Nicola Benedetti to launch weekly video workshops to inspire new generation of violinists
Scottish violin sensation Nicola Benedetti is to step up her efforts to rear new generations of musicians by launching weekly video workshops.
The Ayrshire musician has announced plans to post weekly films online to help students and teachers around the world to coinicide with the creation of her own charity to stage free weekend workshops across the UK.
The “With Nicky” series will be aimed at new and established music teachers, as well students with no previous playing experience, and long-time players experiencing problems.
Benedetti has already started making the videos at home in London and on tour after admitting to frustration about being unable to follow up with participants in masterclasses and workshops she has previously been involved in.
It is hoped With Nicky, which will be available on her YouTube channel, will become a vital resource for violin teachers and their pupils, as well as inspire young people to pick up the instrument for the first time.
Speaking to The Scotsman from the US, where she is currently on tour, she said: “After every single workshop I do I have a hundred kids asking where I teach, how they can follow things up with me and if I can go over something again.
“There is a lot of information to absorb and take in. I feel a sense of frustration that I dump all this information on them and that’s it.
“This is a way to continue support for young musicians and teachers all year round and have the much better communication and regular interaction that I yearn for.”
Early episodes of With Nicky, which will be posted every Tuesday from 29 January, include “back to basics,” “developing your sound”, “talking about thumbs” and “motivations and inspiration.”
She added: “I’ve thought about all the hundreds of young kids that I meet and the things I see them struggling with and have addressed those issues in the videos. It’s as organic and natural as that.
“They are targeted at a broad audience and a starting-out level of player. The technical challenges of playing the violin never end.
“A lot of what we do as musicians re-addresses those fundamental basic building blocks. A lot of stuff in the videos will be relevant to people who have been playing for five years.
"Music education always has been important to me and that compulsion has just grown. The more you do things like that you meet hundreds of teachers and kids and you see there is a desire and a demand for that added component to what they are doing and what they are studying.
"It's partly a feeling of obligation and partly a feeling of duty, and it's also just will. I feel like I should and I feel like I want to. It's as simple as that really.
“I’ve had the huge fortune of being exposed to some of the world’s greatest violin and music teachers. I want to make as much information available to as many people as possible.”
The video workshops have been announced by Benedetti just weeks after she was awarded by CBE in the New Year Honours List for services to music.