Side-by-Side Rehearsals with Resident Artists
“Bringing the resident artists together as a mini-orchestra or chamber ensemble has been the goal from the beginning. Learning the musical language is no different than learning any other language. As human beings, we all learn through imitation. Most of us do not remember how we learned to speak our native or primary language, but as those who speak two or more languages can attest, being immersed in that language is the best way to learn. So that is the concept behind having professional musicians in the classroom. Immerse the kids in a musical language with people who “speak” music fluently. After all, we can teach the kids the notes and the rhythms, the basics, but the phrasing and expression—the music—can only be taught through imitation.
The energy that was coming out of the room after our first encounter was electric. I’m not sure who was more excited, the students or the teachers. We all feed off of one another’s energy. When the students are excited about learning then the teachers get more excited and when the teachers get more excited then the energy loops back around to the students. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Another beautiful thing about bringing the musical community together is that it allows these somewhat artificial boundaries between students and teachers to come down. It is important for us, the teachers, to remember that we are students also. There is no arrival point for a musician or for anyone who is a lifelong learner. Maybe we are a little further along the road, but we are all traveling the same path. When we come together in a rehearsal space, there is no more student and no more teacher—we are all musicians.”