World renowned violinist, Nicola Benedetti, describes what it is like to have success at a young age. She describes the pressures of fame and critical acclaim and how she balances those within her day to day life. Nicola talks about natural ability versus practice and describes what it feels like to have an orchestra play two feet behind you with the entire string section watching your every move. The clip features a solo rehearsal of Bach’s ‘Chaconne’ and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra rehearsing Sibelius’s ‘Violin Concerto’.
After watching the clip, discuss with your class how they could constructively comment on their own and others’ work, including the work of professionals. The class could listen to two piece of solo music, perhaps played by amateur musicians, and each write down their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the performance. In pairs, students could also take it in turns to play their instrument and their partner gives feedback on what worked, what did not, and how they could improve. A class discussion could then compare notes. Pupils can also learn how to recognise violin music, its features and some musical concepts such as concerto.