Musical education is suffering during these troubled times. Sam Smith has discovered an innovative solution.
At this difficult time for us all, Opera Holland Park certainly knows a thing or two. It knows that home teaching can present challenges to absolutely anyone. It recognises the benefits that music can bring to each and every one of us, and, at a time when the arts are seriously under threat, it understands the importance of keeping music alive in the present so we can all appreciate it in the future.
With this is in mind, OHP has just commenced three weeks of music home schooling, with fifteen online lessons being released daily that anyone can access on demand for free. The general age group they are aimed at is 7 to 14-year olds, but within this there are fun singing exercises designed for younger children and introductions to operatic music, terminology, stories and characters for older ones. This said, we cannot help feeling that anyone of any age will glean enjoyment, and even learn a thing or two, from watching them, and it is hard to believe that parents and carers won’t be as engaged as the little ones if they view them together.
The lessons have been devised by opera singers Sarah Parkin, Peter Martin, Maud Millar, John Lofthouse and Lara Rebekah Harvey and director Genevieve Raghu, and cover quite a variety of subjects. For example, while the youngest viewers can enjoy learning nonsense songs and playing with rhythms, teenagers can follow Maud Millar’s three part guide to women in love, using music by Schubert, Puccini and Mozart.
“Opera Holland Park… understands the importance of keeping music alive in the present so we can all appreciate it in the future”
A new lesson will be added at 10.00am every week day until 12 February on Opera Holland Park’s Facebook page. They began on 25 January, but those that have already taken place can still be accessed on the page, while Holland Park is also happy to arrange live streamed lessons with school groups.
Opera Holland Park’s Chief Executive and Director of Opera, James Clutton said “Speaking to friends with children who are learning at home, I’ve been acutely aware of the need for more music during lockdown and the pressure that teachers are under. It’s a privilege to be able to do something about this, and a pleasure to see what our artists have created for the different age groups”.