Teaching music? That’s why!
What does a music educator do? One hears this question often when it comes to the definition of this profession. The field of music education is about twenty years old in Austria and thus still in its infancy.
In principle, it has to do with establishing connections between musical content and the various requirements of a very heterogeneous audience. In the form of workshops, staged concerts, classical recitals, or other participatory formats, the audience treads new paths. The intentional approach to strata of the population who have little contact with complex forms of music is one of the goals in music education. Concert halls and festivals leave their usual settings and take place in streetcars and parks, or go into the schools. In this way, they topple the nimbus of musical elitism from its pedestal.
The paths along which music educators lead the pupils are often very easily accessible, associative, and incorporate all the senses.
In teaching the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, there is yet another aspect: taking Joseph Beuys at his word that everyone is an artist, the participants in music education projects are encouraged to approach composing in a playful manner. In this way, a new area becomes accessible to the audience not only musically, but also socially: it opens a window for possibilities not yet thought of, expands the playing field for fresh approaches and solutions.
Composer Ernst Krenek and his music are simultaneously difficult and easy to teach. On the one hand, there is the rich life that offers countless points of reference: the travels, the native country, identity, and emigration. On the other hand, a many-sided and partially inaccessible oeuvre that is hard to be reconciled with the life of a composer – late-romantic tendencies, jazz elements, twelve-tone music, and electronics.
In the projects at the Ernst Krenek Forum, we decided to illuminate the two sides, both the extra-musical as well as the musical. The subjects offer impulses for an independent creative occupation with the subject. Thus, in the workshops, for example, the pupils create their own twelve-tone rows, fabricate music which they link to the journeys, and deal with their own concept of native country. In the workshop formats, each of which lasts a week, the pupils prepare under the guidance of artists their own small performance, which is presented at the end of the workshop.
Music educator Veronika Grossberger has been active for many years in the music education program of the Ernst Krenek Forum.
You are interested in visiting a workshop at the Ernst Krenek Forum? Feel free to contact us!