If I were to sum up the week in Tyddn, it would be superb organisation, warm supportive atmosphere and mind-blowing exploration of techniques from combating performance anxiety to cultivating a sense of presence and awareness in our playing and everything we do. I came away with a variety of new techniques to explore and a new level of awareness about my playing. I’m very much looking forward to cello retreat 2.0!
- Rachel Morton; Armidale, Australia
The cello retreat created a cosy space to discuss ideas and to open out our personal feelings about performance and how we deal with the pressure. The course was very relaxed and practice hours were flexible so there was plenty of time to explore the beautiful Tyddyn Retreat!
- Elliot Bailey; Sheffield, UK
Deep rural Wales was the perfect place to indulge in mindful practice. The open and sharing atmosphere that welcomed us onto the retreat paved the way for supportive learning. Throughout the week, I was able to discuss diverse ideas around practice and performing comfortably, with both the tutors and my peers. Focused learning time on Alexander Technique, mental practice, and performing in front of an audience, were all key ingredients that made this a cello gathering like none I’d experienced before. I was left with new found energy and enthusiasm towards time with my cello!
- Jacob Barns; Gloucester, UK
I really enjoyed the mindful approach to the week's work, which was very illuminating. The Alexander Technique sessions complimented the week's cello practice very effectively and I feel I had a very holistic experience of cello playing throughout the week. The teachers and participants were all very friendly and welcoming, making the atmosphere an open and free place to work on my cello playing. The surrounding countryside was very beautiful and the catering was great: you can never over do tea and cake! Overall, I had a really peaceful and productive week which has shaped my cello playing in a very positive way. I'm very glad I went on this cello retreat!
- Finlay Hare; Jersey, UK
Going on the Cello Retreat is not like going on a traditional cello course. For me, the beautiful setting of the mid-Wales farmhouse made for a much-needed change of scene. We were only fifteen on the retreat, so got to know each other as the week went on, eating home-cooked meals (including totally amazing desserts) round a big table all together next to the wood burning stove. The group sessions were completely supportive spaces for everyone to experiment in, and were well balanced with timetabled individual lessons, practice time and reflective time - among the sheep in the fields!
Florence Fawcett; Leeds, UK
The Retreat was truly an unforgettable experience for me. The things I learnt profoundly affected my playing and my attitude towards performing. The atmosphere created by the leaders and students was very special and welcoming. Everyone was eager to try new methods and approaches to find physical and mental awareness and freedom. The food was amazing and the venue couldn’t have been better. A memorable week that I wouldn’t think twice to repeat in the future!