Bringing people and music together

Bringing people and music together Committed to music: Clemens Schuldt, principal conductor of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, at a children’s workshop. Florian Ganslmeier

Once a month, all the Gasteig institutes meet to develop joint projects. The aim: to get as many people as possible interested in culture and help them overcome their reservations. Katrin Beck, an expert in music, literature and cultural management, is part of the team.

Katrin Beck wants to bring people of all generations together in music © Florian Ganslmeier

A conversation about encounters between people and music

Katrin Beck, you are responsible for music education at the Munich Chamber Orchestra. How important is this aspect for the MKO?

This aspect is just as important as the next commission for a composition, planning of the season or the programmes for the next subscription concert. It is an integral part of professional artistic work. It’s not just about the young generation. Outreach also takes place in workshop discussions, introductions to works for pupils, adult education projects – for example together with the Münchner Volkshochschule – or at a club concert. »Education« in its widest sense is about bringing people together.

How do you get people excited about music?

The seeds of enthusiasm can be sown by offering opportunities for active, personal experience. It’s more about discovery than explanation, about encounters with and through music. Getting involved in listening to all kinds of music, consciously perceiving sounds and a direct contact with musicians are essential for the seeds to grow. It’s not always about light-hearted fun and easy listening: Opening ears and senses to the unfamiliar sound of a contemporary work is a wonderful challenge and a task that is close to my heart.

Valuable impulses don't just come from grown-ups © Tobias Hase

You work with different age groups. What can we learn from the youngest ones in dealing with music?

Children are especially attentive listeners and with their often immediate response they need a different presence in the room and a certain degree of improvisation. When planning activities for children, one realises once again the level of routine immanent in rehearsals and working processes. Translating these and decoding them for children, or questioning why things are done the way they are – these are enriching experiences.

What are you planning or hoping to do together with the Gasteig?

What we are most looking forward to is to have the space and calm for long-term collaborative projects. By way of a lab symposium, we want to develop ideas for visionary approaches. There are so many important issues that we haven’t yet been able to integrate in our work, such as inclusion and social engagement, intergenerational work or community music and community building. We would very much like to tackle these issues together.

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Interview: Maria Zimmerer

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