The String Players' Workshop


This is a practical class open to string players of all levels, in which string technique, repertoire, ensemble playing and interpretation will all be explored. All students will receive guidance on their playing through regular opportunities to play in the workshops sessions of each class.

Programme details

Course content will be partly determined by the ability range of the students who enrol but will include the following topics: • Bow control • Bowing choice • Intonation • Choosing fingering • Phrasing • Posture • Co-ordination • Productive use of practice time • Playing in an ensemble • Managing ‘Stage fright’ • Blend and balance • Selecting repertoire • Awareness of historical performance practice

Digital Certification

To complete the course and receive a certificate, you will be required to attend at least 80% of the classes on the course and pass your final assignment. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course Fee £257.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Peter Copley


Peter Copley D.Phil, MA, B.mus is a composer, cellist and pianist. He is a visiting lecturer at OUDCE, the University of Sussex and for the Open University, where he has been a Research Associate for the music faculty.

Course aims

To give string players of all levels from beginner to advanced the chance to improve their performing and interpretative skills both in solo and ensemble work in a non-threatening environment.

Course Objectives:

  • To give a basic understanding of string technique.
  • To enable a more informed selection of repertoire.
  • To gain experience in ensemble playing in conjunction with regular coaching.
  • To raise awareness of issues regarding interpretation.

Teaching methods

A mixture of lecture and workshop. The tutor will outline technical topics with both live and recorded demonstrations and then students will come out and try the techniques described. Repertoire will be demonstrated either by the use of audio tracks, or with live performance. Students will also play short pieces or extracts from pieces to the class and work on these with the tutor. Students will also be asked to play in ensemble of various make-ups and sizes. The nature of these will be determined by the numbers and ability range of the students who enrol but there will certainly be ensemble work for chamber type combinations (duo / trio / quartet etc.). If practicable, the whole group will also play together as a string orchestra.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • identify the main composers of music for stringed instruments of each period;
  • select appropriate repertoire for their instrument and be able to explain their choice;
  • select appropriate bowing / fingering for their piece, where appropriate and be able to explain their choice;
  • identify the source of technical problems;
  • resolve technical problems by generating exercises based on the musical passage in question; 
  • discuss the issues affecting the interpretation of string music from different periods.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be through students' performance in class and / or a formal essay. Since this class is for all standards of string player, the assessment of their performance will be very much based upon their progress rather than their absolute standard and, particularly, upon the degree to which they have absorbed the practice techniques studied during the course. Those students who have been observers rather than active participants may still be assessed for credit if they submit a piece of writing discussing one or more of the topics covered in the classes – this will take the form of an essay, which should draw on published source material as well as observations of the sessions.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)