Information About Alexander - Aberdeen teacher
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Alex completed his Undergraduate Degree in performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in 2011, under the guidance of Emma Ferrand. Whilst at the RNCM, he has participated in numerous orchestras and been asked to play principal cello on a number of occasions including principal cello of the RNCM String Orchestra and Opera Orchestra. Alex has had many opportunities of working with RNCM composers on new music having played regularly with the RNCM'S Brand New Orchestra which the composer is present for all rehearsals and concerts. Alex has also had the great opportunity of a number of public performances with the Rosa and Hall Quartets at the RNCM'S many chamber music festivals including The Slav Fest and Shostakovich and his contemporaries.
Prior to his studies at the RNCM Alex studied at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh under the guidence of Ruth Beauchamp (1999-2006). While studying at St Mary's Alex was awarded The Calvert String Prize For Service, The Izzett Chamber Music Prize and Leanard Friedman Chamber Music Prize. Alex was also chosen to be a finalist in the schools prestigious Directors Recital Prize. Alex has also performed in many solo and chamber music recitals throughout Scotland and the North of England. Venues have included; St Andrews Younger Hall, Edinburgh Stockbridge Parish church, Edinburgh St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh Queens Hall, Royal Conservetoire of Scotland Concert Hall Glasgow, Hexam Abbey and Rochdale Theatre. In addition Alex has been Principal Cello of St Mary's Music School Orchestra conducted by John Grundy, Principal Cello of St Mary's Music School String Ensemble Dircted by Claire Docherty and Principal Cello of St Mary's Music School Bach Cantata Ensemble Directed by Matthew Owens.
Notable competitions Alex has won include; the choral Union Trophy which is the highest accolade for the Edinburgh Competition festival for best musician over all categories 2006, winner of the 15 minute Recital Prize Edinburgh Competition Festival 2005 and overall winner of the Darlington, Northallerton Rotary Club for Young Musician of the year 2004. From winning the Young Musician of the Year Competition Alex was asked to perform Boccherini's Cello Concerto No.9 in B flat Major (Grutzmacher Version) with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra.
Alex has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both performance and teaching and has benefited from working with a number of professional cellists and chamber musicians in master classes who include: Frans Helmerson, David Geringas, Colin Carr, Emma Ferrand, Phillip De Groote, David Strange, Hannah Roberts, Robert Irvine, Margaret Moncrieff and Dr Christopher Rowland. Notable conductors Alex has worked with include; Takuo Yuasa, James Loughran, Garry Walker, Pablo Heras-Casado and Yan Pascal Tortelier.
Alex is currently performing and teaching in Aberdeen Scotland and North East of England.
Alex currently teaches the cello to a number of private pupils in Aberdeen. He has also had much experience teaching in schools for Tees Valley Music Service, Polam Hall Private School in Darlington. While in Manchester he taught privately and also coached chamber groups and took sectional rehearsals for local school orchestras.
Prior to his time in Manchester Alex assisted his teacher Ruth Beauchamp coach the Saturday Morning School cello classes at St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh giving him valuable teaching experience for the future.
From my experience anyone, no matter what age or ability can learn a musical instrument or appreciate music. When teaching children it is important to make the learning experience fun and interesting but it is also very important to learn good technical and musical habits early on, as it can become very difficult to unlearn bad habits later. Adults also make very good learners as well. All that is needed is to allow yourself to have the confidence to give it a go and not to allow negative thoughts or emotions stand in your way.
One of the main keys to success with playing the cello is to relax and enjoy what you are doing. Only by relaxing can you really make the cello sing. Combining a relaxed approach with a certain amount of hard work is a guaranteed way of ensuring good progress. This will bring its own rewards in the pleasure of performing music you love.
I tailor each lesson to the individuals needs, using traditional teaching methods but I also draw a lot on my knowledge of the anatomy of the body as I am a regular yoga practitioner and have found yoga to be such a help to my own playing. I always try to encourage my students to release tension in their playing with relaxation techniques and more economical ways of playing the cello. I find that using these methods encourages a more functional, competent and happier cellist.
If you are interested in learning the cello then contact me. I teach all ages, all levels and chamber groups. I am especially helpful for taking your playing to the next level.
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References Available: Yes (✔ On File)
- Royal Northern College of Music RNCM (2011) - Bachelor of Music Honours Degree (College) (✘ Not On File)
- St Mary's Music School (2003) - Grade 8 Cello (ABRSM) (School) (✘ Not On File)
- St Mary's Music School (2001) - Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM) (School) (✘ Not On File)