Teacher of viola and violin
Orchestral section leader
Teaching references from students
Robin Ireland possesses a unique understanding, both physical and spiritual, of the role of the pupil. I have been fortunate enough to have been taught by a number of distinguished teachers, but Robin is the one for whom I have been able to play at my best, without self-consciousness or trepidation. His approach is warm and empathetic, yet his attention to detail is meticulous. He offers a penetrating analysis of technical problems, together with practical solutions which work. His musicianship and breadth of knowledge of the string repertoire speak for themselves. It has been a privilege to be his pupil.
I think another penny dropped for me yesterday – the bit about hand shape, shape preparation and finger readiness. Lots to work on again! What never fails to amaze me is your skill and ability to have all of the pennies lined up ready to drop, so that as soon as the brain and the techniques are ready, there they are in line, without it feeling pernickety, over critical or too demanding. It really feels that you hit the spot every time. So thank you again.
Chamber music coaching session
Robin is an outstanding tutor. It was a thoroughly absorbing session: the range and depth of Robin's musical knowledge and ideas are amazing! We had prepared our piece carefully and diligently, I thought, and I felt that we had really got to grips with Elgar's intentions - but Robin's insights took it into a whole new dimension; I thought we were pretty good to start with, but by the end of the hour we were ten times better, and have gone away as a quartet (or rather, quintet on this occasion) with a whole new range of concepts and musical ideas to explore and also to apply to other works in the future. On an individual basis, he also gave invaluable advice on technique to all instruments, which helped improve the musicality of our performance, and gave tips to help us improve individually.
Viola Workshop comments
An excellent weekend which achieved the right balance between playing, tuition and listening. Robin is an ideal leader for such an event - inspired and inspiring teacher as well as performer.
A marvellous weekend. I learnt such a lot - about rests and arm movements and building up phrases. Learnt in every session.
A thoroughly worthwhile day. Robin has the skill of encouraging without making any criticisms personal.
The recital had us all spell-bound - such wonderful viola playing is an inspiration to us all.
Taken from viola workshop participants' feedback forms