són is not only a versatile and virtuosic orchestra. We aim to share the incredible power of music, and the sounds of our orchestra, with people of all ages, particularly youngsters. Whilst our performances on stage will always be a crucial, core activity, són include two further project strands in its work – són | education and són | masterclass – both dedicated to developing and educating the young musicians of tomorrow.
són | education projects bring the passion and power of music to youngsters throughout the region, introducing children to an orchestra, to the instruments which make it up, and the incredible depth to its sound.
In a similar vein, the són | masterclass programme is aimed at more established young players – those from mid-teens upwards, including students at music college and university, those on the cusp of entering the profession, and young conductors and accompanists.
Each project area feeds into the other. We link our professional concert series with associated education projects – uniting youngsters with those at the top of their game. Likewise, we think long-term about a child’s future musical ambitions, nurturing their progression and growth, ready to introduce them to masterclasses as soon as they’re ready.
Read on to learn more about these projects and how they supplement the work són brings to the professional stage.
Our musical work with children is vital to us – so it’s no surprise that són | education underpins all our performing activities. Reaching out to the musicians of tomorrow is close to our hearts and will always be one of our core activities. We don’t only give performances, lead workshops and give presentations – we actively seek to offer performing opportunities for young players, either in ensembles, as soloists or in chamber music.
Since our formation in 2015, we’ve put on various presentation concerts for young musicians, including Little Swans – an informal showcase for string players uniting their gifts as musicians with associated art work.
Horn player Alex Joyce inspiring children at Highfield Primary School
(photo: són creative team)
In July 2015, són | education were commissioned by Southampton Music Hub for “són Horn” – a project inspiring youngsters to take up the French Horn in the city of Southampton. In one day, across numerous schools in the city, a small team from són presented interactive workshops, getting over 300 children aged 8-11 playing around 30 mini-horns. Many subsequently chose to take up the instrument and are continuing to learn locally, having been inspired by our sessions.
In summer 2016 we launch another initiative in conjunction with Southampton Music Hub (also in collaboration with the University of Southampton) – the City’s very first orchestral summer school for grades 3-5 pupils, supersónic. Offering children their very first taste of playing with others in a full orchestra, supersónic will inspire and motivate youngsters over three immersive and intense days. It’s sure to be the first of many similar workshops!
són | education motivates youngsters by showing them the power of fabulous music, and how incredibly the top performers have mastered their skill. We encourage young talent by demonstrating how the very best musicians play – offering goals towards which they can aspire, and inspiring the virtuosos of tomorrow.
Interested in learning more about the són | education programme, or perhaps supporting one of our inspiring music projects for children? Please contact our education team by clicking the button below. Thank you!
són | masterclass extends our work with younger musicians to include those of sixth-form age, through conservatoire & university level, to embrace the many newcomers into the music profession. We’re forging links with universities, music colleges and conservatoires, offering the opportunity to experience music-making, training, and masterclasses at world-class level.
One of the chief aims of són | masterclass is to enable gifted and talented students to work with world-class practitioners of their craft, on any instrument or voice. We’re planning masterclasses and high-level coaching, in addition to orchestral-experience projects, including side-by-side training with established UK orchestral professionals, easing the transition from student to young professional.
In 2015 we established an internship scheme for students keen to get involved in the managerial side of són, offering them vital experience in the world of arts administration. At the same time, we began introducing a talented, select few into the ranks of són on the concert stage. This offers those on the verge of entering the orchestral profession a chance to play alongside top players, as well as a crucial chance to build their resumé experience.
Kanon Myashita – a member of the són masterclass programme – on stage at our launch concert
(photo: Chris Christodoulou)
són | masterclass is also dedicated to the training of young conductors, accompanists and coaches – the musical leaders of the future. We believe that conducting at its most elegant should be about combining two simple skills: inspiring better performances through a solid grounding in technique. We’re on a mission to show people – perhaps newly-qualified teachers fearful of the challenges of conducting, or teenagers in the local youth orchestra – how straightforward it can be.
Already we’re working with musicians of all levels and stages in their careers. We’re continuing to work with advanced students, young professionals, as well as music teachers & instrumental coaches who feel in need of additional skills, or perhaps a brush-up on the old ones.
Interested in learning more about the són | masterclass programme? Please contact our education team by clicking the button below – you’ll be kept up to date with our future masterclass and training projects. Thank you!