Making music together: a life-changing experience

Contribution by Ms IIein Bermudez – ISD Primary Music Teacher 

As children learn to play an instrument, they practice many hours a week to establish a healthy posture, to develop a good sound, to decipher music notation and translate it into their playing… This practice develops great qualities in the young musicians, and it builds a path towards successfully mastering their instrument. However, it is in the hours spent making music together with other music students where they get to experience music at its finest. Therefore, making music together can be a life-changing experience for children.  

Active participation in an ensemble offers children (a) the opportunity of improving their aural skills by developing a broader understanding of sound regarding intonation and harmony, (b) the magic experience of being in synchrony by keeping a steady beat as a group, (c) the possibility of acquiring non-verbal skills as communicators, (d) a sense of achievement as well as confidence in playing their instruments, and (e) a sense of belonging and of connecting with others to create the synergy needed to achieve a moving musical performance.  

For the reasons mentioned above, the ISD String Ensemble was established at our school to offer our students all the benefits from taking part in a music ensemble. The rehearsal starts with a musical warm-up of scales played in unison and then in canon. Then, we continue with our current repertoire of a few Christmas songs, and at the end, we have a creative session where we explore different ways of walking away from notated music (free improvisation or playing an accompaniment to an existing melody by ear).  

I believe the ISD String Ensemble has a promising future with its already beautiful sound, and the great enthusiasm and energy of all participants so stay tuned for our first performance!