Nicola Benedetti (Photo credit: Andy Gotts)
On January 24, 2019, violinist Nicola Bendetti launched “With Nicky” — an online series of educational videos that intends to provide information, guidance, and support for young musicians throughout their musical and personal development. The content of these videos is an integral part of the work of the Benedetti Foundation, and provides useful information for teachers looking to support their work with new ideas. “With Nicky” will eventually cover a broad range of questions and themes, but naturally these first videos focus on Nicola’s own instrument — the violin.
Nicola delivers workshops, masterclasses and educational activities throughout the year, but time is always limited and the desire for follow up materials when the classes come to a close is ever growing. These videos mark the beginning of a long term project that hopes to be a useful resource and friendly support to young musicians, amateur musicians, educationalists and anyone interested in instrumental music from all over the world.
Phase one of the series is released every Tuesday at 12pm UK Time on Nicola’s YouTube channel. They enable young people and teachers to connect with her on a more regular basis.
The videos will cover topics including:
• Back to Basics
• Develop your Sound
• Talking about Thumbs
• Motivations and Inspirations
• Investigating Intonation
Video I “Back to Basics”:
Nicola states: “Mastering the basics of learning any musical instrument is so important and something that shouldn’t be rushed. I would encourage you to be patient with these basic concepts because grasping them is SOO not easy. It needs constant reminding and readdressing and there is a lot to understand and remember. For some weird reason, staying natural, relaxed, fluid, balanced and flexible is crazy difficult when you are trying to play an awkward instrument like the violin. But we have to try to do it!”
Video II “Developing your Sound”:
“The sound we make is the most personal thing about our playing – everyone’s tone is unique. No two violinists sound the same, nor should they sound the same. Be inspired by other musicians’ sounds, of course, but remember to be yourself. The route we each take to developing our own sound is a voyage of experimentation and discovery: rewarding, completely engrossing, and of course it can also be frustrating at times! But it is about finding a balance and remembering to take the time you need to work on it.”
Video III “Vibrato”:
“This week, we are talking about a much requested subject…vibrato. So, why is it so important? This video takes you on an exploration of the different ways vibrato can be played and will leave you with some exercises to help develop the basic vibrato movements. Whether you’ve been doing vibrato for 2 months or 2 years, these exercises are great — I still use them today!”
Video IV “Vibrato”: