The Pro Corda Primary course aims to challenge and broaden musical minds at the pivotal age of 10-12 (school years 6&7). Students are sent carefully selected music for two chamber groups in advance, so the musical journey of each course is always far beyond note-learning. Recent repertoire has ranged from Baroque masterpieces, through composers such as Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn and Tchaikovsky, to contemporary works. The students explore these pieces daily with coaches at the forefront of the chamber music pedagogy world and perform them at the end of the week.

As well as the chamber works, Primary Course students have a busy daily schedule of other activities to enhance their musicianship and ensemble skills.

Dalcroze Eurythmics and Improvisation/Composition classes improve their fundamental musical skills in a creative, fun and liberating way; choir and string orchestra bring everyone together. Other whole group sessions include a daily session on body use and an open discussion session that can cover anything at all to do with music.

There are a variety of activities every afternoon (ranging from rounders matches to cake decorating) and events most evenings, including a talent show, a movie night, a party and a staff concert.

Like every Pro Corda course, the emphasis is on working together, and the result is a fun-packed week where students make deep friendships while embarking on a musical journey that both builds on existing skills and introduces exciting new approaches to playing and understanding music.

Important Info:

Age range: 10-12yrs, school years 6&7
Entry requirement: Grade 5+ for String Players and Grade 6+ for Pianists
Audition: Yes. Auditions held throughout the year.
Course dates: See below
Application deadline: See individual events
Location: Leiston Abbey
Cost: See individual events
Pro Corda tries to ensure that no student is turned away because of financial barriers so please get in touch if you are facing difficulties. You can also find out more information on our Bursary page.

All Pro Corda courses have excellent pastoral care, and this comes partly from the relatively small numbers on the course due to the emphasis on chamber music and partly from the expertise and experience of the pastoral staff. All staff are chosen for their experience and empathy with this age group, and students and parents alike will find us warm and welcoming.

The surroundings at Leiston Abbey in the heart of Suffolk are the perfect setting to make the music courses a magical experience, where new but long-lasting friendships are made.

The next course will take place:

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The director of the course is Sarah Carvalho-Dubost. As well as teaching, Sarah specialises in chamber music recitals, mostly with ensemble Reza and Trio Salona. Over the last four years she has been a regular coach on the Pro Corda cello course. She also does a lot of outreach work for children with special needs and is a member of Music For Life – Wigmore Hall where she works regularly in projects for people with dementia.

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