Last few weeks have been busy in my life. I have moved to another city and travelled to Tampere and Turku and back to Oulu and stopped in Kokkola couple of times. In between we were organizing a summer music course called Puhallus (eng. blowing) in the same music school that I have been teaching in Oulu.
I have participated myself in many music courses and camps and master classes. I have also been tutor in one music camps taking care of younger students. But this time I was planning and teaching in the course. At some point I was getting quite frustrated. The idea of organizing the course wasn’t mine. I was asked to come to teach. But soon it was clear that we were also planning the course all together from the beginning. First we were five teachers but then one couldn’t continue so we were only four left. I was a bit sceptical if the music course will even happen at all but at some point I realized that I had 5 students (eventually one of them cancelled but anyway four was enough) myself and couldn’t even take more. Then I decided to take a part with the course anyway even if I didn’t really get paid properly for my work but to get a new experience and be part of something new. And that was totally worth it!
All of us, the teachers, gave our own effort for the course. I think the biggest thing was to plan the timetables for everyone. Since we didn’t have anyone else expect us four, we couldn’t all be teaching lessons with only one student at the same time. Then there would be over ten students without anyone to take care of them and give something to do. However, we succeeded to create functioning timetable and it even stayed almost the same thorough the whole week.
On Monday, just before the course began, we were all pretty nervous. Will the students come and how is it going to be for them? Have we forgot something? But everyone found their way there and we even got two more students just on the first day. I think everyone came sharing the same interest for learning music. Despite the age (from 8 years to 73) and despite how many years (0 to 10) they had played music before or despite the nationality (Finnish, Chinese, Belgian, Indian) they seemed to get along. And I believe that was the magic of our course. We were together around 20 people. So everyone got to know each other pretty fast. And the students shared their knowledge with each other.
I actually knew all my students beforehand. That was a benefit because it was really easy for me to plan what to do with my students. I got really excited about putting together a clarinet quartet. I even found a bass clarinet for me to play. I believe also students liked to play together. All in all I got a feeling that all students enjoyed the course. They focused in the music theory exercises and learned how to write music with MuseScore. We also had group lessons for body percussion, common playing and singing moment and getting to know music from all around the world. And of course on the last day everyone got a change to perform themselves.
Let’s see if the next summer will bring a new Puhallus!