Royal Academy of Music

During my time at the Academy, I had to opportunity to be principal bass in the Spring Opera series of Chérubin. Playing in an opera orchestra in more similar to chamber music than a symphony orchestra. As we are an accompaniment ensemble, we are required to work very closely with the conductors and singers. The audience’s focus is on-stage not
the musicians in the pit. Being a bass player, we are used to being the harmonic role so this difference is not soo great for us but is a challenge for other members of the orchestra who are usually ‘soloists’ but who we are still playing along side with. Playing in
this type of ensemble is important for our development of becoming the whole musician.

Overall I had such an amazing time studying at RAM on exchange this semester. I am very thankful for the
Youth Grant of which I wouldn’t have been able to go on exchange without.

Emily

The 2019 Youth Grant from Deaf Children Australia helped make it possible for me to study at the Royal Academy of Music for their Spring Term in 2020 to learn from Dominic Seldis, Graham Mitchell and Tom Goodman and play in the Academy Symphony
Orchestra.

As an exchange student for only a term, I’ve had to take advantage of everything possible in such short amount of time. Graham has us students touching the double bass as little as possible and playing close to the bridge in order to achieve the greatest resonance.
Tom taught me to pull the string with the bow, with the weight not coming from the forearm but over the shoulder. Dominic focuses on getting us to develop our own unique sound by practicing letting all our own natural weight flow through the bow and bow grip
in a “primitive” way allowing for a completely relaxed sound. These concepts are not something I learnt back in Australia and I think have contributed greatly to my development towards becoming a professional artist in Australia and hopefully playing
with one of the state symphony orchestras or the Australian Chamber Orchestra. These are skills I need to work on to take my sound and bass playing to the next level.

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