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“Comment ça marche?”: children’s workshop with the CSFI, Paris

Many children’s concerts and workshops follow the same pattern. The musicians explain and perform their programme, and at the end the children can come and try out the instruments. This is a lot better than no children’s concerts, but the mass banging and strumming at the end isn’t very useful. The children can’t really listen to what they are doing, either because all the others are playing at the same time, or because they are making a few sounds on an instrument without much context to make sense of the sounds.

On December 9th, the Paris-based Chambre Syndicale de la Facture Instrumentale organised two events for children aged between seven and ten, in partnership with the Almaviva ensemble and the Association des Amis des Concerts du Dimanche Matin. Almaviva and the ACDM already offer an intelligent combination of a Sunday morning concert for parents, and a different concert/workshop for children at the same time, making it easy and enjoyable for all the family to attend. This particular workshop was one in their “Comment ça marche?” (“how does it work?”) series, which introduces different instruments to children. It was the piano’s turn – and the harp’s, led by Pauline Haas

Harp mug

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“I wanted to avoid everyone just coming up at the end and plucking the harp randomly”, Pauline explains. “I told the children a story, and had them illustrate it with different effects on their harps. I wanted them to experience the instrument in a specific context, so they can really think about what they are playing and how it sounds. It’s important to introduce children to music in playful, intelligent ways. That is the principle behind all of Almaviva’s Sunday morning workshops.”

We were happy to lend a variety of harps for the event. 


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