Viola workshops

Workshop pianist/speakers 

Jack Littlewood


Jack Littlewood began playing the piano when he was seven years old. He gained his London College of Music Diploma at the age of twelve but, always having had an interest in the sciences and medicine, his studies led him into the dental profession and musical activity took the form of occasional recitals with friends. 

In 1992 he met Jean Fletcher, former principal first violin with the Ulster Orchestra, and, inspired by her playing, a period of technical study followed, resulting in recitals with Jean, her two talented daughters Sarah and Sinead, and other musicians in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.  On retiring early from dentistry, he taught himself to play the viola and joined the Boyce Orchestra.

David Lipka

A talk on Tai Chi

14 October 2013

Yin and Yang and Tai Chi

1 November 2014

Tai Chi and good body use

8 November 2015

David Lipka is a full time Tai Chi teacher and Shiatsu Practitioner. He is the principal teacher at ‘Mindful Tai Chi’ and is an advanced instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain. His in depth Tai Chi training has been specifically within the Wu style Tai Chi Chuan. David has a Degree in Education from Sheffield University and for over 20 years has had experience of teaching and managing in education.

Alan Wing, Professor of Human Movement, University of Birmingham 

Ensemble synchronisation

13 October 2012

Quartet players need to continually monitor their own and other quartet members' timing to prevent discrepancies in note onsets. Alan will describe research in which recordings of two professional quartets were taken and their note onset times analysed. These revealed varying degrees of dependence between the different players. 

Kathryn Charlton, MSTAT

Alexander Technique Workshop: you can improve how you move, perform, look and feel 
5 February 2011
11 May 2013

Philip L. Scowcroft, M.A.LL.M (Cantab)

 Railways and Music
23 June 2007

The talk explores the richly varied connections between railways and music. Music, in all styles from classical to pop and for almost every conceivable instrument and ensemble, has depicted railways worldwide. This will be touched on with the aid of CD examples. Other interfaces between the two topics will also be mentioned, including how railwaymen have made music down the years.

Philip Scowcroft, born in Sheffield and a Doncaster resident since 1959, is a retired local government solicitor with a wide range of interests ouside the law. These include music, transport history, crime fiction, sport (especialy cricket) and military history - on all of which he lectures frequently. He has written thousands of articles for over a hundred periodical publications. His published books include British Light Music (1977) and Railways in British Crime Fiction (2004). He has organised many concerts in Doncaster, including an ongoing series of over one thousand lunch-time events at Doncaster Museum. His reviews of local concerts in the Free Press have been much valued by musicians in the Doncaster area.

Adam White, BMus, MA

Self-efficacy: how our perception of our own abilities can be developed and used to enhance our performances
24 March 2007
Linking Practice to Performance
27 September 2008

Adam White is the Programme Co-ordinator for Music and Creative Media in The Institute for Lifelong Learning

Adam studied for his B.Mus at the University of Sheffield. His postgraduate studies have thus far centred on education and the issues of assessment practice and of widening participation in adult education. He is currently preparing to undertake research in the area of music and the imagination and the implications that understanding more about the musical imagination will have for music teaching.

As a classical guitarist, Adam has performed as a soloist and as a member of a number of ensembles. These have most recently involved the arrangement and performance of Brazilian music, and of Renaissance lute duets. He has performed on BBC Radio Sheffield and has appeared as arranger and accompanist on several recordings. Adam has also given lecture recitals on the music of John Dowland and J S Bach for the Open University. As a lecturer in adult education, Adam has taught for the University of Sheffield and for the Open University since 1993. In addition to his role as a performer, Adam also has an active interest in composition.

Dr Lindsay Aitkenhead

The Viola and Folk Music 
18 November 2006

A talk/demonstration and a 'have-a-go' session.

Lindsay Aitkenhead has written her doctoral thesis about the viola in British folk music. She has conducted an ethnographic study of folk viola players and their music, mainly in the North of England. 

Lindsay performs professionally both klezmer and British and Macedonian folk music.

Mark Tolson

The Alexander Technique for Musicians

8 July 2006

The Alexander Technique is a way of unlearning the unconscious habitual patterns that interfere with our freedom of movement (and thought). Fixed patterns of muscle tension block our natural flow and poise. Our habits feel right and/or comfortable, which is why they are difficult to change.

An Alexander teacher uses quiet hands-on contact to listen and guide the pupil into a new, more expansive pattern of use. Through expanding their field of attention and projecting new messages through their neuromuscular system, the pupil can release or 'inhibit' old habits.

In playing a musical instrument this can heighten the pupil's sensitivity as well as allowing them to become a more effective channel for the music.

Mark Tolson qualified as an Alexander teacher in 1985 on a three-year Society for Teachers of the Alexander Technique (S.T.A.T.) approved training course in London. From 1991 to 2006 he taught as assistant director on an Alexander training course in Leeds and then in York, and during this time he taught a lot of voice work. Mark has had singing lessons, played the clarinet to grade 5 and is self-taught on the guitar. He can be contacted on 0114 2301647.

Ian Highfield

Viola Making and the History of the Instrument

18 March 2006

Ian Highfield, luthier. Buxton, Derbyshire.



About us

July 2017

Entry form

Robin Ireland

> Workshop pianist/speakers 

Previous workshops

Find us

Viola Workshops 2006 all rights reserved