Building Foundations: Exploring the Physicality and Psychology of Playing

28 March – 18 April 2021

Following the enormous success of the three Virtual Sessions in 2020, the Benedetti Foundation presents a new Virtual Sessions – Building Foundations: Exploring the Physicality and Psychology of Playing. Running from 28 March – 18 April the Sessions will help participants to address their physical and psychological foundations and the majority are open to players of any instrument. The sessions are intended to complement participants’ individual lessons or group tuition.

What general state does the body have to be in, in order to play with ease, and experience healthy development? Why play in the first place? And what mindset is needed in order to experience deeper joy? Intention, thought, confidence, openness, and individuality are all intrinsic to developing playing. How to stand, how to breathe, focus and comfort, are all important questions. There is no one way to play, one way to make music, one interpretation, or one methodology or pedagogy. With the help of the Foundation’s team of phenomenal tutors, these sessions strive to ignite curiosity and understanding of participants playing through exploring physical and psychological challenges.

Nicola Benedetti commented, ‘These sessions are intended to complement your individual lessons or group tuition and allow you to take time to focus together on ‘why we do the things we do’ in our playing. Through a series of daily challenges, all carefully designed to be quickly and easily grasped, we will work with participants of all ages and stages to support improvement and understanding of technique by breaking concepts down into a number of smaller categories. If you have not or do not address your entire physical and mental state, it is very very difficult to improve despite your dedication and efforts. We really hope that together in these sessions we can inspire collective development in our physical and mental approach to playing.’

Open to all Instruments

There will be live sessions, improvisation sessions, wellbeing sessions and daily challenges available for any instrument. Participants can join in as often as they want, and each live session will be repeated each day to allow those in different time zones to attend live.

  • Short daily challenges: hosted on the Benedetti Foundation website, the challenges will explore physicality, mindset, instrumental technique, imagination, creativity and communication.
  • Live Practice Sessions: join the Foundation’s Lead Ambassadors on zoom to practise.
  • Live Improvisation Sessions: hosted by guest artists on zoom on Thursday, these sessions will explore technique and creativity through improvising.
  • Live Wellbeing Sessions: weekly wellbeing sessions with the Foundation’s partners Intermission – Elena Urioste and Melissa White.
  • Motivational Monday & Fundamental Friday: Nicola Benedetti is joined by guest artists to discuss motivation, maintaining sustainable focus, and developing fundamentals no matter what stage you are at. These sessions will be pre-recorded and released on Monday and Friday of weeks 2 and 3 of the sessions.

Open to String Players

Live weekend tutorials

  • Hosted by the Foundation’s tutors and guest artists on zoom, these sessions will focus on string technique at all levels with some of the world’s greatest musicians and educators.
  • The sessions will follow on from the weekly challenge videos and look in greater depth at instrument specific technique, as well as exploring the fundamental principles of playing string instruments.
  • How to choose the right level:
  • Introductory – ideal for those who have only just begun to play to approximately grade 1.
  • Beginners – working around grade 2-3
  • Intermediates – working around grade 4-6
  • Advanced – working around grade 7-8+
  • Professional – students studying at conservatoire or university, professional players, non-professional players and young people (recommended age 15+) working at or beyond Diploma level.

Final Celebration: 25 April

  • On Sunday 25 April all participants will be invited to join together for a live session with the Foundation’s ambassadors, tutors and special guests.
  • The sessions will finish with the premiere of a short film sharing the physical and psychological journey participants have gone through, as well as hearing from guest artists, tutors and ambassadors.

How to get involved

  • Sign up at here to join in.
  • The Sessions will be free but with a recommended donation of £20 – 30 per person. Please give what you can, and no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.
  • All of the Foundation’s online work is made as accessible as possible, with many of its resources available to all free of charge.
  • The Benedetti Foundation relies solely on donations to carry out its work and we are very grateful to anyone who is in a position to make an additional donation towards the cost of the workshops.
  • Join in on social media using the hashtags #benedettisessions #virtualsessions
  • The Virtual Sessions will all be delivered in English.

Images & Video

  • Images from the physical Benedetti Sessions can be downloaded here
  • Images from the first Virtual Sessions can be downloaded here
  • Watch a trailer for the Virtual Sessions here

For further press information please contact:

Rebecca Driver Media Relations

Tel: +44 (0)7989 355446 | Email: |

Notes to Editors

Detailed schedule: Sunday 28 March to Sunday 18 April

Each session is repeated in order to enable people across the world to join in live and all times shown are UK. 

Sunday 28 March: meet up for all participants on zoom

  • Under 18s: 1 – 2pm
  • Over 18s: 2.30 – 3.30pm

Young People – under 18

Live Practice Sessions from Tuesday 30 March open to all instruments (20 minutes each)

  • Introductory & Beginner: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am & 5pm
  • Intermediate & Advanced: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am & 6pm

Live weekend tutorials from Saturday 3 April open to all string players

  • Introductory & Beginner: Saturday from 4 – 4.30pm & Sunday at 10 – 10.30am
  • Intermediate: Saturday from 5 – 5.45pm & Sunday from 11 – 11.45am
  • Advanced: Saturday from 6 – 6.45pm & Sunday from 12 – 12.45am

Live Improvisation Sessions from Thursday 1 April open to all instruments (30 minutes each)

  • All levels: Thursday at 10am & 6pm


Live Practice Sessions Monday 5 April open to all instruments (30 minutes each)

  • Introductory & Beginner: Monday at 11am & 7.30pm
  • Intermediate & Advanced: Monday at 12pm & 8.15pm

Live tutorials from 31 March open to all string players (45 minutes each)

  • Up to intermediate: Wednesday at 1pm & 6pm
  • Advanced: should join the professional level sessions

Live Improvisation Sessions from Thursday 1 April open to all instruments (30 minutes each)

  • Live stream with young people: Thursday at 10am & 6pm
  • Advanced players live session: Thursday at 11am & 7pm

Professional: Students, Teachers and Adults

Live Practice Sessions from Tuesday 30 March open to all instruments (30 minutes each)

  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am & 7pm

Live weekend tutorials from Saturday 3 April open to all string players (60 minutes each)

  • Saturday at 7pm & Sunday at 1pm

Live Improvisation Sessions from Thursday 1 April open to all instruments (30 minutes each)

  • Thursday at 11am & 7pm

About the Benedetti Foundation

  • The Benedetti Foundation puts on transformative orchestra and musicianship-based workshops for young people, students, teachers and adults that showcase what music education at its best can look and feel like.
  • The Benedetti Foundation unites those who believe music is integral to a great education, and inspires collective action targeted at increasing its reach and quality.
  • The Foundation does this through uncovering and sharing its best practices and celebrating its greatest advocates, whilst loudly demonstrating a reenergised vision for the future
  • 50% of the activity carried out by the organisation is for teachers. Teaching music well is an enormous responsibility and is hugely challenging.
  • The Benedetti Foundation is fiercely committed to providing meaningful support, extensive information and a sense of uplift, inspiration and respite to as many teachers as possible as well as to promoting music education practices which encourage both musical and civic betterment.
  • The first three workshops took place in Glasgow (3 – 6 January), London (10 – 12 January) and Dundee (6 – 8 March). Across the three weekends, the Benedetti Foundation reached just over 3,000 young people and teachers. Participants attended from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland stretching from Shetland to the Isle of Wight with 86% of attendees state educated.
  • The first Virtual Benedetti Sessions took place in lockdown in May 2020 and provided musicians of all ages and stages, from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent online tutorials and inspirational workshops. Over 7,000 participants ages 2 – 92 from 66 countries prepared collectively for a final weekend of activity on 30 & 31 May 2020, celebrating the coming together of the global music community.
  • Since July, the Foundation has been running Mini Sessions presenting short, focused workshops designed to provide in depth and detailed exploration on a wide variety of topics.
  • Since its launch in January 2020, the Foundation has met with over 20,000 participants from 81 countries.
  • The Benedetti Foundation is a registered charity. It receives no government money and is currently funded through generous philanthropy, corporate sponsorship, trusts and foundations.