magdalen farm


feedback from our 2017 course

We always like to hear from parents and participants after each course . . . 

Thank you so much for what was, as always, an incredible week at Magdalen Farm Strings. Fiona's second year conducting was even better than her first, with really enjoyable (and challenging) pieces being played in both senior and full orchestra as well as the chamber groups. Lucinda's Dalcroze sessions were, of course, brilliant and it was great to be able to finally perform all ten of Colin Matthews' pig songs in choir. Magdalen is always the highlight of the Easter holidays and it consistently manages to get better every time- I already can't wait to come back next year.   Patrick

Imogen has had a thoroughly wonderful time at magdalen strings. Upon collection it was hard to believe it had been her first year! She enjoyed every aspect of the course - orchestra, chamber, dance, choir as well as ALL the extra curricular on and around the farm! The house mothers were fabulous, wonderful accommodation and food too! When asked if she had contact details for the friends she had made, she simply said she will see them all again next year!   From my side too, You gave me great confidence in the fact that Imogen would be fine during her first stay away from home without friends.   

Regarding the piggy songs Imogen says "I loved the pig songs - it was great fun singing in the choir" And I personally loved the pig songs - we have had several years of keeping pigs - both old spots and Saddlebacks - so the songs had great resonance re characteristics etc. Again a huge thank you to you, Fiona, Lucinda and Polly - and of course Bonnie and Alma. We look forward to receiving the dates for next year.  Amy, Imogen and family

Thank you so much Colin for all your pig songs.  I really enjoyed them and I found singing them hilarious.  Very farmish and fun to sing.  Rudyard

It was very exciting to have the complete set of pig songs to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Magdalen Farm Strings, and amazing to be part of the world debut performance of the set! 

The piano parts for the pig songs were really fun - although challenging! I was thrilled to perform them, especially at Magdalen Farm because it was the perfect setting.  Alma 

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for once again giving Helena and Laria an outstanding 5 days at Magdalen Farm Strings. They were both so inspired and enthused and drawn in wholeheartedly by the mix of friendship, chamber music, orchestra choir and fun in the afternoons.  in the car in way back " I am so inspired" said Helena . I really cannot tell you how much I appreciate the part this course has played in their love of music. I know of a few other families who send their children off on music courses ( some quite competitive ) but I have never come across this level of enthusiasm and wholesome enjoyment of music which I strongly believe is a model for the part music plays in enriching life , whatever form life takes. We have so little on our doorstep in west Devon so yes, MFS is  invaluable.

The other thing I completely failed to say after the concert was how impressed I was with YOUR three -Alma's piano accompaniment of the choir was particularly impressive and she is also a very lovely viola player . She and Bonnie together bring such a special atmosphere to the course with their encouragement and enthusiasm and lovely natures. Helena looks up to Poppy and has always been inspired by her violin playing , and she really has come on so much over the last few years, making a beautiful sound and tackling some tricky music extremely well.

Did I tell you that Helena is seriously thinking of starting the viola -I am considering getting hold of another violin and stringing it as a viola and seeing what she thinks. Summer challenge to learn the alto clef!    Susanna, mother of Helena and Laria

Violin Camp was a very enjoyable experience which took me beyond my musical knowledge.  With friendly teachers and children, great food and activities, a high standard of music, choir and a range of different instruments, completed my week with a fine flourish. My favourite pieces of music were:  Rondeo from Ablazer and The Lion King.  The junior orchestra compositions were great too - Blow away the Morning Dew and Shepherds Hey.  As I saw the Seniors, I was so inspired and knew never to give up. Dalcroze with Lucinda showed me the beat of the music and the bar time.  The Young Man from Mexico was a fun song and the statues with the scarves let me show the phrases of the piano piece Lucinda was playing at the time. Choir - Macavity the Mystery Car really was mysterious and Colin Matthews '10 Pig Songs' really made it wonderful.   The pig songs were fantastical and imaginative, definitely making the show special.   Ethel

I liked the Wessex Saddleback because of the 'British Pigs in British Mud' part.  I really enjoyed the Pig Songs.  Thank you for a lovely week.  Rory

Thank you so much for another great week.  I really enjoyed the whole week, and I think my playing really improved again because of it.  I think that this year was even better than last year because I felt more confident, seeing as I knew everyone a little bit better.   The food this year was (again) delicious all the time:  I'm sure I eat too much when I go to Magdalen because I can't refuse it. I'm not a hugely confident player when it comes to not being in a large group, so playing in the chamber groups really helped me feel more confident, as I realised that I can play the music, and worked well with my group.   I also love the afternoon and evening activities: they mean that we don't over practise, and they're really fun.  The balance between being out on the farm and playing music is perfect:  I wasn't bored once.  Thank you again for a brilliant week and I hope I'll see you again next year.  Mabel

Thank you so much for organizing Magdalen.  I really enjoyed it.   I especially liked the chamber music.  It was really fun seeing everybody and I can't wait for next year.  Celeste

Thank you  so much for such an amazing week at Magdalen.   It was probably my favourite on to date.  I really like the afternoon activities.  It was really sad saying goodbye to everyone and I can't wait till next year.  Harlan