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Year 12 Musicians to Birmingham Conservatoire

Musicians from Year 12 visited the Birmingham Conservatoire at the beginning of this term for their Open Day.  The Conservatoire Open Days, which are held twice a year, are designed to give students a real insight into student life, and include introductory talks, guided tours, open rehearsals, performances and a chance to meet staff and students.  The following report is from Isabella Worrall.

"On Thursday 22nd January, our AS Music class visited Birmingham Conservatoire for their Open Day. This was a fantastic opportunity to explore the possibilities available to us with regards to studying music post-A-Levels and we had both a very fun and a very informative day!

Our class consists of people interested in many different musical disciplines and we therefore split up to visit various different departments and attend the talks and workshops that they were putting on during the day. A whole array of interactive workshops (to which visitors were encouraged to bring their instruments, although none of us were brave enough to do so!), masterclasses, performances and talks took place throughout the day and between us we managed to visit a great number of them.

Particularly enjoyable was the open rehearsal for a Baroque Opera which some of our singers sat in on. This provided an interesting and unique insight into how Baroque Operas are put together, learning about how the actors move, how they bring out their parts and how they use gestures to emphasise the most important musical lines. Also exciting was the Percussion Outreach workshop which involved improvising on enormous marimbas, xylophones and vibraphones, encouraging an appreciation of improvisational skills as well as minimalism and a percussion player’s need for a strong sense of rhythm. The highlight of the day, however, had to be watching a piano masterclass in which Conservatoire students performed Scriabin’s Preludes. This was truly awe-inspiring and wonderful end to a fantastic day.