International Links

Artistic Director Pete Sparkes reports on Drake’s new links with Estonia, Latvia, Sweden following our presentation at the Music for All seminar in Finland.


The International seminar in August took place at Resonaari Special Music Centre and brought together a wide group of teachers and music specialists from all over Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden and of course Scotland.


As part of the seminar Chief Executive Thursa Sanderson and I gave a talk about the work of Drake Music Scotland for all the delegates. This included a brief history of the organisation and examples of recent projects including those using Figurenotes. Delegates were particularly interested in the use of technology to provide access to music making that has been pioneered by Drake Music Scotland.


Inverclyde Music Teacher and Figurenotes ambassador Annona Thornton gave an illustrated talk about her music sessions in Lilybank school, Greenock. Through a series of videos, Annona charted the development of two pupils over several years as they learned to play using Figurenotes.


The seminar also included sessions on Rhythm Education  (Markku Kaikkonen), Group Playing (Kaarlo Uusitalo) and Teaching Process (Esa Lamponen)

Music For All is a cooperation project between music schools in Finland, Estonia and Latvia funded through the European Regional Development Fund.


The Resonaari Music school was just beginning a new term and we were able to visit music lessons with individual pupils and also band rehearsals. The whole place has a great atmosphere and the activity is similar to our musicSPACE programme.


The trip also included an opportunity to meet with many interesting music teachers and visit some as they delivered classes including Terhi Oksanen who teaches at Kuitinmäki secondary school. Another exciting development may follow after a meeting with Laura Huhtinen-Hilden who trains teachers at Helsinki Metropolia. We plan to host a music education seminar of our own in 2012.

Photos of the visit on Flickr