The first two pilots of Future Songwriting closed successfully in May. We are looking forward to a busy autumn, where the Finnish method will be tested in Germany and France, and continue in Finland.
“This is the starting point of something.” – Kari Kivinen, School Principal at HRSK
Aaahs, aaws, tearful moments and proud applause accompanied the closing parties of Future Songwriting pilots at Helsinki French-Finnish School (HRSK) and Santamäki School in Kempele. Catchy, expressive and unique songs signalled the end of the creative process set off by INTO team, assisted by teachers and the staff of the schools, with creative pupils in the starring role.
“I was amazed by the lyrics and melodies the kids had come up with.” – Jussi Rasinkangas, music teacher at Santamäki School.
Future Songwriting pilots begin with a training for teachers that equips them with the know-how to assist the creative journey of kids. They provide the framework for composing and jump in only when necessary: “They made the songs by themselves, from beginning to end.” – Katarina Panelius, music teacher at HRSK.
The project is rooted in the existing practice and guiding principles of Finnish education, and is based on the work of the professional musicians and education experts of INTO School. Collaboration; a flexible and non-hierarchical approach are nothing new to Finnish kids and teachers – now they apply it to composing music.
The presence of music professionals, the accessibility of digital tools and pop music as well as the expressive power of music add oomph to Future Songwriting.
“Students who don’t excel at academic subjects could have their moment of glory”
as Kari Kivinen, HRSK’s principal puts it – “What was particularly touching was that the different pieces they made really reflected their personality, they could express themselves in front of the whole school. And they were brave enough to do it. I think they got a lot of self-confidence and a good feeling of being able to do something impressive in front of the whole school community.”
Participating children received certificates after the closing party, several teachers and kids expressed their wish to continue composing and using the methods tried through Future Songwriting. “The kids really enjoyed it, and said they had learnt a lot. They were even a bit sad
the pilot ended.” – Katarina Panelius
Future Songwriting will see a busy fall term: pilots will take place in France and Germany, and new schools in Finland will also join the project. This will be a great opportunity to see how well a concept developed in Finland, based on the internationally acclaimed Finnish education model works.
A team of researchers from teams from UniArts Helsinki, the University of Cologne Musical Futures and University Pompeu Fabra accompany the pilots, observing the methodology and experience of teachers and students.
“We will observe what’s the pedagogical thinking behind Future Songwriting, how it’s manifested in different contexts.” – says Heidi Partti, professor of Music Education at Sibelius Academy. “At this point we mostly have questions but the main focus areas will be teachers’ development and students’ experience. We will also look at if technologically supported composing provides a lower threshold experience.”
Stay tuned in the autumn for more news on Future Songwriting, a European project that aims to revolutionize music education.