RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Mentoring Scheme 2010

What the teachers thought of it

From DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin
Dr William Halpin
Head of DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra's Mentoring Scheme offers a most valuable experience to music students and one that is a very welcome addition to their programme of study. The audition process itself, because it is run like a professional audition "in the real world", puts students in a "real" audition situation that is impossible to simulate without the professional set-up. Learning to cope with this situation is an important part of the learning process.

The process in beneficial, even for those who are unsuccessful, because the important thing for them at this stage is to learn to cope with the stress of playing for a professional audition. They can only learn from this experience and consequently, if lessons are learned, be more successful the next time. Disappointments are also part of a students learning experience and sometimes being unsuccessful can spur a student on to greater achievements in the future.

The experience of working closely with 'seasoned' orchestral players is a real bonus for successful students. There are many things - "tricks of the trade", so to speak, that students can learn from playing beside the professionals in the RTÉ NSO. They were once in the same position themselves and have a real understanding of what it is like for those they are mentoring. This experience also has the benefit of motivating students to improve even further when the scheme comes to an end.

DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama student on the 2010 scheme:
Deirdre Reddy, violin (22)

From Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin
William Dowdall
Head of Faculty: Woodwind, Brass and Percussion
Royal Irish Academy of Music

As a past Principal of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra I consider mentoring to be the most important part of a performance course after principal instrument study. Not only is the experience invaluable to the student, but the building up of a relationship with the section principal and other section players in most important in the building of a potential orchestral career. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is to be congratulated on such a well structured scheme and I look forward to many more in the future!

Royal Irish Academy of Music students on the 2010 scheme:

Léonie Bluett. clarinet (21) | Catherine McHale, cello (23) | Anthony Mulholland, viola (21) | Naoise Ó Briain, flute (23) | Eneko O'Carroll, french horn (21)



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