Althea Talbot-Howard
Oboe, Oboe d'Amore & Cor Anglais Soloist

Workshops for primary-aged children

Key Stage One || Key Stage Two || Key Stages Three and Four

Althea Talbot-Howard and Katharine May present the following workshops for primary-aged children:

Key Stage One (4-6 years old): Oboe, Cor Anglais and Harpsichord (dur. 20-25 minutes)
Instruments are introduced via a "mystery musical tour" using repertoire familiar to the children (e.g. "Postman Pat" on cor anglais). All repertoire is appropriate to the age group. Includes a piece named "Le Moucheron" ("The Fly") on harpsichord, and concludes with a sing-along of "Twinkle, Twinkle" played on lower and upper octaves of oboe with harpsichord.  Basic introduction to the harpsichord. Workshop is highly interactive with much questioning-and-answering. Oboe and cor reeds are distributed for children to handle but not to blow (too high-pressure for the very young). Children are invited to view oboes and harpsichord close up at the end of the workshop.

Key Stage Two (7-11 years old): Oboe, Cor Anglais, Treble Recorder and Harpsichord (dur. 40-45 mins)

Instruments are again introduced via a "mystery musical tour", this time beginning with concert repertoire (two contrasting movements of a Handel oboe sonata). Some material familiar to the children is used, the rest will be new to them and aims to extend their musical comprehension. Focus on developing aural and basic analytical skills by asking them to listen out for certain musical features, upon which they will be questioned afterwards. Again, we concentrate on a fun, highly interactive approach. Contrast between oboe and cor anglais. Inclusion of movement from a Handel recorder sonata to demonstrate mature recorder sound and inspire recorder pupils to take the instrument seriously. Comprehensive introduction to the harpsichord, its different manuals and settings, etc. Solo harpsichord piece. More concert repertoire. Oboe and cor reeds handed around, with pupils permitted to blow them at the end of the session.

Workshops for secondary school pupils

Key Stages Three and Four Workshops are tailored to requirements depending on the degree of musical literacy of the pupils. A different approach is taken for general workshops as opposed to those booked for music classes. In the case of workshops for music students, the basic format will be that of an interactive concert which aims to support wherever possible certain sections of the class music syllabus in areas such as set works, history of music and the development of aural and analytical skills.