing the clarinet excerpts. Recently I was shared the feedback from participants, and it was so heartwarming (and a relief!) to know that they enjoyed the day also! I’ll finish this post with some quotes, and a little plug to say: do send me a message if you want some online coaching sessions from me!
“It was great to have some clarinet-specific tuition on the Pines of Rome from someone as experienced as Anna. I felt very welcomed :)”
“She clearly knew how to use Zoom and its features (share screen, share audio etc) which meant the session was fluid and included different aspects. It also made me feel comfortable that she had evidently done a number of virtual teaching/workshops before. She clearly researched the piece/parts/versions and was thus able to offer guidance; paying particular attention to the key passages (whether solo or tricky) for the clarinet.”
“I enjoyed hearing Anna demonstrate and how she got everyone involved… Anna’s approach moved from asking for volunteers to gently asking specific individuals to play to everyone, which I thought was appropriate and it worked!”
“Anna was extremely personable and imparted knowledge/appreciation of the instrument’s strengths & weaknesses and how they can be used and overcome in the music. I found it extremely beneficial having a session specifically with a pro clarinet tutor – the input pro tutors provide is invaluable and cannot be replicated by other means.”
“As a section with a fair amount of teaching and playing experience, an experienced pro tutor we could look up to and heed the advice of is key. Anna ticked all the boxes in my opinion; fantastic clarinettist & experienced/ knowledgeable orchestral player.”