Case Studies

Case Study 1

Learning and Participation in the Context of a Contemporary Music Ensemble

  • Nancy Evans, Education Manager, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (RU / UK)

This talk will explore BCMG’s learning and participation programme. The programme is built around the resources of the group (virtuosic musicianship and links with composers) and reflects BCMG’s core values of excellence, innovation and quality relationships. The programme consists of: an extensive programme of out-of-school and in-school composition workshops; ground-breaking family and schools concerts; concerts involving young and non-professional musicians performing alongside BCMG musicians; play-throughs of works by university and conservatoire students; commissioning new works for young listeners and young performers; creating learning resources; and, a series of Insight events exploring the world of contemporary music in more depth. The talk will also touch on BCMG’s pioneering individual donor and audience development scheme Sound Investment in which audience members invest in new commissions. Nancy will share how the programme has evolved, how it works in partnership with other organisations, ongoing challenges and future developments. The talk will be illustrated by audio and video examples of work.

Case Study 2

Série Hommage No 1: Claude Vivier

  • Pierrette Gingras, General Manager, Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (Montréal)

In the 2007-2008 season, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec created the new series ’Hommage’. This series aims to unite the cultural milieu around one composer with the goal of recognizing this composer with the statue of ’national treasure’. The first edition of this series dedicated to Claude Vivier proved to be a great success: around 20 organisations responded to the call put out by the SMCQ by integrating one of Vivier’s works into their artistic season. The major accomplishment of this project was Le grand jeu/La grande écoute which gave more than 13000 children in Quebec the opportunity to discover the composer by listening to and playing one of his works in the classroom. The Hommage series demonstrates the extent to which diversity of the participating organisations is a key component to audience development.

Case Study 3

Music From Scratch

  • Jerry Pergolesi, Artistic Director, Contact Contemporary Music (Toronto)

Music From Scratch is a free, weeklong summer workshop for youth presented by CONTACT contemporary music in association with University Settlement Music & Arts School. Community members with and without musical training are engaged in the process of creating music. The workshop provides a means for participants to explore alternative ways to be creative with music, that involves listening to their environment in a different way, and to organize their thoughts in new ways in order to convey their (musical) message. Together, participants in the workshop, along with artists create works that explore their environment and personal lives. Participants are given several new tools with which they are now able to think creatively in order to express their own realities.

Case Study 4

New Music and Community

  • Gilles Mottet, Composer / Director, Pourquoi pas…co-incidence? (Nice)

Thanks to the structure of Pourquoi pas…, an association of composers and performers devoted to new music creation which I founded in 2001, we could imagine and put in practice different forms of creativity and communication to enable a large audience to discover music creation and new music repertoire. To reach this goal, we regularly build partnerships with local institutional structures such as museums and media libraries. We aim to integrate our new music into the programming of national cultural events that, originally, were not designed to accept this kind of work — events such as Journées du patrimoine, Mars aux Musées, Nuit des Musée, among others. To these special places, we provide the personnel and technical resources needed to create site-specific commissioned works that make use of, or are connected to, different artistic and scientific fields. Finally, we propose pedagogical actions such as meetings and debates with composers and musicians, new music residencies open to the public, student workshops on musical practices, and interventions in schools.

Case Study 5

Composing For Young Musicians: Experiences with School Bands and Choirs

  • Allan Bell, Composer / Professor, Calgary University (Cochrane)

The session will focus upon practical approaches to the challenge of creating adventurous music for performance by young musicians.

Case Study 6

Composing With Young Musicians

  • Tawnie Olson, Composition Instructor, ACES Educational Center for the Arts (New Haven, USA)

Composing With Young Musicians offers a window into one approach to contemporary composition pedagogy by discussing methods used at the Educational Center for the Arts (ECA), an arts magnet high school in New Haven, Connecticut. The history and philosophy of ECA and its music department will be summarized briefly, and a profile of its students will be given. Three key elements of the composition courses at ECA will be discussed: using contemporary compositions as models, creating frameworks that encourage students to use new techniques while allowing them to maintain stylistic freedom, and creating opportunities for collaborations, performances and recognition of student work. Examples of assignments, student compositions, and performances will be provided.

Case Study 7

The Importance of Music Education In Our Classroom

  • Ann La Plante, General Manager, Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects

Ann La Plante details how the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects produces their classroom projects, and due to its many years of undertaking such endeavours, she can show us the extent to which such projects are important in the public school classroom.