music-making for children and adults with additional needs

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About us

Special Virtuosi (SV) is a music group for children and adults with additional needs. Founded in 2006, the SV staff are made up of musicians and teachers who support the students on a one-to-one basis. The group sessions are held weekly at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Our SV Orchestra is an inclusive group allowing those who have no prior experience to gain the benefit that playing music in a group brings. Making music at SV is a fun experience and alongside this we incorporate creative musicianship through a variety of games, composition skills and singing. 

Our students gain an understanding of music as an international art form and a way of sharing and engaging with the people and world around them. The first half of each session takes the form of a creative workshop developing cross-arts projects based on a new theme for each term. Composition, improvisation, poetry, drawing, singing, dancing, script-writing and puppet-making have all been covered in these sessions. The second part of the session takes the form of a traditional orchestral rehearsal where the students are supported one-to-one by volunteers and professional musicians of the highest standard.

To celebrate and showcase the student’s achievements, a public concert is held at the end of each term. The SV Orchestra performs alongside solo performances from the students, all performing a variety of musical genres. In addition to our termly concerts, members of SV have performed at a number of external events, such as: Didsbury Arts Festival 2015, Chorlton Arts Festival 2016 and Rhinegold Music & Drama Education Expo, London Olympia 2017.

We are all aware of the essential life skills that can be learned by working regularly with the arts. Music is a language understood by everyone and can help children and adults to develop communication and interpersonal skills, coordination and discipline, as well as being a great source of fun! We believe it is vital that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to engage with music.

We look forward to the possibility of sharing our work with you in the future, get in touch via our contact page.

 
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SV is the highlight of our week!

"'It is wonderful to see Luke and his fellow students get so much satisfaction from playing both their solo pieces and together as an orchestra. To see the pride and joy on their faces makes all the hard work worthwhile and to see them constantly achieving and wowing their audiences is heart-warming."

— Clare, Special Virtuosi parent

Meet the Tutors

We are endebted to a dedicated team of tutors, all of whom work for SV on a voluntary basis. Their collective biographies feature professional work for the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, the Halle, RLPO, RNS as well as peripatetic and classroom music teaching. We have qualified teachers, band-leaders, composers, all sharing their skills in the weekly sessions.

 
  Noriko Tsuzaki, Director   Noriko's undergraduate studies took place at the University of Manchester where she studied the violin with Leland Chen and gained her MusB (Hons). She continued her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music studying violin with Thomas Kemp and achieving a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and an MPhil in Performance. Noriko is passionate about teaching and currently teaches violin and piano at schools including Tudor Hall, Sibford and The Elms. She is also a tutor for the English Symphony Orchestra Children’s Orchestras which she helps organise the courses and coaches young musicians aged six to eighteen on courses during school holidays. Noriko plays with various orchestras around the country and is a member of the Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra.

Noriko Tsuzaki, Director

Noriko's undergraduate studies took place at the University of Manchester where she studied the violin with Leland Chen and gained her MusB (Hons). She continued her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music studying violin with Thomas Kemp and achieving a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and an MPhil in Performance. Noriko is passionate about teaching and currently teaches violin and piano at schools including Tudor Hall, Sibford and The Elms. She is also a tutor for the English Symphony Orchestra Children’s Orchestras which she helps organise the courses and coaches young musicians aged six to eighteen on courses during school holidays. Noriko plays with various orchestras around the country and is a member of the Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra.

  Kate Valentine, Assistant Director   Kate completed her undergraduate studies at The Royal Welsh College of Music of Drama. She has since built a successful career as a music teacher across the North West, both teaching in schools and providing private music tuition. She currently works as a music tutor with Trafford Music Service and as a peripatetic tutor at Alderley Edge School for Girls. She is an experienced children’s choir leader and has trained choirs in both church and school settings. She is passionate about providing inspiring musical opportunities and believes all children should have access to a full and rounded music education.

Kate Valentine, Assistant Director

Kate completed her undergraduate studies at The Royal Welsh College of Music of Drama. She has since built a successful career as a music teacher across the North West, both teaching in schools and providing private music tuition. She currently works as a music tutor with Trafford Music Service and as a peripatetic tutor at Alderley Edge School for Girls. She is an experienced children’s choir leader and has trained choirs in both church and school settings. She is passionate about providing inspiring musical opportunities and believes all children should have access to a full and rounded music education.

  Gemma Bass, Project Leader   Gemma grew up in Loughborough and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester. From there she went on to spend two years at the Royal Northern College of Music learning with Ben Holland, graduating with Distinction in 2009. Gemma is now a member of Manchester Camerata, the BBC Philharmonic and the Vonnegut Collective. Also interested in the use of music as a therapeutic and educative tool, she regularly leads and assists on education and outreach projects for organisations such as Special Virtuosi, BlueSci and as part of her job with the Camerata.

Gemma Bass, Project Leader

Gemma grew up in Loughborough and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester. From there she went on to spend two years at the Royal Northern College of Music learning with Ben Holland, graduating with Distinction in 2009. Gemma is now a member of Manchester Camerata, the BBC Philharmonic and the Vonnegut Collective. Also interested in the use of music as a therapeutic and educative tool, she regularly leads and assists on education and outreach projects for organisations such as Special Virtuosi, BlueSci and as part of her job with the Camerata.


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