artistry beyond the notes…

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Peterborough Music Education Hub

We just spent two wonderful days in Peterborough with the Music Education Hub, led by their inspirational manager, Geoff Ellerby.


DeNOTE Education project, Peterborough: 48 hours; 8 schools; 1000+ pupils & teachers engaged; 18 fortepiano shifts (yes 18!); 5 players; 1 composer.
Jane Booth
Marcus Barcham-Stevens
Elitsa Bogdanova
 Ruth Alford
John Irving
(We’re really grateful to Ruth for masterminding the planning for these sessions.)

Feedback on our 2-day residency at Peterborough Music Education Hub:

“Just wanted to say thank you for that excellent presentation of early music performance style at the Key Theatre last night (27 April 2015). I personally learned a number of very useful things – which gut strings to buy, ornamentation, and that amazing bit of information from John the pianist about actually changing the melody line in Mozart. He certainly had some interesting observations to make. The use and articulation of both the baroque and classical bows is of course vital to successful performance and I was fortunate in that I had a masterclass from three experts in the field. It was a delightful experience.”

(ex principal violin BSO, WNO, SCO) [this comment relates to a CPD Workshop for peripatetic instrumental teachers]

We visited 4 Primary Schools (with pupils from 3 other Primaries visiting on two occasions), and 2 secondaries – concentrating on Mozart Chamber Music.

“The musicians were all very talented and clearly enjoy performing. They engaged the children well, and had a lovely manner with them.”

“A wonderful afternoon – thank-you!”

We greatly enjoyed these events, especially the opportunity to interact with young performers.
By the way, if you’re a school Music teacher (or belong to a Music Education Hub) and this seems like the kind of thing you would like to see in your school, drop us a line…

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Grant success for Lythe Chamber Music

DeNOTE’s residential Chamber Music course, Lythe Chamber Music has been awarded generous funding by The Normanby Trust.

IMG_0582This year’s course will take place from 26-30 July and will focus, as ever on the splendid keyboard instruments of local maker, Johannes Secker. As well as the opportunity to study keyboard repertoire on harpsichord, fortepiano and clavichord with John Irving, participants at Lythe Chamber Music may also study historical woodwinds with Jane Booth. This year, we are expanding the reach to include 17th and 18th-century works for recorder with James Brookmyre.

As ever, Johannes Secker will provide in-depth workshops on historical keyboard construction and tuning. This year, he has completed a fine copy of a 17th-century Virginals.  The inaugural recital will be on 28 July.

We have been busy planning the detailed schedule today, including the logistics for installing all the keyboards in the different locations around the picturesque village of Lythe.


There will be three course concerts, on 27, 28 and 30 July.

For more information visit

There are still a few places left! Contact James Brookmyre for further details on how to apply at or phone him on 07548 748 455