Meet Danusia

Originally from Katowice, Poland, Danusia began playing the violin at an early
age. While at school she joined the Children’s Orchestra and toured Germany
and Poland, receiving the President prize for young musicians.
Danusia’s passion for music took her to Germany to study in Music Hochschule
in Luebeck, and more recently to London, where she studied under world-
renowned musician Rivka Golani at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music &
Dance. During her studies, she won Herbert Lumby Viola Competition and
graduated with two performance degrees and an Artist Diploma.
Danusia has a diverse performance portfolio, from solo recitals to chamber and
orchestral ensembles, encompassing Baroque to the present day. She enjoys
performing a wide variety of styles and venues, having recorded for BBC Radio
and appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in addition to performing electronic
music with a DJ and traditional Gaelic music in various venues across Ireland.
She is committed to the ongoing development of her studies, and has taken
part in numerous masterclasses throughout Europe working with the leaders
of many major orchestras.
In addition to a busy performing career, Danusia is in high demand as a
teacher. She trained with Geza Szilvay in the Kodaly-based ‘Colourstrings’
method and has experience of both the Suzuki Method, and delivering
community projects through her work with London Music Masters. Her violin
and viola students frequently achieve top marks for grades 1-8, and have gone
on to receive major music scholarships and gain places in the National
Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.
Danusia enjoys working with adult amateur viola and violin players. She has
been teaching in East London Late Starters Orchestra since 2014, where she
has been arranging music and conducting various string ensembles. She also
worked at the Mary Ward Centre, coaching a number of chamber music
groups.
Danusia is passionate about the Kodály method. To further her knowledge she
travelled the world from Canada to Australia, researching best practice and
gaining huge inspiration for her own work. She has held Musicianship teaching
positions in the Junior departments of Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the
Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and currently is a Kodály Specialist in
Manorfield Primary School teaching children age 4-11.

Danusia was appointed Music Director for South London Sinfonia in April 2019.
She began conducting during her undergraduate studies, and has since studied
choral conducting with Kodály method specialists – Katalin Körtvés, Dr. László
Norbert Nemes, and orchestral conducting with Peter Stark and Andrew
Morley, as well as taking part in numerous international masterclasses.

Teaching

Which subject do you teach?

I teach violin, viola and Kodály musicianship, I prepare students for ABRSM and Trinity Board exams.

I help my students develop their technique and give clear advice on how to improve tone production and intonation. I give easy to follow instructions and exercises on how to practice and work on the technical aspects of playing. I introduce music theory and aural training during my lessons and keep students motivated with a wide variety of repertoire.

Which ages and levels do you teach?

I teach children and adults from the beginner to advanced level.

Tell me about your qualifications.

Artist Diploma, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (2013-2015)

Masters of Music at Trinity College of Music, London (2010 – 2013)
Bachelor of Music (Hons) at Trinity College of Music, London (2007 – 2010)
Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland 2004 – 2007

Additional qualifications:

– Kodály Methodology Primary and Secondary with Sound Thinking Australia (2018)

– Certificate in Kodály Methodology Level III (2017) University of Alberta, Canada
– Certificate in Kodály Methodology with BKA (2014-15)
– Colourstrings Teacher training (2014 – 2015), Kindergarten Teacher training (2016)
– Training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics (2011- 12)
– Kodály Musicianship (2013-15) with David and Yuko Vinden

There is also an option of music lessons in Polish. / Prowadzę również lekcje w języku polskim.

What is Kodály?

Kodály Method is an approach to music education with child’s (student’s) needs at its center. The sequence of lessons uses tools and methods linked closely with child’s natural development, its abilities at various stages of growth. Kodály inspired a method that can be applied to a number of educational settings, from nurseries to music colleges and from beginners to professional musicians.

How is it different from other methods?

Kodály method uses a number of tools that allow students to understand the music and experience it before learning it academically with ‘pen and paper’.

Students use solfa names and hand signs to represent pitch, rhythm names to learn about beat and rhythm, different games to internalize the new material before giving it a name and writing it down and movable DO. In movable DO system, the tonic note of a scale is called DO in a major key and LA in a minor key. Use of solfa underpins interval relations between notes within a scale as well as harmonic relations between degrees of a scale. ‘Kodály first saw this system of “movable-do” solfa when he visited England and observed choral training there. The method he saw in use was essentially the one developed by Sarah Glover and later refined by John Curwen in the nineteenth century’ (Choksy, L. The Kodály Method).

How do you incorporate Kodály musicianship working with your violin students?

My students sing during instrumental lessons. Depending on what needs developing in each individual case, we might use more rhythm names and games, solfa singing and/or musical analysis. There is time for two-part work, when they learn to ‘hear’ what the piano is playing. My work on sight-reading is Kodály based as well as aural part of the ABRSM exam. Working in this way develops a rounded musician.

I use Kodály elements when working with string orchestra, helping players find better sound, better ensemble playing and solve rhythmic issues.

What kind of experience do you have?

I started teaching in 2010. I got experience working with the Suzuki Method and group teaching thanks to my work for London Music Masters (since 2013). My students took part in performances in Royal Festival Hall, composition projects, took ABRSM Music Medals exams, as well as grades 1-5 exams.

My specialist music teaching started in Junior Trinity where I taught Kodály musicianship. Since 2014 I worked in North London Conservatoire working with children as young as 5 using Colourstrings method. My violin and viola students took ABRSM and Trinity Board exams (grades 5-8), took part in numerous performances and won auditions to National Children’s Orchestra.

As Kodály specialist I teach in Junior Guildhall where I work with students on Brass Training Program and in Manorfield Primary – where I teach whole class musicianship, lead assemblies and a choir. I work as Kodály specialist for London Music Masters preparing Reception and Year 1 children for starting instrumental tuition based in Suzuki method using my original program merging both methods.
I work as a viola tutor for East London Late Starters Orchestra (since 2014), where I conduct a string orchestra, arrange music for various ensembles and work with adult learners. I coached chamber music at Mary Ward Centre, where I worked with adult music amateurs and taught adult players privately.

Where and with whom did you train?

I studied in Poland, in Germany (Musik Hochschule in Luebeck) with Naomi Seiler and at Trinity College of Music in London with Rivka Golani – recognized as one of the greatest violists and musicians of modern times. I was Ms Golani’s assistant for a period of time – I worked with younger students helping with technique and repertoire preparation.

I took part in masterclasses around Europe (Sweden, Hungary, Germany and Poland) and trained with leaders of major orchestras (A. Zemtsov – London Philharmonic Orchestra, W. Strehle – Berliner Philharmoniker) and other distinguished musicians.

My teacher training started with Dalcroze Eurhythmics in London, with Karin Greenhead and Jacqueline Vann, that led to further study (3 years of weekly classes) of Kodály musicianship with David and Yuko Vinden. David introduced me to Colourstrings method and I took part in Colourstrings symposiums with Géza and Csaba Szilvay in Hungary and UK.

Colourstrings teaching inspired me to pursue Colourstrings Kindergarten training, organized by NYCoS in Scotland (2016), where I met Dr James Cuskelly. Dr Cuskelly’s teaching, musicianship and ways of working with Kodály principles changed the way I teach music and think about teaching. Working with him motivated me to continue training in Kodály methodology, musicianship and conducting.

Do you have a personal message for students?

I believe everyone is musical and we are all able to learn how to play.
Using the exercises I recommend you can build a good violin technique that will give you confidence to play the instrument in a way you never thought you could.

(…)Danusia is an amazing teacher. She is able to examine how you play, diagnose the problems and give solutions. (…) She is able to give pragmatic solutions to issues in order to play with a full sound and beautiful tone, which is something I thought I would never be able to do.(…)

John Hempsey

(…)Danusia knows how to take the worse player and motivate them to get real results. Her classes are full of fun and laughter with a drive to get the best from the student. I’ve been through 4 teachers and she has definitely been the most thorough and fun to work with.(…)

Allison Shanlay

(…) Danusia is gifted when it comes to problem solving. When she highlights a problem, she would provide a unique method of exercising (solutions) so that you won’t waste hours practising and repeating the same errors. (…)

Phoebe

(…) Danusia’s first visit to our home for an assessment of my disheartened son and his instrument was both sensitive and knowing. Naturally cheerful with an infectious can-do attitude, she captivated him. (…)

Student’s Mom

Gallery

Recordings

Bach Prelude from Cello Suite no 1
Bridge - Lament for Two Violas - with Elin Parry
Kurtág – Signs, Games and Messages - Doloroso
Kurtág – Signs, Games and Messages - Jalek l

Performances

2011

20th January – London Arts Orchestra (St. Cyprian’s Church)
28th January – WREN Ensemble (Charlton House)
1st February – Baroque Orchestra (St. Alfege Church)
4th February – WREN Ensemble (Regent Hall)
8th February – WREN Ensemble (Old Royal Naval College – Chapel)
14th March – Baroque Orchestra (St. George’s Church, Hanover Square)
25th March – Viola Ensemble (Trinity College)

2012

20th January – Blackheath Halls Recital
Danuta Adamska, Viola and Michael Hampton, Piano
Schubert Arpeggione in A minor, D.821
Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 (excerpts)

2nd February – London Arts Orchestra

9th February – Contemporary Music Group concert in Blackheath Halls

3rd March –  Contemporary Music Group at Royal Festival Hall
Heiner Goebbels ‘In the Country of Last Things’, Runswick Competition Winner’s Composition

24th March – St. Mary’s Church, Causeway, Horsham, Horsham Chamber Choir

2013

15th March – Old Royal Naval College Chapel

Danuta Adamska, Viola and Michael Hampton, Piano

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Ernest Bloch (1880 – 1959
Suite Hebraique
Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963)
Sonata for viola and piano Op. 11 No. 4

11th April – St Alfege

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)
Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009
Ernest Bloch (1880 – 1959)
Suite Hebraique
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Sonata for Viola and Piano in E flat Major, Op.120, No.2

22nd November – Old Royal Naval Chapel

Danuta Adamska, Viola and Michael Hampton, Piano

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Sonata No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 120

2014

25th June – Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra at Cadogan Hall

31st October – St James’s Piccadilly

Britten ( 1913 – 1976)

Lachrymae : Reflections on a Song of Dowland for viola and piano, Op.43

Prokofiev (1891 – 1953)
Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 (arr. V. Borisovsky)

Enescu (1881 – 1955)

Konzertstück for Viola and Piano

2015

1st May – Side by Side at Blackheath Halls

Strauss – Tod und Verklärung, Don Juan

4th May – Polish Club, Kensington

Bridge – Lament for two violas – with Elin Sian Perry

Martinů – Three Madrigals for Violin & Viola, H. 313 – with Gosia Kuznicki

Enescu – Konzertstuck with Irina Lyakhovskaya

Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet (excerpts) with Irina Lyakhovskaya

Repertoire

Solo Viola

Bach – Suite for Violoncello Solo, transcription for Viola – No 1, No 2, No 3, No 4, No 5 BWV 1007 – 1011

Reger – Suite No 3, Op. 131d

Penderecki –Cadenza

Kurtág – Signs, Games and Messages

 

Viola Concertos

Casadesus – Viola Concerto in the Style of Handel

Forsyth – Viola Concerto in G minor

Hoffmeister – Viola Concerto in D major

Martinu – Rhapsody Concerto

Stamitz, Carl – Viola Concerto in D major, Op.1

Walton – Viola Concerto

Viola and Piano

Bach – Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Clavier, BWV 1027

Bloch – Suite Hebraique for Viola and Orchestra

Brahms – 2 Viola Sonatas, Op. 120

Britten – ‘Lachrymae’ – Reflections on a Song of Dowland for Viola and Strings Op. 48a (1976)

Enescu – Concertstück for Viola and Piano

Franck – Sonata for Violin, transcription for Viola

Hindemith – Sonata in F major, Op. 11 No. 4

Hummel – Fantasie/Potpourri, Op. 94

Prokofiev/Borisovsky – Romeo and Juliet (exerpts)

Schubert – ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata

Schumann – Märchenbilder, Op. 113

Weber – Andante and Rondo Ungarese

Chamber Music

Bridge – Lament for Two Violas

Telemann – Concerto for Two Violas and Orchestra

Slapin, Scott – Capricious for Three Violas

Debussy – Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

Martinu – Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola

Mozart – Two Duos for Violin and Viola

Ginastera –String Quartet, No 1

Villa Lobos – String Quartet, No 1

Brahms – Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Hindemith – Clarinet Quintet

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