A long rewarding week!

We’ve had an amazing time on the Isle of Coll and have really enjoyed performing in the concerts. We have learnt so much from our tutors Dickie, Charles and Jonathan and it’s been great to have the time to rehearse together everyday!

At the start of the week, we felt like we had a huge mountain to climb as we had decided to work on three substantial string quartets. We chose to play Fanny Hensel’s Quartet in E flat major, Haydn’s Sunrise quartet and Beethoven Quartet op. 59 No. 3 in C major. We had previously worked on the Beethoven earlier in the year, but the other two quartets were completely new to us!

After having coaching with some of the tutors, we decided to mix up our rehearsal technique. Instead of always talking about possible musical ideas, we nominated someone in the quartet to lead the group and demonstrate their musical intentions whilst playing the music. We felt that this cut down our rehearsal time and any unnecessary chatting! It also really made us think about what we wanted to do with the music and take individual responsibility for the musical shapes.

Another interesting thing about this week was learning about each other’s learning styles and how we rehearse under pressure. Working intensively on a course is very different to isolated rehearsals at music college and we felt we had to pace ourselves and also look after each other! We realised that we had to work as one unit to achieve a corporate goal. This meant we had to be open to compromises and listen to everyone’s thoughts and ideas.

After a week of intensive rehearsals and three concerts in a row, we feel like we have really bonded and improved as a quartet. We can’t wait to continue playing together and get started on some new repertoire!