Some inspired projects not organised by schools
Rhythm Is It!
A film by T. Grube & E. Sánchez Lansch (2004) http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/101/maldoom
This is not about a school music program but about an educational project run by the Berlin Philharmonic. You can only see it by buying it but it’s worth the money.
There is a trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvuXf4Glico
This is the blurb:
“Rarely has a documentary about classical music met with such a response or received so many awards as the film Rhythm Is It!, which has been shown in cinemas all around the world. The German weekly Die Zeit went so far as to demand that “Rhythm Is It! be compulsory in all schools”. This film is not only about great music from the past but about things that concern us all: How do young people develop their talents? How can creativity change all of our lives? There are also stunning dance scenes and fantastic music played by the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Rhythm Is It! is now available in the video archive of the Digital Concert Hall.
“It was in January 2003, Simon Rattle’s first season as principal conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, when 250 Berlin schoolchildren came together for this unique project. Accompanied by such world-class musicians and trained by choreographer Royston Maldoom, these young people from 25 different national backgrounds danced Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, one of the most famous ballets of the 20th century.
“Rhythm Is It! follows three of the young dancers during the twelve-week rehearsal period. In this time they experience highs and lows, insecurity, self-confidence, doubt and enthusiasm: an emotional journey into new and undreamt-of worlds, discovering sides to themselves they never knew existed. Directors Thomas Grube and Enrique Sánchez Lansch skilfully interweave the workshops with the rehearsals of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Rhythm Is It! offers a unique insight into the educational work of the orchestra which, thanks to the generous support of Deutsche Bank, has set standards on a global scale.”
For this viewer, this was a fundamentally illuminating film. What these adolescent kids discovered was that there is a purpose to the work of the artist that is absolutely intrinsic to the work and to one’s perception of life. To perform this work was not about filling in time, or making something to sell, or following someone else’s rules or requirements. It was about finding a truth in the dance and the music and oneself. It made me realise that probably, a lot of people never have the good fortune to know this.