This school visit turned out to be such a blast! As part of the Fulbright program, I was invited to NSG Nijmegen (Nijmeegse Scholengemeenschap Groenewoud) to have discussions with several English classes, including Cambridge English class, and a music course. These were students between ages 14 and 16. Students prepared all sorts of questions about life in the U.S., comparisons between the Netherlands and the U.S., and even about dating in junior/high school. I was very impressed with the high proficiency in English of all the students, and our hosts were very enthusiastic. In the music course students were preparing compositions for their exams for the Ereprijs Orkest. With the deadline fast approaching, I got to give tips on some works in progress. Since then I’ve had the chance to answer two students’ emails with composition questions.
The icing on the cake was that cellist Clara Rivière joined me and performed live the piece “Cinco Letras” written for her. As a composer, I thought it vital to have a real performer to introduce to the students, and to highlight the collaborative process. She also led a group improvisation with non-music students of the graphic score, with great success.
Conversation with music students composing their first pieces.
Date of visit: Monday, December 15, 2014