On the Occasion of the 200th Day of Birth

of Robert Schumann, the traditional children’s orchestra workshop at the Beethoven-Haus places particular emphasis on Robert Schumann.

Out of his Rheinische Sinfonie [Rhenish Symphony], movements 2 and 5
[
PDF DownloadMovement 2 and PDF DownloadMovement 5] were chosen for this purpose. Similarly to Beethoven’s works which the children easily get to know for themselves at these workshops during a half-term week, the Schumann movements were also reduced to their musical “core material” and arranged into a basic movement in three voices (2 violins, cello). After a period over which instruments could be registered for the workshop, other instruments were added, in this case 2 flutes and 1 contrabass.

The participating children are usually not below the age of 9 and have played their instrument for at least 3 years. They are sent the sheet music 2-3 weeks prior to the workshop for practising.
 
Rehearsals in the morning are always livened up by a playful but informative “music break”. This time, the break was, of course, dedicated to the life of Schumann and the 5 movements of the Rheinische Sinfonie, in the form of 5 image stations. Following an introductory Schumannimage+text session, each movement of the symphony was represented by an image. Whilst contemplating the image, the children listened to the first 2-3 minutes of the movement and described its atmosphere and effect, before listening to or reading out an information text carried by the image on various aspects of Schumann’s life.

Cf. the image stations and textsSymphony No. 3: Rhenan]

Martella Gutiérrez-Denhoff
Children’s projects at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn

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