av Jesper Gottlieb
"One of the things producers should pay real attention to, are the gaps between the pieces of music as these gaps provide you with some of the greatest possibilities and most powerful tools to help your music reach your audience as a school concert musician (or any kind of musician, for that matter)!"
In the London Underground there are signs and recorded voices warning you about the gap between the platform and the train, so that you won’t accidentally fall into the gap, while entering or leaving the train. The same kind of warnings could (and should) be issued by producers of school concerts, for there are indeed similar gaps within a concert that musicians can easily stumble into, if they are not careful -‐ or prepared for the challenge!
In school concerts – as in any concert – you have the musicians on one side and the audience on the other, divided by what you might call a communication field. Especially with school concerts you need to pay extra attention to what’s going on in there. Most of what is going on there is, of course, the music itself.
And as far as the music is concerned, producing school concerts in Denmark these days is mostly quite an easy job. Generally we have access to some of our finest professional musicians playing a broad scope of different musical genres, and this means that the music side of things is usually ready and set to go, when we start working with an artist or a group. Often you do tamper a little bit with the order of the music pieces/songs, or maybe with the length of certain passages etc., but usually it is limited to minor corrections like that.
[Here it’s important to remember, that in Denmark we typically have only one or two rehearsals, possibly one trial-‐concert, before a tour, that’s it -‐ so there’s not a lot of time to dwell, anyway...]
With the music set and in order already up front in the production process, we as producers can instead focus on some of the many other aspects that create a good concert experience for the children, besides the music itself. And this means entering a grey zone: the communication field, I mentioned before – and this is actually an area, musicians are not always as well versed in, as they are in the music itself. Brilliant music skills are not always paired with brilliant communication skills, our experience shows. A lot of musicians seem to think, that once the music is well rehearsed and the set list decided, their work is done, and they are ready to meet their audience. And while that may be true, if they are playing a regular concert for their regular grown up, money-‐paying, audience, who are familiar with them and their kind of music, the same is certainly not the case when playing a school concert. Their school concert audience have not paid money to see them, or even chosen to see them, they might not be familiar with their kind of music, the concert will more likely take place in a gym rather than a concert hall etc. A very different situation! So when your music is ready and in place, your real work is actually just beginning – and the first thing you have to figure out is how to....