Bringing new music back to the classrooms
”Music school classrooms across the country are not the place you expect to find contemporary sheet music. But that might be about to change.”
So began a segment on Danish radio this weekend, highlighting two new collections of sheet music for violin and piano published by Edition·S last December.
The two collections – Pieces for Violin and Pieces for Piano – constitute the first part of the Educate·S series, aiming to revitalize new music as part of the musical training of children and young musicians.
Flageolets for a 10-year-old
During the radio segment a classical music journalist interviewed 10-year-old violin player Laura Linea, who spent the past week practicing Nicolai Worsaae’s Violin Etude for Children and Eva Noer Kondrup’s Seahorse, both part of Pieces for Violin.
Fascinated by the extended playing techniques required, Laura Linea tells the reporter she’s happy to have had the experience of playing new music: “You get to slide your fingers across the strings, and sometimes you are told not to press down the string entirely. That sounds pretty strange!” She’s come across her first glissandi and flageolets.
"A great alternative," teacher says
It was Laura Linea’s violin teacher at the Frederikssund music school, Tina Lohmann Sønderskov Jensen, who introduced her student to the Educate·S series: “Once you’ve acquired some basic instrumental skills, this collection offers a great alternative to standard collections such as Suzuki’s. You get to know a lot of musical effects, and the works don’t necessarily come with a recognizable melody.”
Asked about his motivation to compose pieces for the Educate·S series, Nicolai Worsaae thinks back on his own experiences with musical training when he was a kid: “I didn’t really find the music introduced to me back then very much fun. It was a little stiff,” he tells.
“So I decided to take a more playful approach to composing the Educate·S pieces, remembering to also add a bit of musical magic. Obviously, musical training requires a great deal of discipline; but that’s why the result should also be a little extraordinary.”