Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

The Journey: Exploring Music Education November 18, 2010

I particularly enjoyed developing the FUNomusica Family Concerts as part of my job working for a professional orchestra.  This prompted me to want to learn more about the role of music education within the music industry whether it is in schools, orchestras or part of outreach projects. I wanted to discover what opportunities there were to enter into this field, looking at the role of the music teacher, animateur and administrator.

I volunteered on a number music outreach projects as well as shadowing music practioneers which came to a total of 9 days work experience:

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Why Hannah Conway’s approach is musical magic July 17, 2010

Filed under: 1B: research — concerttuning @ 9:16 pm
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After being blown away by her performance at Spitalfields Schools concert, I got in touch with Hannah Conway to find out more about her approach.

I thought the concert was so original that she developed the techniques, but in fact I was reminded that arts outreach and education has been going on for the last 20 years so there is a history of practitioners behind it.

I questioned her technique and Hannah explained she chooses to use gesture, movement and language, as for her it makes the most sense. She gets to the bare bones of what is going on and using hooks in the pieces she helps reveal what the composer does compositionally. Furthermore, she explained how one of the most important things is to be passionate about what you are talking about.

When asked the best way to engage children, she thought that it is best to get them ‘doing’ so that they are active as well as throwing them in the deep end.

I asked Hannah is she would do anything about changing the concert format. Her answer surprised me saying she wouldn’t change it explaining that ‘a concert is a concert’, as the basic format of listening to music has been in place for 100 of years so. For her, it is all about the music and the surrounding things don’t really matter, but it best to find a way to be completely absorbed by the music. However, she did suggest the ideas of a having a mobile audience, playing in unusual venues, encouraging the musicians to talk and respond to questions and cross-collaboration with different artists to encourage a wider audiences to attend concerts. Likewise, she argued that family concerts have been running for a while but may in the future develop their use of multimedia and technology.

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Schools Concerts: Spitalfields Music Festival June 30, 2010

Filed under: 1C: Reviews — concerttuning @ 8:51 pm
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I went to two schools concerts as part of Spitalfields Music Festival running from 11-26 June 2010. They couldn’t have benn more contrasting in content, presenters and musicians but there were some key aspects common to both in the way they presented the music to children.

The first concert on Fri 18 June 2010 10.30am at Shoreditch Church was presented by Sam Glazer with students from the Royal Academy of Music where we were transported into the unique sound world of the inspirational composer Iannis Xenakis.

The second concert on Wed 23 June 2010 10.30am at Christ Church Spitalfields with The Sixteen and presenter Hannah Conway was specially-designed to introduce the music of Monteverdi’s music to all ages and attention spans.

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