The first E-MusicMaestro Summer Music Course for students from Singapore was held this year at Duvale Priory in Devon, UK.
Fourteen music students of mixed ages, accompanied by their teacher, Elizabeth Lim Seok Wah and by several parents, travelled to England to take part in this course. The party was met by Peter, who accompanied them on a visit to the Roman baths in the historic town of Bath and of ancient, awe-inspiring Stonehenge. There was a memorable tour of Wells Cathedral School, where a special concert had been organised, after which there was time to experience evensong at Wells Cathedral.
The music course consisted of three activity-packed days with course leaders, Peter and Sandy and guest tutors, drummer Andy Gleadhill and Richard Michael, professor of jazz at St Andrew’s University. Parents were invited to go on a further sightseeing tour and shopping trip to Dulverton and then Exeter, to relax in the sunshine in the tranquil surroundings of Duvale Priory or to join in with the music course.
The approach to learning was active and creative, with all sorts of musical instruments available in addition to the pianos. The warm-up activities were energizing and students learned in an engaging way about the different eras of music, after which there were closely matched team quizzes. Creative music was very much emphasised, with a whole range of composing and improvising activities provided, encompassing a wider spectrum of artistic activity that also included movement and painting.
The drumming session led by Andy Gleadhill provoked an excited response, since African Drumming was new to the students. The approach was absolutely hands-on, with a drum for everyone and progression through easy techniques through to more challenging cross-rhythms – a great success!
Richard Michael was already known and loved by many of the students, having previously led an E-MusicMaestro jazz course in Singapore. As ever, his inimitable style and irrepressible enthusiasm for jazz were inspirational.
The course took place in the lovely functions barn just a few metres away from our accommodation. All students received tuition from Peter or Sandy in duet playing and there were opportunities for performing, with a concert on the first evening for duets and for the day’s group compositions.
There was a students’ cricket match in the safe, enclosed garden overlooked by Duvale Barn, our home for the duration of the course. One parent went fishing in the private lake and had his catch cooked for dinner that evening. Even the course dog, Couber had a great time paddling in the shallow River Exe and running through the long grass! Duvale Priory owner, Rosena provided delicious meals and there was a games room with snooker table for anyone who had time to play in between course sessions, piano practice and eating.
The course culminated in a wonderful, final concert that involved every student in a performance of words, mime and music, devised by Elizabeth and her students. We were able to sit back, relax and enjoy the music before handing out certificates to the participating students, who gave us gifts and cards of appreciation.
Many thanks to Elizabeth for giving us the opportunity to work with her lovely students.
A few of the many appreciative feedback comments from parents and participants:
“Thank you for putting in so much time and effort to make the workshop a wonderful and successful one.”
~ Tricia and Gracia’s mum
“Your passion for music is amazing and truly inspiring. I’m glad my kids have come on board this journey! Thanks!”
“My girls had an enriching and great time.”
~ Mrs Loke
“Your lessons were really ‘our-of-the-box’ and your approach to teaching was really interesting. Thank you for your invaluable lessons”
“I really enjoyed your lessons and found them to be incredibly enriching! Thanks!”
“Thank you for making the lessons and games fun! I enjoy it very much!”
“Thank you for teaching us. I love your lessons very much!”
For enquiries about bespoke E-MusicMaestro courses for music students and professional development opportunities for piano teachers please contact Sandy Holland at:
Aural Test Training suitable for ABRSM examinations at:
How to teach and play piano – better !