Blow & Blast !

Group music therapy for frustrated adult learners
Stressed clarinet player!
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Blow & Blast Workshops

Blow and Blast workshops aim to provide the 'entry-level' experience of playing in a group context that is seldom available to adults.  Our programme also includes 'improver' and 'intermediate' ensembles, helping mature learners to develop the skills that will allow them to participate in community bands and orchestras with confidence.

Enjoy the social side of working with others, attempt new challenges and develop the skills that are specific to the ensemble situation.  Places are limited, to ensure that everyone can receive help if they require it.  Each workshop is an individual session, so there is no need to commit to regular attendance.

If in doubt about which workshop would be best for you, contact us with some information about your instrument, standard and any previous ensemble experience.  We will do our best to advise appropriately.

Our workshops include:

Beginner and Start-up Events for those who don't yet play much (or at all) but are thinking they might like to start.

Basic Skills for those who possess an instrument and can manage a few notes, but would like help to build their skills, particularly when it comes to reading music.

Woodwind workshops - flute, oboe, clarinet or bassoon only.  Sometimes these cater for more than one category at a time, but appropriate music will be available for each level within the group.

Easy/improvers woodwind A mixed-ability group, catering for players of about Grade 1 - 4 level
Intermediate woodwind For fairly competent players

Saxophones & Brass  Mixed ability workshop for players of saxophones or brass instruments

Blow & Blast 'band' - fun playalong, mixture of standards, for wind band instruments

All at C mini-orchestra - fun playalong for instruments pitched in C, mixture of standards

Info on Forthcoming dates and venues

Beginner and Start-up Events

Always wanted to play a woodwind instrument but don't know where to start?
Trying to teach yourself but feel you are getting nowhere much?
Find out more about our complete beginner events.  You may also find our starting up advice of use.

Basic Skills

If you have a very limited range of notes, lack confidence reading music, haven't played in a group before and/or can't always guarantee that your instrument will produce a reliable sound - or any sound at all! - then this is the group for you! 

Originally just for woodwind, we are now happy to consider including early-stage saxophones, brass and bowed strings in the Basic Skills workshops.  However, it is important that you notify us a few days in advance if you are hoping to come along, with details of your instrument and experience (or lack thereof!), so that we can aim to have appropriate materials available.

You will need your own instrument.  String players should be able to tune this without assistance.

If you already read music fluently and are just new to the specific instrument, you may find Basic Skills a bit TOO basic!  You will probably cope in one of our other groups, provided you let us know in advance which notes/keys you can manage, so that we can provide appropriate 'easy' parts.  If in doubt, contact us for advice.

Easy/Improvers Woodwind

For players of flute, oboe, clarinet or bassoon.  (You will need your own instrument)

Ideal for those who are comfortably underway on their instrument, perhaps playing at around Grade 1 - 4 level, who are looking to acquire or extend ensemble skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

This group can also be suitable for players who are fairly new to their woodwind instrument but already read music fluently.

Parts are specially arranged to suit the confidence and ability level of participants, so it is important that you book in advance, letting us know your instrument and a little about your approximate standard and previous musical experience.

Intermediate Woodwind

For players of flute, oboe, clarinet or bassoon.  (You will need your own instrument)

Added to our programme by popular request - for those who are too good for the easy/improvers group but not yet expert!  You should be reasonably familiar with the working range of the instrument and comfortable about sight-reading in a variety of not-too-intimidating key and time signatures.

The standard of this group varies between venues.  The Perth and weekend Birnam Intermediate Woodwind sessions tend to demand a playing ability of around Grade 5, confident sight-reading and a quite a lot of previous ensemble experience.  Intermediate workshops in Callander or mid-week in Birnam tend to be a little less alarming!

Saxophones and Brass

For players of any saxophone or brass (band) instrument (You will need your own instrument!)

Ideal for those who are comfortably underway on their instrument, perhaps playing at around Grade 2 - 4 level or above, who are looking to acquire or extend ensemble skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

This group can also be suitable for players who are fairly new to the saxophone (or brass instrument) but already read music fluently.

Parts are specially arranged to suit the confidence and ability level of participants, so it is important that you book in advance, letting us know your instrument (key, clef, etc) and a little about your approximate standard and previous musical experience.


Light-hearted Play-alongs

Blow & Blast Band

A fun play-along for wind/brass band instruments, catering for a mixture of standards.  To enjoy band, we would recommend a standard of Grade 2 or above.  However, relative beginners who already read music fluently, so can manage an easy part without support, can also participate.

The Blow & Blast band was originally conceived as a sort of 'mini-band', to extend the playing experience of participants from our woodwind ensemble workshops.  It is also ideal for those seeking an occasional fun play-along to help keep them in practice.

Please note - this is definitely not a standard/conventional concert band!!

'All at C' mini-orchestra

An equivalent to 'band' but aimed primarily at instruments pitched in C - flutes, oboes, bassoons - even recorders and bowed strings!  More info

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