Violinist Nicola Benedetti has created a project, The Virtual Benedetti Sessions which hopes to offer organisations across the world the opportunity to engage with and together, learn, provide, uplift and excite. Programmes of activity will be available for young musicians, conservatoire and university level music students, instrumental teachers, adult learners, non-instrumentalists, amateur musicians, parents, siblings and anyone else wanting to bang a pot or pan.
The Benedetti Foundation will provide musicians of all ages and stages, from all over the world, with three weeks of free, consistent online tuition and inspiration from Monday 11 May, preparing collectively for a final weekend of activity on 30 & 31 May celebrating the coming together of the global music community. The Grand Finale will take place on Sunday 31 May at 4pm BST.
The Sessions, hosted on YouTube, Zoom and across social media platforms will be led by Nicola Benedetti and her expert Foundation team of tutors and ambassadors providing seminars and presentations, musicianship activities for all levels of knowledge, lessons and support, workshops in physical and mental wellbeing, instrumental teachers’ sessions, a weekly live session for tertiary music students with the opportunity to speak with and learn from inspirational figures in the music world, two weekly sessions for parents to chat with our tutors giving advice and tips on supporting their children’s learning at home
There are two strands to the Virtual Sessions:
Open Access and mass participation
- Anyone can join in and prepare online with the Benedetti Foundation
- The Foundation will be working with partner organisations across the UK, and worldwide, to ensure engagement with participants across all communities and backgrounds.
- There are no geographical, spatial or monetary barriers to participation.
- Everyone will be invited to audition for a place on the final recordings.
- Through the preparation series and resources provided, musicians will submit a recording of their part. A number of these will be added layer by layer to form the final recording for the closing concert.
- An abridged version of Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan-Williams for advanced string players (Grade 6+) with additionally arranged parts for younger, less experienced musicians (approx. 3 – 5). This will be led by conductor Karina Canellakis.
- Mattachins from the Capriol Suite by Warlock for Intermediate (Grade 3-5) level string players.
- Souvenir de Florence, 4th movement by Tchaikovsky – this will enable conservatoire and university students to engage in chamber music.
- Arrangement based on Caprice No. 24 by Paganini – a unique and inclusive construction, with all participants of the Virtual Sessions and an open invite to parents, siblings and anyone else hanging around that can bang a pot or pan.
What will happen
- The guided online tutorials will start on 11 May via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube with live streamed and pre-recorded content.
- For young school-age musicians, each instrument will receive weekly live sectional rehearsals via Zoom with their tutor. This will be enhanced with pre-recorded videos during the remainder of the week supporting them with technical advice, musical inspiration and practical tips on preparation.
- For children who do not play instruments the Foundation will provide first class tuition from its General Musicianship team. Through a combination of daily activities and live lessons they will work on:
- Singing and rhythmic activities with a percussionist and Kodaly specialist
- Producing creative responses through other mediums e.g. artwork and story writing
- The Grand Finale: 30 & 31 May
- Over the final weekend there will be continuous activity from 10am – 5pm with an opening concert, presentations and tutorials run throughout the day, interspersed with live chats at 12pm, 3pm and 4pm.
- To close the Virtual Sessions the music loving world is invited to a celebratory concert at 4pm on Sunday 31 May to premiere a collation of videos which share the story of the coming together of the music community through unprecedented times.
Sample weekly schedule
Each week will follow the same schedule and will consist of a combination of live and pre-recorded lessons which can be watched at any time. We hope this regular schedule will allow live sessions to be embedded into existing work.
- 8.45-9.00am – Warmups – participants will self-select from a playlist of warm up activities
- 10.00am – Nicky’s Message of the Day & Daily Tutorials released
- 12-12.30pm – Creative Team Take Over – Live lesson on Facebook
- 4.15-5.00pm – Live Sectionals for Intermediate Orchestra [under 18, school children only]
- 5.30-6.15pm – Live Sectionals for Advanced Orchestra [under 18, school children only]
Our proposed schedule is:
- Violin 1 – Monday
- Violin 2 – Tuesday
- Viola – Wednesday
- Cello – Thursday
- Double Bass – Friday
- Conservatoire/University Music Students’ Hour will take place on Monday from 7.30-8.30pm
- Instrumental Teachers’ Live Hour will take place on Wednesday and Thursday from 7.30-8.30pm
- During each day, there will be a series of pre-recorded tutorials released from 10am which participants are able to access at any time.
- Each weekend, participants are sent the schedule, links and passwords for the following week and the platforms to find all the sessions on.
How to get involved:
- Sign up is open Friday 1 May, 9am BST – Thursday 7 May, 9pm BST – visit www.benedettifoundation.org/virtualsessions to join in
- There is no cost to participate in the Sessions – we are dedicated to keeping all our online work free of charge and accessible to all. However, we are a registered charity and in constant need of support. We are asking those participants who are able to, to make a donation when they sign up.
Tutors are drawn from across the UK’s conservatoires, orchestras and educational institutions and a full list can be seen at www.benedettifoundation.org.
For general enquiries about or to pledge financial support to the Foundation, please contact:
Laura Gardiner, Director, Benedetti Foundation
Tel: 07515 882901 | firstname.lastname@example.org