On the fringes of this wonderful Festival (and this is where I’d like to put in a word for a lesser known aspect), the organisers offer a wide range of activities to open up the musical universe to the youngest festival-goers, arousing their curiosity for not just classical music.
Children aged 4 to 14 are given the chance to discover instruments, decorate cakes (especially to mark the Festival’s 25th anniversary), create designs and masks based on that timeless classic “Peter and the Wolf”, and much more besides!
Wow! The programme is so highly appealing that, needless to say, we almost ticked all the boxes on the registration form.
We kicked off our workshop marathon with an introduction to DJing. I admit I did cheat a little, as the workshop was intended for kids aged 10 and over (I’d advise you to stick to the recommended ages, by the way. They’re spot-on). We mainly went along in order to take a few photos to accompany this article, while waiting for the next workshop for my daughter’s age group (4+) to start.
At the Place Blanche, where the workshop was being held, Ben from the Gimmemusic School gave us a warm, enthusiastic welcome to the class.
She might be knee-high to a grasshopper, but my daughter still had great fun. Intent on making the most of things, I stayed with her to add to Ben’s explanations (as best I could) and ended up learning quite a bit myself.
In short, tempo, rhythm, echo, high, low and vibrations are some of the words she was able to playfully add to her vocabulary while the “bigger” kids had a great time creating a piece of electronic music amidst lots of laughter. Their catchy dance number “Penguin” kept running through our heads for the rest of the day...
Finally, having been able to attend other workshops in previous years, I can say it’s a real pleasure to take part. There’s always something new to learn and there’s very often a free snack thrown in for the children, so that’s one less thing for parents to think about in advance!
Take it from me – simply go along and open your ears. You won’t be disappointed! I promise!