There has been a quiet musical revolution in Barcelona since 2006 when the Sant Andreu Jazz Band was started as part of The Municipal School of Music in Sant Andreu, Barcelona, which up to that time had been concentrating on teaching kids to play classical music.
The idea of the founder of this section of the music school, a well known Catalan Jazz musician, Joan Chomorro ( a man, in spite of his name, which outside of the Spanish speaking world is a womanś name), was to teach kids between the ages of about 7 to 21 to improvise on their instruments, rather than the more normal methods of teaching kids the theory and techniques of playing music.
He puts it much better than I can in these worlds…….
¨Most of what is learnt in music should come from listening. When a child starts out, they should go straight to the music, the sound, not how it is coded through language, because as yet we do not know if the person will need to use it. Music should come before writing. It is not a new methodology, but many people are wary of it because, depending on how you look at it, it may be regarded as anti-dogmatic and anti-conservatoire. There are still many things that appear to be immovable. It is taken for granted that children should be grouped by ages or begin to learn through reading and writing music. However, by doing this we are telling the child that they should wait to have a perfect technique to be able to make music or take to the stage. It is believed that most children, particularly smaller ones, cannot climb onto a stage and give a good performance.”
This theory has produced some astonishingly creative and sensitive musicians, and not only that, but also has given kids as young as 7 years of age, the confidence to get up on a stage and perform intricate improvisations with aplomb, and a good technique, as in this video.
Isn´t that amazing?? That little girl plays that trumpet with such skill and feeling that I am left speechless.
That video demonstrates another important part of the bandś philosophy, namely bringing well known and highly professional jazz musicians into the mix to demonstrate to the kids how it can be done.