Of course you’ll hardly ever see classical music between songs by Black Eyed Peas and Beyoncé on schoolchildren’s iPods. Enthusiasm for this music rapidly develops, however, when real classical musicians come to a school with their instruments. Links are made and musical contacts established by connecting this music with the world that the children experience every day.
Music is one of the most powerful of all of the performing arts when it comes to inspiring and challenging children and young people. Many of them have no contact with classical music at home; the NedPhO|NKO aims to change this situation with workshops, visits to rehearsals, school concerts, concerts in concert halls and education programmes.
Music captivates and connects
One of the many examples of the above is the project at the De Vlugtschool in Amsterdam-West. After an intense workshop there timpanist Peter Elberse says that ‘You feel that the kids know that they’re doing something special. You see their astonishment and their enthusiasm. I really enjoy that.’
Nico Raat, music teacher of the same school: ‘Music helps you to get further with your life. At school we have many immigrant pupils with limited vocabularies; they learn new words by singing. Music-making is also good for their personal development: they can show something of themselves when they perform. And they learn to look at and listen to other people with respect.’
Percussionist Theun van Nieuwburg: ‘The kids are so enthusiastic. Music really seems to bring them together.’
NedPhO GO! organises several different projects for primary schools that can be utilised separately or in combination by the school. NedPhO GO! also intends to create special connections with various schools: this will involve a mutual commitment over a period of several years through which an 8-year programme of music education will be created in collaboration with the individual schools.
The Learning Orchestra