Kylmät Kissat: Our Tampere Community Outreach Project
A low mooing sound emerges from tuba and trumpet, the trumpet player clutching a small toy cow he has brought to use as a (humorous and effective) mute. The young brass section was creating a soundscape of a “navetta” or, cow-shed, led by Global Music student’s Joao and Chico, joining the array of other sounds swirling around the room. This moment was just one of many magical and moving experiences that I had in just a few short days working with the Global Music Department’s pilot youth pedagogy project. This fall, the Global Music department launched a project utilizing Vasilis Katopodis’s melody as a jumping off-point for collaborative teaching and arranging by ear. We met to come up with pedagogical techniques for teaching the melody to kids by ear, and making arrangement with them, involving melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and improvisational elements. After several weeks of preparation, we embarked to Tampere to work with this group of students, both from Tampere and some from Helsinki, between the ages of 10-15.
When I sat in the VR train, staring outside at the blur of trees, en-route to Tampere to start our journey, I was filled with a bundle of nerves and excitement. This was my first semester at the Global department, as I am here as a Master’s exchange student on a Fulbright Fellowship grant from the United States. I had never taught a group of youths before, let alone students that normally read sheet music and now would be asked to improvise, learn extended techniques, and think outside the box. We had no idea what to expect. Well, all of us were blown away by the creativity and willingness these kids had to go outside of their comfort zone. The kids started off shy and quiet, and it was so touching to see them begin to come out of their shells, making new friendships and musical discoveries. I ended up co-leading the winds, and even teaching some in Finnish, with some help! We created background hits and melodic lines, and involving the kids in soundscapes and different games and exercises to connect musically and socially.
Our end result was an almost fifteen-minute piece titled something like, “The Winding Mountain Road” featuring all of our collaborative elements, as well our own unique instruments such as Serbian gusle, lap-pedal steel guitar, oud, and trumpet. However, the most important element was by far the experience we shared together. It was a joy to be able to both inspire these kids, and be inspired by them! As we ended up calling ourselves, the “kylmät kissat” (cool cats) of Tampere will be a project that will stay with me for a long time, and was one of the most impactful projects I have been able to take part in. This is hopefully just the first step of a long journey to come in Global Music youth engagements.
Text: Devina Boughton (they/them), trumpet and vocals
Nuorisokoulutus kyläilee eri puolella Suomea! Tässä blogissa seurataan Sibelius-Akatemian opettajien ja heidän eri puolella Suomea työskentelevien kollegoidensa kokemuksia.
Sibelius-Akatemia käynnisti Suomen kulttuurirahaston rahoituksella syyskuussa 2015 laajan valtakunnallisen musiikkioppilaitosyhteistyön, jossa eri-ikäiset puhallin- ja lyömäsoitinten ja harpun soittajat kolmessatoista suomalaisessa kaupungissa saavat opetusta Sibelius-Akatemian opettajilta viikonloppukursseilla.
Sittemmin vierailut ovat laajentuneet kattamaan myös muita soittimia sekä jazz- ja kansanmusiikin sekä global musicin. Vierailut järjestetään yhteistyössä paikallisten musiikkioppilaitosten kanssa.
Lue lisää Sibelius-Akatemian nuorisokoulutuksesta
Lue lisää Sibelius-Akatemian nuorisokoulutuksen maakunnallisista opetusvierailuista