LMFL (Language and Music for Life) summer course in Provence
About the course
- 1–14 August 2022 – departure on 15 August morning
A specialised course by world-renowned faculty for Advanced level students (17+ years old) or professionals.
The course is hosted by the Centre International of Valbonne (CIV) in the village of Valbonne Sophia Antipolis near Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in south-eastern France. Here is the Tourist Office link
We welcome students from + 17 years old and upwards and can provide full board accommodation. We also welcome younger advanced students accompanied by at least one parent.
All students must be advanced level in at least one discipline, other choices can be at lower level.
Instrumental and Voice Tuition
The instrumental and voice tuition classes are conducted by exceptional teachers and internationally known performers.
- Music as an enhancement in the preparation of future professionals (Level 8)
We do prepare young instrumentalists for entrance audition for the Higher Musical Schools (Royal College of Music, Royal Academy, Guildhall, or Conservatoires Supérieurs de Musique etc…
Please note that for non-English speakers, who wish to enter the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy or Guildhall, acquiring an acceptable level of spoken English is a must. We provide this sort of coaching during the course as well as French, Italian and German for Opera students.
Summer School choir with William Godfree:
The Choir is one of the main features of the Summer School and most people attending will want to take part. Most of our instrumental teachers also rush to join it. Membership is open to all without audition.
Chamber music coaching: The Summer School offers an extensive chamber and wind chamber music program, which is organised by William Godfree and Lana Tovocek. Varying ensembles play together informally and formally. Coaching is available to players of all levels in either pre-formed or informal groups. The availability of professional coaches and chamber music associates offers amateurs the opportunity to be coached and also to play with professionals in some sessions.
Orchestral workshop with William Godfree
Given by leading artists, master classes are generally for the advanced student or professional musician wishing to undertake intensive study. Entry is limited and students are selected.
Jazz workshop: Conducted by Letizia Morelli
The jazz workshop is open to all (classical students as well!).
String Orchestra conducted by Professor Richard Crabtree.
At the end of the course, students and teachers will give three public concerts. Participants are therefore requested to bring concert dress with them, white shirt, black bow tie, and black trousers or skirt or national code dress and decent shoes. Music stands will not be provided for, so it is essential to bring one’s own. The concerts are recorded. DVD Copies will be made available for the participants.
The uniqueness and the seriousness of our music course come from the certainty of each participant to benefice from 10 one-to-one sessions with the teacher of one’s choice. The intensity of the workload proposed is quite special: on top of individual tutorial daily session, the chamber music groups are formed on arrival and each student participates in one group. The orchestral work is on ten sessions of one hour and a half each. The Choir and the Chamber Choir operate daily as well.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream
Opera Workshop “A midsummer night’s dream” Valbonne Arias, art songs, duos and vocal ensembles to celebrate in an operatic “pastiche” the magic of night and love throughout the centuries” Music by Purcell, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Cimarosa, Beethoven, Mozart, Bellini, Schubert, Strauss, Verdi, Puccini, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, De Falla, Dvorak, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Britten, and others.
Each admitted student will consult the vocal coaches Professor Leonardo De Lisi, and agree upon two solo pieces and two ensembles to be studied during the workshop and to be performed at the final show: a pastiche build on the plot of the famous Shakespeare play and conducted over the music of the greatest European composers.
The show will be accompanied by piano and, for some specific pieces, by a small instrumental group (strings and winds). For the classical singing only, Simonida Miletic Vocal technique and interpretation of classical songs and operatic arias by the main Italian, English, French, German and Spanish composers from the early 17th century until the modern age.
It should be made clear that a child of 9-12 singing an operatic aria and trying to imitate an adult’s voice is just like a child of the same age competing in a track, long jump or swimming event against adults, using rhythms and systems that do not fit in with the physical features of growth at that age. Even if a child or a young man in puberty can sing an operatic aria for a few minutes (for example O my dear Father, from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi) and appear to make sounds like a professional soprano, the efforts resulting from the pressure which the abdominal muscles need to exert, the many breaths that are taken even in the middle of words, the irregular fluctuations of vibrato, etc, are all signs of vocal fatigue. This will result later in the loss of the agility of the voice that you need to develop the professional tools of an opera singer.
The exploits of some children on television talent-shows mislead parents into thinking that children with no musical or operatic skills do in fact possess them, because children sing on television with amplification through a microphone! In the theatre, real professionals do not use a microphone when they sing opera! And singing in opera does not mean just singing a famous aria but it means singing in a complex and often 3-4 hour long performance where there are duets, trios, recitatives, arias, declamation, choruses, etc.
So the singing teacher who imposes operatic techniques on a 9-12 year old child – and even on 13-15 year old teenagers who have not yet completed the changes to their voices, however gifted – is committing a serious error. At 20, the boy or the girl will have lost the naturalness and vocal agility that serve to build the true voice of a professional. It will be frustrating and painful to have to correct major flaws after initially believing a child to be a prodigy. In fact, in cases like these, boys frequently give up singing opera because they have lost their self-assurance and self-esteem.
My advice after over 20 years’ experience in the conservatoire in Italy is this: when a child shows a lot of musical and vocal talent, encourage the study of an instrument (ideally the piano which also develops the sense of harmony), have the student sing in choirs with treble voices up to the age of 12, and take singing lessons from a teacher who begins with easy and suitable repertoire, like old chamber music arias or folk songs. Between the ages of 12 and 15 go easy on the singing until the voice has mutated, and continue studying piano and music theory.
14-15 year-old girls and 16-17 year-old boys should begin to develop their operatic vocal technique slowly while monitoring how the “new” voice reacts to the stress of a more intense workout.
Any singing teacher who does not respect this approach is incompetent and dangerous, only interested in making easy money out of the hopes and illusions of children and their families who pursue brief and fleeting celebrity. The young artist will be psychologically damaged.
Leonardo De Lisi
—— oOo ——
Jazz Vocal Tuition
with Letizia Morelli
Pop, Folk & Jazz Vocal Tuition
with Robert Short
Summer School choir with William Godfree
The Choir is one of the main features of the Summer School and that most people attending will want to take part. Most of our instrumental teachers rush in it Membership is open to all without audition.
Vocal technique and interpretation of classical songs and operatic arias by the main Italian, English, French, German and Spanish composers from the early 17th century until the modern age.
Conducting: William Godfree
Conducting Class 4 places on each course Conducting courses of the LMFL summer academy consists of two classes:
Level 1: Beginners, without any experience in conducting. The course will give them the opportunity to learn the basic technique of conducting
Level 2 Programme: Advanced level Students with knowledge of conducting: They will have to study the 2014’s programme repertoire prior to coming to the course.
They will have opportunities to rehearse with the orchestra and some will be chosen to conduct the end of course‘s concert.
There are feedback sessions after each orchestra workshop
Composition: Dr Paul Goodey or William Godfree
The composition classes are divided into two sections: an individual lesson of 1 hour every two days and a seminar in English every other day.
The content of the one-to-one lessons will vary according to the student’s level and will be aimed at creating a new composition during the course, to be performed at the final concert (performers and time permitting).
Diverse composition techniques will be studied according to the student’s aesthetic preferences from traditional tonal harmony to more elaborate musical expression. Students will learn about musical scripting software, particularly using Sibelius notation software.
The seminars will study in some detail the most significant influences on contemporary music including :
The development by 19th-century composers of a musical style that would express the characteristics of their own country. They did this by including tunes from their nation’s folk music, and taking scenes from their country’s history, legends, and folk tales, as a basis for their compositions. Nationalism was encouraged by governments in the early 20th century for propaganda purposes in times of war and political tension. Composers of nationalist music include Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak Carl Nielsen, Zoltán Kodály, Aaron Copland, Edward Elgar, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Stephen Foster.
As its name implies, Neo-Classicism was a kind of “new classicism”. It combined musical elements from the Classical Period with the newer trends that were emerging early in the twentieth century. These classical elements included tonal centers, clarity of form, and melodic shape. To these (and many other) classical elements, neo-classicists added such modern flavourings as quirky rhythms, spiky dissonances, and large amounts of chromatics. The neoclassical movement was fairly widespread, with many composers from all over Europe (and the U.S.) contributing to the sub-genre. Some of the more recognized neoclassical composers are Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Aaron Copland, to name only a few. The motivation for neoclassicism was simple: the heavy musical experimentation of the early part of the century left some composers wanting to ‘reconnect’ with musical tradition. They did this, but at the same time held on to musical aspects that they had been developing during the Modern Period. The aim was not to revive old musical idioms but to simply acknowledge tradition. While neoclassicism was a reaction against the chaotic musical period from 1910 to 1920, so too was Arnold Schoenberg’s new twelve-tone method. Both tried to bring control over the previously wild music of the 20th century. The difference is that the twelve-tone method did this by creating an entirely new musical language, while neoclassicism did it by revisiting tried-and-true musical heritage.
A French movement in the late 19th and early 20th cent. It was begun by Debussy in reaction to the dramatic and dynamic emotionalism of romantic music, especially that of Wagner. Reflecting the impressionist schools of French painting and letters, Debussy developed a style in which atmosphere and mood take the place of strong emotion or of the story in program music. He used new chord combinations, whole-tone chords, chromatics, and exotic rhythms and scales. In place of the usual harmonic progression, he developed a style in which chords are valued for their individual sonorities rather than for their relations to one another, and dissonances are unprepared and unresolved. Although conceived in reaction to romanticism, musical impressionism seems today the culmination of romanticism. Its influence was widespread and is evident in the music of Ravel, Dukas, Respighi, Albéniz, de Falla, Delius, C. T. Griffes, and J. A. Carpenter.
Twelve-tone technique or dodecaphony
Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called twelve-tone music. Josef Matthias Hauer also developed a similar system using unordered hexachords, or tropes, at the exact same time and country but with no connection to Schoenberg. Schoenberg himself described the system as a “method of composing with 12 notes which are related only to one another”. Schoenberg invented the twelve-tone techniques, which is a method of composition based on a fixed order of the twelve chromatic tones (Benward, 303). It is a system in which the twelve pitch classes are placed in a specific order, forming a set that then becomes a compositional tool (Sadie, 286). It was developed around 1920 as a means of providing a coherent basis for complete chromatic music. The basic difficulty in composing in the atonal idiom is intelligent control of melodic and harmonic forces. ‘There are ways of harnessing these forces by contrapuntal and harmonic means that are similar to those used in the early development of Western polyphony’ (Marquis, 185). However, these ways are much more complex than the traditional Western polyphony. Therefore, Schoenberg invented the matrix system to help composing.
In music, the minimalist movement was, like minimal art, a reaction against a then-current form, with composers rejecting many of the dry intellectual complexities and the emotional sterility of serial music and other modern forms. Generally, minimalist compositions tend to emphasize simplicity in melodic line and harmonic progression, to stress repetition and rhythmic patterns, and to reduce historical or expressive reference. The use of electronic instruments is common in minimalist music, as are influences from Asia and Africa. Among prominent minimalist composers are Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and John Adams. Musical analysis and listening will also be an important aspect of the course, stimulating debates and encouraging students towards their own creativity.
Please visit the LMFL website for information about languages, general requirements, workload, social life, accommodation and visas.