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Play away those winter blues

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

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One-day courses at Jackdaws offer a relaxed introduction to singing and playing music

Whether it is singing favourite opera choruses as part of a group or taking the first steps to singing solo, learning how play jazz or experiencing an introduction to the Alexander Technique Jackdaws is offering something for everyone in Great Elm.

Jackdaws' one-day courses run throughout November and December, offer a great opportunity to try something new.

An experienced range of tutors will be on hand to guide you through their specialist area and promise a day of inclusion, instruction, and inspiration.

Courses are open to singers and musicians of all ability levels – no experience necessary.

Each one day course runs from 11am to 3pm and cost £35.

The course fee includes a lunch.

On Saturday, November 17, singer and teacher Jessica Walker will show that Anyone can (learn to) Sing.

Learn how to make a sung sound with ease, through a combination of breathing exercises, vocalisation and movement.

At the end of just one day you will find access to a singing voice you never thought you had.

Penny Jenkins visits on Saturday, November 24 with Singing for the Over 50s.

This is a fun course for those who are young at heart and will show you how to use the singing voice in a safe and nurturing way.

Singing is a brilliant therapy that has been medically proven to improve happiness, health and general well being.

If you are feeling a little more confident, how about Taking the Leap and Singing Solo on Sunday, December 2, under the expert guidance of Penelope Davies?

Perhaps you sing in a choir and would like to tackle a solo or perhaps you would just like to have the confidence that when you open your mouth to sing what comes out is what you are expecting.

Penelope is a local singer and teacher of many years experience and has worked with many local choirs and singing groups, she will give you some tips and strategies, all working to build confidence, so you can go it alone.

On Saturday, December 8, Tim Soar will be leading an introduction to the Alexander Technique for Singers and Players.

This workshop will allow you to experience the subtle and often surprising effects of this unique approach to musical coaching.

It is a wide ranging technique in its application for musicians: a singer refining her breath control, a woodwind player looking for a better tone quality, a pianist with RSI, or a conductor seeking better communication skills; all could benefit from the Alexander Technique.

This workshop is open to individuals of any level of expertise as musicians and any level of experience of the Alexander Technique.

Will Carslake (pictured above), makes a welcome return to Jackdaws on Sunday, December 9, as he invites you to Come and Sing an Opera Chorus.

From the Brindisi to the Anvil Chorus, some of the greatest and most uplifting pieces of music are in the opera repertoire.

Come and take part as conductor Will Carslake first teaches you the parts and then leads you in a rousing rendition of the Toreador's Chorus from Carmen and the Slave Chorus from Nabucco and maybe more.

Dramatic interpretation will be encouraged but is not compulsory and no previous experience is required.

On Sunday, December 16, local musician Ralf Dorrell will lead How to Play Jazz- a brief introduction.

This course is designed to give a general introduction to playing jazz.

It will be expected that all the participants will have little or no previous experience of playing jazz, but are interested and willing to try.

Players will be invited to have fun exploring all the musical areas and skills required to play jazz.

These include basic jazz rhythms, melodies, harmony and improvisation.

This could be your first step into a fascinating new world of music making.

Usual jazz instruments welcome; saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, piano, double bass, bass guitar, guitar, violin, voice will be on hand but other instruments are possible.

With so much on offer, you really are spoilt for choice this season.

To book, or for further information about the courses and tutors visit www.jackdaws.org.uk, email music@jackdaws.org or call 01373 812383.

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