This project is the result of the previous work that the Educational Innovation Group "Contemporary and Modern World Music" of the Autonomous University of Barcelona has been carrying out for years. This group has proven that there is great learning potential in listening and analyzing contemporary music with elementary students. They also supported the idea that learning music through collective composition generates meaningful learning. As a result, in 2014 the project “Composers enter the classroom” was designed and implemented as an initiative to bring contemporary music to students through listening, collaborative creation and the participation of a professional composer (who visits the school when the project has started). Our aim is to open up the minds of children to the collaborative creation of a work of art, with the ultimate goal of getting them to perform and share it in public.
After two years testing the project in schools where the members of the research group work, in 2016 we partnered with the Auditorium of Barcelona becoming part of their Educational Service sector, which allowed us to grow and expand to different schools (from five schools in 2014-2015, to fifteen schools in 2019-2020).
The projects starts with a selection of works by contemporary composers associated with the Sampler Sèries programme (annual programme of contemporary music concerts at the Auditorium of Barcelona). Subsequently, each school participating in this project is assigned to one composer. At the same time, the teachers who will be running the course receive training, which continues throughout the project. Then comes the classroom work which involves listening to the works of the composer, analysing the music and identifying the most relevant musical elements of the composition. After understanding their composer's work, children themselves divided in small groups create short compositions that mirror the musical characteristics of the works studied. These productions are presented and then discussed and corrected by the composers during their time in the classrooms of the participating schools. Using the notes and suggestions given, the pupils improve their compositional ideas and start rehearsals for the eventual performance of their work. The final stage is the presentation of the works in concerts at L'Auditori with pupils from the different participating schools attending.
The project is managed by public institutions and it is free of charge for students. It only costs 50€ per school for administrative purposes, which includes: teacher training, delivery of teaching materials, monitoring throughout the process, the composer's visit and the concert in the Auditorium.
This project began in the 2014-15 academic year with the participation of five schools and has grown to fifteen schools per academic year after our partnership with the Auditorium of Barcelona in 2016. From 2014 until today, 32 schools have participated in this project in total.
The composers involved so far include relevant names as Agustí Charles, Ramon Humet, Josep Maria Guix, Hèctor Parra, Oliver Rappoport, Carlos de Castellarnau, Pablo Carrascosa, Bernat Vivancos, Raquel García-Tomás, Joan Magrané, Octavi Rumbau, Fabià Santcovsky, Fritz Hauser, Bernat Vivancos and Núria Giménez.
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