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2017: Concerto para Bebés…Interview

With just over a month to go until bOing! 2017, we caught up with Musicalmente‘s Artistic Director, Paulo Lameiro about their show Concerto Para Bebés (Concert for Babies)

How did Musicalmente begin?

Musicalmente’s project is born from a project of Arts for babies in 1992, named Berço das Artes SAMP (Cradle of Arts SAMP). This project offers music, theatre and dance classes for families with babies from 0 to 5 years old, that are developed weekly since the baby is born until they turn 5 years old. The classes share an inferential learning, and were inspired by the Music Learning Theory for Newborn of the North-American professor and pedagogue Edwin Gordon. From this project, through the teaching that the babies offer us, many other projects were born and today they are even of a higher artistic and social importance. Projects for people with terminal ilness, for Alzheimer pacients, in hospital pediatric units, for cronical mentaly ill pacients, disabled people, and even for people held in prison. The focus on sound and musical structures, the not-verbality, are the axes that structure Berço das Artes.

Tell us about Concerto Para Bebés

Along the first years of Berço das Artes, parents, kindergarten teachers and music teachers realised that babies were not allowed to enter in music halls of the so called classical music, to listen to Opera, big Orchestras or chamber music. Because they make too much noise, and because the legislation of the venues didn’t allowed it. On the other hand, the low offer of stage arts for babies didn’t perceive the baby as an audience, as a person capable of enjoying the pleasure of fruition. They perceived the baby as someone who needs to be prepared and taught how to know and enjoy musical language. With scientifical investigation documents increasingly proving the special capacity of the human being during their early days and weeks of life, in listening and decoding the language of sounds, it seemed to us that it was important to create a project that simply had as main goal to offer authentical concerts that babies could attend to. And so, in 1998, Concertos para Bebés were born.

You are also running a workshop based around the show – what can families expect?

The workshops that we will perform illustrate the project that originated Concertos para Bebés, Berço das Artes (Cradle of Arts). Unlike the Concerts, where the public is not invited to participate because fruition is the main goal, in the workshops the interaction between babies, parents and artists is clearly seeked. The group is a lot smaller and so the complicity between artists, babies and families emerge with greater prominence. It’s a more cameristic experience and more unpredictable. In the concerts the artists lead, in the workshops the ones who lead are the babies. 😉

What does it mean to you to come to bOing! ?

First of all, it’s a great pleasure to be a part of such a rich and interesting programme, and to debut in an European festival of such reference in the field of early childhood arts programming. Also, it will be surely another opportunity to enrich ourselves as artists and people because the work with babies and families from another culture is always a door for new sensibilities, new dynamics in the relationships between mother/father/baby.

At the bOing! 2017 Child’s Play? Debate we are discussing creating work for Early Years, what was the first piece of  art/performance you experienced? Why do you think access to the arts by early years is important?

Our first artistic project for the First Childhood was really Berço das Artes SAMP in 1992, but essentially with a pedagogical purpose, to initiate artistic fruition. However, we quickly learned, with the babies, that they are much bigger specialists in learning that we adults in teaching. That’s exactly why, while placing the adult’s intentionality on the project, we are conditioning an experience (and therefore also the learning) much richer and unique to each baby. Also because of this, we were motivated to create concerts for babies, that maintaining a commun format (such as a classical orchestra that presents itself always with the same disposition on stage, and the same costumes) offers repertoires, musical languages, times and diferent composers with new programs every month. Since 1998, we have a new musical program each month, and also more specific Orders for some
Festivals and Venues.

The importance of Arts is nowadays more crucial than ever for our society. To give space to individuality, but in a process that demands cohabitation. To promote creativity, and at the same time revisit the immense historic heritage from the ever creative Humanity. On a daily basis more and more aseptic of personal contacts, of shared emotions, the Arts are essential to us. In a globalized but also fragmented civilization, the arts emerge again as territory of encounter, personal and collective. And why the primacy of early childhood? Why to create with, through and for early childhood? Because it’s in early childhood that we work what we are in our deepest intimacy, but also we build our communication tools with the other and the others. Because this new man that the Present invites us to be, needs to be equipped with a much more effective capacity for learning and adaptation than in the recent past, ability in which the babies are remarkably effective. Or simply because babies are people with equal rights of artistic fruition, and moreover in the case of music, with a capacity to listen much more accurately than older people.

Find out more about

Concerto Para Bebes (Concert for babies)

Concerto Para Bebes Workshop

Child’s Play? Debate