The Musical Kindergarten
Tours do not only weld an orchestra, but also generate ideas. During a gathering after a concerto on a concert trip through Southern Europe, Daniel Barenboim presented his idea of a musical kindergarten to some of his colleagues. The maestro's enthusiasm was contagious, and after a number of obstacles had been overcome, an "Action day" was held. Musicians of Staatskapelle made a tour of Berlin kindergartens with their instruments, and then an open air concert with more than 600 children was celebrated in bright sunshine in Kronprinzenpalais Unter den Linden. In autumn 2005 the ambitious project started: "Education by and with music" with a very committed supporting institution, highly qualified kindergarten teachers, close cooperation with Staatsoper and above all regular honorary visits of Staatskapelle musicians.
It was quite a challenge for many of the professionals to present themselves to a gaggle of inquisitive and vivacious children. The children were very much interested, their eyes shining with enthusiasm, but the fast development of their musical competence was truly amazing. The musicians involved marvelled at how the children explained the instruments and the storyline of the opera to their parents when they visited a rehearsal in Staatsoper, and at how the children, based on ideas of the creative director, developed their own performances together with Staatskapelle. It is not in the least surprising that the model has been frequently copied. Perhaps some day the dream of a "revolution from below" outlined by Daniel Barenboim in the beginning will come true: Children claim the culture which threatens to get lost in their parents' generation.