I’ve just enjoyed an extraordinary week making music with 75 children aged 10 – 20 and 25 teachers from the remarkable East Helsinki Music Institute. Much of the skill of the children seems to be down to their wonderful teachers and in particular a method called Colourstrings that gives fantastic ear-training at the same time. It is such a great experience to work with so many children who are intelligent, focused, happy and just so musical – they were so quick to pick things up, adjusting to unannounced key changes and following changing rhythms without raising an eyebrow! We did some really good improvising, some crazy unison Indian rhythms, made up some pieces, laughed a lot, worked hard on all sorts of technical corners polishing the work they had done, and did a lovely improvised/decorated version of Scarborough Fayre. It’s a privilege to be in the company of children like this.
And to top it all they have a really amazing canteen with homemade pies and wonderful green tea. Heaven.