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Philippa Penkett on Monday Classics

This week on Monday Classics I was joined by local music teacher Philippa Penkett. As well as being a classroom teacher, Philippa is a specialist teacher of singing, piano and theory of music, and has taught all ages at home, in school and in college.

She joined us on Phoenix FM to give her top tips on how to practise effectively, and how to be a good music student.

We were joined in the Phoenix Chatroom by musicians who posed the following questions:

Q: How long each day should I practise for? A: Roughly as long as your weekly lesson. Good advice!

Q: What sort of warm-ups are required before starting practising? A: Slow repetitions of the movements required for playing, but without the instrument there, and some time to focus on what exactly you want to achieve in your practice sesson.

Q: Is it too late to learn a new instrument? A: No, but be realistic about the strength it will take

Q: How do I find a teacher? A: Your local music shop will have a list of music teachers. If you are at school, ask your class music teacher; most schools offer instrumental tuition during the school day.

Q: Is it fair that my parents should have to nag me to practise? A: No, you should not need nagging, music is for fun.

Since we had a young new audience on board, our playlist was a little less classical than usual including the following tracks:

Wax - Bridge to your heart

Shontelle & Akon - Stuck with each other

Gigue from Orchestral Suite no 3 in D - J S Bach

Film Classic - "Ghost" - Maurice Jarre

Fix You - Coldplay

Aurora - Mike Oldfield

Mad - Ne-Yo

** The Phoenix FM Classical Events Guide  **

Tuesday 9th June - Saturday 13th June
Evening performances at 8pm and Saturday matinee at 3pm
The Pirates of Penzance - Gilbert & Sullivan
performed by Shenfield Operatic Society
Brentwood Theatre

Friday 12th June at 12.30pm - 1.15pm
Lunchtime Concert by Beverley Lockyer (soprano), Elizabeth Kent (soprano),
Gary Griffiths (baritone), Jess Bartone (flute), Peter Dollimore (piano).
Chelmsford Cathedral
Refreshments available from 12 Noon.

Saturday 13th June at 7.30pm
Southend Symphony Orchestra at The Savation Army Temple, Hadleigh SS7 2PF
Conductor: Richard Brittain, Violinist: Jeanine Thorpe
Cockaigne Overture - Edward Elgar
Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in G minor - Max Bruch
Symphony no 2 in E minor - Sergey Rachmaninov
Tickets £8 (£7 Concessions, £1 for under 12s) from 01268 755005

Sunday 14th June at 7.00pm
Felsted Choral Society present:
Dixit Dominus - Handel, Matra Pictures - Kodaly, and other items
in the new Barbara Karan Auditorium at Felsted School, Felsted.
Conducted by Roger Lawrence, Leader: Susan Henwood
Tickets £15 to include buffet and wine.
Contact Tony Baker 01371 821621 /

Thursday 18th June
'Singing the Stave' - Blackmore Church
led by Christine Gwynn and Frances Quintrell
'This is a fun and light-hearted day course full of tips, tricks, hints and practice opportunities
to help us sing the page more effectively'
Details from: 

Friday 19th June at 12.30pm - 1.15pm
Lunchtime Concert with Roger Montgomery (guitar) and Ruth Montgomery (flute)
Chelmsford Cathedral
Refreshments available from 12 Noon.

Saturday 20th June
Solo workshop for Singers
led by Christine Gwynn and Anne Fradd
'This very friendly morning workshop gives each participant the opportunity to present two songs
(accompanied by Christine unless you wish to bring your own accompanist) in the lovely acoustic
of Blackmore Church and to receive helpful comments about communication and presentation'
Details from:

Saturday 20th June at 7.30pm
Chelmsford Male Voice Choir
All Saints Church, Terling
Tickets £6 to include a glass of wine, in aid of Church funds

Friday 26th June at 12.30pm - 1.15pm
Helen Woods (Soprano), David Wright (Trumpet), Simon Schultz (piano)
Chelmsford Cathedral
Refreshments from Noon

Friday 26th June at 1pm - 1.45pm
Lunchtime Concert at St Thomas' Church, Brentwood
Katy Elman (marimba/percussion)
Sandwiches and drinks on sale from 12.30pm
Further details: 01277 218121

Saturday 20th June at 7.30pm
Witham Choral Society and Colchester Philharmonic
at St Peter ad vincula - Coggeshall

Saturday 11th July at 7.30pm
Hutton & Shenfield Choral Society
Brentwood Cathedral
Chichester Psalms - Bernstein
Requiem - Durufle

Sunday 12th July
Summer Serenade - Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra
Brentwood Ursuline School

Saturday 18th July at 7.45pm
'An evening of Romantic Music' the Billericay Choral Society
United Reformed Church, Chapel Street, Billericay
'Come along and feel the glow of romance with us'...

Sunday 20th September at 3.00pm
Benjamin Grosvenor in Concert at Brentwood Theatre

Kapustin 3 Concert Studies Opus 40
Liszt Sonata in B Minor
Chopin Berceuse
Chopin Scherzo Opus 39
Chopin Nocturne C Sharp Minor
Ravel Ondine
Ravel La Valse

Tickets are priced at £15 (£12 concessions) with children 16 and under just £5
Further details, booking at


The Phoenix FM Classical Young Musician of 2009
Entries online from May 1st from the home page of





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