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Summer Course
 - 19 August 2023

The Faculty

Martin Johnson, Principal Cellist of the National Symphony Orchestra (RTE Ireland). Sue Lowe previously assistant professor RCM, ex-Chetham’s School of Music, University Music Departments (Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Leeds, Hull, York) and Eton College. Matt Lowe previously with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was Director of Music at Bradfield College, now combining his teaching experience, a performing career and recently obtained coaching qualification to influence music education,

An outstanding feature of the course, is the exceptional quality of the pianists, who work around the clock, rehearsing and coaching. We are delighted to welcome back JP Ekins as our pianist and chamber musician who is well known for his skills as a duo partner and is currrently working at GSMD.There is also an opportunity to take part in a daily yoga practice with director of a top Belfast yoga studio, John Gibson.

Course Summary


As well as a daily cello lesson and individual practice routines, we will spend time away from the cello exploring and discussing issues relevant to us all, as well as more focused topics: preparation for college auditions; preparation for orchestral auditions (working on orchestral excerpts); classes to help with learning to teach the cello (which many of us will do at some stage).

We will also focus on the connection between the music, our technique and our well-being, with the aim of walking on stage confidently and with an ability to be “in the moment”. To facilitate this, we offer time to rehearse with our pianist JP Ekins, performance platforms – a safe, supportive environment where students are encouraged to take risks and try things out in front of people – open discussion forums, as well as the opportunity to attend daily yoga classes, to benefit our mind, soul and body.

This course is particularly special because the management team are more dedicated to the students than anywhere else in the whole music industry. The personalised programme ensured I made the most of this wonderful week and was hugely informative in both the short term and long term. I felt embraced by the course both the staff and my fellow students, all sharing the aim of improving my playing but more than that my wider life too. Thank you, Cello Gathering. A truely great week!
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