2004 European Championships - EBBA Open Forum - Nigel Boddice


Our man John James was on hand to hear the very interesting presentation given by Nigel Boddice. Here are his thoughts.

Nigel BoddiceThis forum entitled "Conducting the New Generation" was the third in a series of open forums held by EBBA at European Championships. A warm, responsive audience numbering at least 150 took the opportunity to listen to Nigel Boddice present an interesting insight into his philosophy to teaching music students.

Looking to cover the elements of technical demands, musical development and psychological preparation as the overall aim of his informative talk, these aspects were covered individually at first.

The technical demands were first dealt with by incorporating a practical session with newer students and younger players.

Discussing five core skills or tools as he called them in training a brass player - namely those of Breathing, Blowing, Embouchure (Compression), Articulation and Posture, three young players from the West Lothian Schools Band assisted the presentation as the various techniques were described or expanded upon.

With regard to musical development, areas highlighted in the presentation included Tempo, Musical Pulse, Accentuation, Intonation, Balance and Reading.

As a footnote to this section and to illustrate different aspects of the musical development presentation a cornet quartet comprised of students from the RSAMD played two works 'The Four Horsemen' and 'No1 from Five Jazz Quartets'.

The subject of psychological preparation was perhaps not covered in great detail to a large degree but rather incorporated into the way in which it may be used in developing and encouraging the technical and musical aspects of playing.

A wider debate brought the forum to a close as comparisons were drawn between different areas of the UK and the European experience before Richard Kidd delighted those present with a solo euphonium rendition of 'Carnival of Venice'.

With the inclusion of musical interludes, practical examples through demonstration and a delightful inclusion of some very talented young musicians turned this forum into a worthwhile and constructive assembly.

John James


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