Coloured duets (English version)

15 classical pieces adapted to the piano for children’s first steps in music in the company of the teacher.
CDO 025 . OSI – MKT
Brescia 2014
40 pagine




Chiara Strada

“Teacher, are we playing Zen-Zen’s cock-a-doodle-do today?
Sofia is referring to “The Cuckoo In the Woods” by Saint-Saëns.
Beethoven, too, has undergone a few interesting transformations: according to Lucrezia, during the Christmas period the Allegretto in Symphony VII had been composed by Beeth-lehem, whilst for Leonardo, a fan of super-heroes, it had been Beetho-man.
Mozart, (an enfant prodige), particularly fascinates my students, arousing curiosity, appraisal and sometimes a touch of rivalry too. When I told Sara that Mozart began composing at the age of six, she candidly replied: “I was already doing it at five” (she was referring to some simple rhythms we had composed together during our first few lessons). Having learned that Mozart would also play the piano blindfolded, Leonardo wasn’t in the least discouraged, but rather went on to say: “Do you know I can play this piece with my eyes closed?” – “That’s great, let me hear it then”.  Leonardo closed his eyes, touched a key and paused to say: “I’ll play it for you when I’m bigger”.
Composers and characters take a new life in children’s fantasies, creating unexpected interconnections. Giulia, worried that Saint-Saëns’s cuckoo should be so sad, decides that it’s Papageno’s fault because he has captured it and closed it in a cage.
Music touches children’s sensibilities deeply and transports them to enchanted places.
In the notes of the “Sugar Plum Fairy”, Sofia recognizes the “sounds you hear when entering castles”.
And it is difficult to describe what I felt when, noticing her eyes suddenly shining with tears, I saw Lucrezia’s sentiment while we were playing Debussy’s “Moonlight”.
I find it so striking and marvellous to hear a five-year-old boy of our times humming “The Cricket Is a Good Singer” (a renaissance madrigal) at the end of the lesson as if it were one of today’s little tunes, while his mother is putting his coat on.
Music inspires them. A thousand creative ideas are born in each lesson.
For example, some children would like to change the notes of their assigned parts, whilst maintaining the original entrance points and rhythm.
Here, from the simple role of performer, spontaneously rises the most natural and profound of games: playing to invent, playing “composer.”
Music makes them ambitious. They ask me how long will it take them to be able to play my part.
Music makes them sensitive. When I complimented Leonardo on his performance, he pressed my hand and said “My compliments to you”.
And finally Sofia: “Teacher, will we do our lessons only until June, or forever?”
(from the Introduction by Chiara Strada)

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