Round Tables

Round Table 1

Creative Music Education: the Key to the Future

  • Mod­er­a­tor: Louise Camp­bell, Clar­inetist / Edu­ca­tor / Mem­ber of the CNMN Board of Directors
  • Mary Dinn: Pres­i­dent, CMEA (St. John’s)
  • Iwan Edwards: Artis­tic Direc­tor, Con­cer­to Del­la Don­na (Mon­tréal)
  • Tawnie Olson: Com­po­si­tion Instruc­tor, ACES Edu­ca­tion­al Cen­ter for the Arts (New Haven, USA)
  • Valerie Peters: Pro­fes­sor of Music Edu­ca­tions, Uni­ver­sité Laval (Québec)
  • Theodo­ra Stathopou­los: Pres­i­dent, QMEA / Music Edu­ca­tor, FACE (Mon­tréal)

The music lovers of tomor­row begin their jour­ney in today’s class­rooms. If today’s kids get excit­ed about music, they will be more like­ly to make music a part of their adult life, whether as ama­teur musi­cians, con­cert goers, avid lis­ten­ers, music edu­ca­tors or pro­fes­sion­al artists.

What are the issues involved in mak­ing music in the class­room, and more specif­i­cal­ly, mak­ing the music of today in today’s class­rooms? Teach­ers in the class are faced with many chal­lenges: stu­dents of vary­ing lev­els of knowl­edge, abil­i­ty and apti­tude; lim­it­ed class time, equip­ment and bud­getary con­straints, expec­ta­tions and pres­sures from the school’s admin­is­tra­tion and stu­dents’ par­ents, and cur­ricu­lum require­ments from the provin­cial Min­istries of Edu­ca­tion. The guests of this pan­el present real-life expe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and advice in cre­at­ing sit­u­a­tions that help kids be excit­ed about today’s music.

Round Table 2

Audience Development: Creative Music Strategies

  • Mod­er­a­tor: Patri­cia Abbott, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, ACCC (Mon­tréal)
  • René Bosc: Com­pos­er / Head of Music, Radio-France (Paris)
  • Coat Cooke: Artis­tic Direc­tor, New Orches­tra Work­shop Soci­ety (Van­cou­ver)
  • Nan­cy Evans: Edu­ca­tion Man­ag­er, Birm­ing­ham Con­tem­po­rary Music Group (RU | UK)
  • Matt Haimovitz: Cel­list / Edu­ca­tor, Uni­ver­sité McGill (Mon­tre­al)
  • Alex Pauk: Com­pos­er / Music Direc­tor and Con­duc­tor, Esprit Orches­tra (Toron­to)

Who is lis­ten­ing? The aver­age con­cert hall is filled main­ly with peo­ple who already attend con­certs on a reg­u­lar basis. If this is the case, then live con­tem­po­rary music is get­ting to a very restrict­ed num­ber of peo­ple — so how do we get to every­body else, to all of those peo­ple who don’t usu­al­ly go to con­certs? The mar­ket­ing buzz­word is audi­ence devel­op­ment, and the inter­est is sin­cere; music has the poten­tial to speak to any­one, regard­less of their demo­graph­ic or man­ner of engag­ing with the music. The guests of this pan­el share their inno­v­a­tive think­ing, moti­va­tion, strate­gies and ini­tia­tives in reach­ing out to a larg­er, more diverse public.

Round Table 3

Creative Music, Education and Society: a Critical Connection

  • Mod­er­a­tor: Nicole Doucet, Direc­tor of Arts Dis­ci­plines, Cana­da Coun­cil for the Arts (Ottawa)
  • Claude de Grand­pré: Artis­tic Direc­tor, Théâtre Hec­tor-Char­land (L’Assomption) Raf­fi Armen­ian: Direc­tor, Con­ser­va­toire de musique de Montréal
  • R. Mur­ray Schafer: Com­pos­er & Music Edu­ca­tor (Indi­an River)

Present­ly, there is lit­tle con­nec­tion between cre­ative music mak­ing and the cur­rent edu­ca­tion sys­tem. How­ev­er, Forum 2009 brings togeth­er many of those who expe­ri­ence this rare and pow­er­ful con­nec­tion, and there’s a lot to learn from them!

At every stage of the pub­lic school sys­tem, Cana­di­ans find count­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn art by cre­at­ing their own art — when it comes to lit­er­ary and visu­al arts, that is. In music class, they are taught to re-cre­ate the com­po­si­tions of oth­ers, or at best, to impro­vise with­in a pre­con­ceived frame­work (i.e. jazz). For this rea­son, the art of cre­ative music mak­ing remains an alien phe­nom­e­non to the major­i­ty of both ama­teur and seri­ous music stu­dents. Can we real­ly won­der, then, why the aver­age mem­ber of soci­ety has such dif­fi­cul­ty appre­ci­at­ing a work of cre­ative music, com­pared to a new work of lit­er­a­ture or visu­al art?

This dis­par­i­ty among the arts in the edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem is part­ly due to eco­nom­ic fac­tors: most jobs require strong lan­guage skills, not musi­cal skills. The result is a cycle that works to the detri­ment of musi­cal cul­ture: stu­dents are not giv­en a chance to cre­ate music, they go on to become uncrit­i­cal music con­sumers, and those who pur­sue cre­ative music strug­gle to exist and to con­nect with their poten­tial lis­ten­ers. How can we break this cycle? Is it in the whole of society’s inter­est to invest in the edu­ca­tion of musi­cal cre­ation? What kind of soci­ety would we see if cre­ative music had an impor­tant, crit­i­cal con­nec­tion with it?