About us

Cherwell Chamber Music helps adult string players make the transition from playing on their own to making music in an ensemble.

Some adults played string instruments at school, and then decide to return to them after a long gap.

Others start playing as adults with no previous musical experience.

Most people who take up an instrument are attracted by the idea of  making beautiful music, and the necessary hours of individual practice can seem dauntingly far from this dream!

However, it is not only possible, but also desirable, to start acquiring the necessary skills for ensemble playing while still in the early stages of learning the instrument. That way you can start experiencing the real joy of music making right away.

Cherwell Chamber Music offers various opportunities for learning these skills in ensembles ranging in size from duos, trios and quartets up to a small string orchestra.

Abingdon Strings

Playing with ease

Alexander Technique
Body awareness leading to fluidity in movement is one of the most important issues when learning a string instrument. As musicians we sometimes forget that we are also highly trained athletes of the small muscles involved in playing!
However, we really need the rest of our body – large muscle groups, bones, and breath, to support and keep us in balance well, in order for our playing to become more easeful. When this happens we can truly embody the music we play rather than just physically survive the effort!
Alexander Technique helps people become aware of over-tension, and find ways to release into greater freedom. Having a correct internal representation of how we are constructed (a ‘body map’) is really helpful in this respect. 
Individual lessons in Alexander Technique are also available (visit aneasierwaytobe.com

Marion Crombie

Cherwell Chamber Music is run by Marion Crombie, violin and viola player and teacher.

Marion trained on the viola at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium in Dusseldorf, and at the Royal College of Music in London. She has been teaching since 1972, combining this with playing in various orchestras and chamber ensembles and raising three children. She combines freelance playing with teaching both in the UK and in the US. She loves teaching adult beginners, either individually or in groups. She also loves to help people understand and enjoy music theory by relating it to the music they are playing.

One of her passions is to introduce students to the joy of playing in groups, and this led to the co-founding of Navarro River String Camp, which has been running in the US since 2004.

Marion is also a teacher of the Alexander Technique, a technique that is widely used by musicians who are looking for greater ease and fluency in their playing.

Marion Crombie