I keep replaying in my mind, sadly not on my flute, the wonderful visit to your beautiful house. You made us all feel so welcome and relaxed in the stunning surroundings - you really have a special & unique home and the warmth of your welcome will not be forgotten.
The food was unforgettable - as was the tour we enjoyed with Doug - he made the landscape come to life - something we never would have experienced from a guide book. It was a very special afternoon to be treasured. Do please thank him very much.
I am working hard on my “counting in quavers” - you have given me something to strive for!
Thank you again so very much - a memory I shall treasure for ever
Very much love
Cristina - the struggling quaver person!
Flute teacher Liz Hargest was kind enough to send the following via email.
Flute Pie Trip to France
Helen, myself and 10 young flute players from Flute Pie, along with their family members, took a trip to Atarah Ben Tovim’s house in Gensac, France, to experience the French culture and gain some expert ensemble coaching.
We had 3 days of music making, fun and good food. The children performed together for several hours each day, being coached in listening carefully to the tuning of each part and each instrument, sight reading at speed, counting bars and rests, listening to which part needed to play out as solos and when to take a supporting role as an accompanying part.
The children had the opportunity to try the Bass flute. 10 year old Katie was a natural!.
On the evening of 1st June we all ate out together at the Café de la Paix, one of Atarah’s favourite restaurants. After the meal the children performed several of their pieces to the waiters who really showed their appreciation.
On the following day the children met with many of Atarah’s French students and had a morning of big band music while the older children performed quartets. Then the children gave a concert performing solos to each other. The day finished with a fun alternative concert where the children had to perform their skills, but not on the flute.
On the last morning each child received an individual lesson with Atarah. She encouraged and praised each child and gave them a short list of reminders on how they could improve their own playing.
After lunch each afternoon our oldest student Lilli gave the children an Art class and there was also the opportunity to swim in Atarah’s pool. The parents mainly occupied themselves but on the afternoon of 1st June Atarah’s husband gave them a tour of the local area and explained some of the history of the area.
The Children returned from the trip full of enthusiasm to practise hard.
For more information on Liz Hargest visit her @ http://www.myflutes.co.uk/
It’s always good to get emails, so I’ll start posting some of them.
…Wow, what a wonderful few days! Everyone came back on a high. They all enjoyed every moment of it. Thank you for making it so fantastic - somehow you manage to find the right way to get through to each person and teach on the level that they respond to - you make each one feel special and that they matter. They loved the music (and how amazing that you found group pieces that challenged and pleased everyone); they loved the food (thanks also to Jenny for her contribution); they loved the culture (thank you Douglas!) and they loved the laid-back feeling of your house…
Fantastic Flute Course Comments
…Thank you again for organising our trip to Atarah’s. I’m so pleased we all managed to get there after the first disappointing postponement and all the last minute French chaos. It was a real experience – and so much more fun than any previous flute course I’ve done. Nicely paced for those of us who are quite unable to play all day long, and very encouraging as regards ensemble playing, even though I feel the personal goals of learning how to breathe (and getting fatter!) may be difficult to achieve…
…Thank you again for organizing such a special and unique experience. It was really rewarding and fun….
At my advanced diploma flute course, we had one blind player, 2 vegetarians, one horse specialist, one accountant, one player with the baby on her back and together we made amazing music from Bach to Rachmaninoff.
Great food and a wonderful time was had by all with at least 8 hours a day playing for the soul and French restaurants for the body and intelligent companionship for the mind. What more can you ask?!
A poem for flautists by Helen Chamberlain
Dear Fellow Musicians,
What a fantastic time we had with the Amazing Atarah!
Here is a poem to encapsulate my thoughts…..
Suddenly my world changes……..
A glint of sun shimmers on that great silent silver expanse of water
A continuous flow pushing forward
Following through like air escaping from my lungs creating phrase after phrase
Aiming for perfection
The great masters, Mozart-Bach-Purcell-Elgar
Atarah - the welcome so warm and encompassing
Atarah - shaping us into what we want to become,
To attain what this great master has attained,
Hours of study, detail of finger, breath….life’s energy…brain and body working as one…intelligent …enriching… sensual.
Inspiring and Uplifting
A moment in time
Life has been encapsulated by this
Great Art…made for all…
A fellowship of the human spirit - forged together allowing discourse and reflection
I’ll always remember
I will never forget.
HC 15th May 2008
Thanks for a lovely weekend and making me feel so welcome. I really enjoyed meeting such a fun bunch.
I will phone you about dinner in the next couple of days. Thank you for being my friend. Lots of love Steve.