Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Institut at Last!

I got back to my room and had a little time to kill. I must have dozed because I awoke five minutes late. I rushed over to the Institut in time to participate in the opening quodlibet consisting of three four part rounds being sung all at the same time, a total of twelve parts. The faculty was then introduced, and then we were introduced, coming from a total of 23 different nations. We were called to stand by country. Of the 95 participants Greece had the most with 17. Turkey and Spain were almost as well represented. The United States was far down the list with seven, only four of whom seemed to be present.

The participants were divided into three groups for the morning sessions. I am with the B group and went with the others to a room with Verena Maschat, where we introduced ourselves in more detail. The demographics of the participants were fascinating, totally unlike anything you would find in an American levels class. There were academics, a couple of musicology students from Greece, pre-service teachers, many preschool teachers, private instrumental teachers, even a fellow from Texas who had received an AOSA scholarship to attend. All in all not many teachers who do a job like mine. This should be a very unique week.

My electives are going to be “Music Listening with Children”, taught by Soili Perkio (I have got to learn to make umlauts!) of Helsinki, and “Rhythm Training and Percussion Techniques for the Classroom” with Gerhard Reiter of Vienna. In the morning sessions we rotate among different faculty.

So far I’ve had extended conversations with Chris, a university lecturer from York, England, Monica, a preschool teacher from Italy here for the third time whose mother attended for thirty years and knew Carl Orff personally, and Eckhartd, a guitar teacher from the Stuttgart region.

Sightseeing’s over, time to get to work….

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