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The 'Listen to Five Minutes of Classical Music' Project Makes a Stop at the 'Spiru Haret' National College in Bucharest

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 , ora 8.59
It is said that a person who is not a practitioner of music is a much better receiver of it. The 'Listen to five minutes of classical music' project, the brain child of Cristina Comandașu - assistant chief editor of Radio Romania Music, carries forward successfully. The initiative which was started almost three years ago, reached the 'Spiru Haret' National College in Bucharest, where students had the opportunity to listen to five minutes of classical music during recess. 14th May was the day we met the young music lovers, and their teachers. In this context, we asked the principal of the institution, Alexandru Constantinescu, to share a few words with us: 'I have always believed that classical music is meant to give you balance, to create a feeling of tranquillity, serenity, and sobriety, and it has a very positive effect on the human psyche. Such initiatives are very important and I believe that we must make it a point to promote true values and classical music - I remember taking great pleasure in tuning in to the musical lessons given by Leonard Bernstein during my teenage years - they were truly special - and at the same time I used to have free access to the concerts that were held at the Radio Hall.'

We also talked to a few students at the 'Spiru Haret' National College:

Costin: 'I think classical music is very important in our development as young people. I was raised with classical music, I studied the piano for nine years and then the guitar in a music school and, although I don't listen to classical music every day, I do listen to some pretty often and it gives me joy every time I do - including when it's playing over the speakers on the high school halls. Sometimes I tune in to Radio Romania Musical and I'm happy that the project is running in our school.'

Mihai: 'To me, classical music is very important: I have been playing the guitar for four years now and I can say that the great classical composers have a huge influence on me - for example, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Every instrument is a reference point for me, I listen to a lot of music - I prefer rock music usually - but also pop, rap or classical.'

Beatrice: 'I think we should all listen to more classical music, without losing touch with the modern music that young people prefer. It's beneficial to us to listen to also listen to classical music, because today's music has its origins in the classical. All the other genres originate in classical music and, out of all of them, classical music gives me a sense of quiet, of peace. I believe everyone should listen to classical music, if only to better understand the phenomenon of music in all its complexity.'

We have a teacher's perspective on the 'Listen to five minutes of classical music' project from Mariana Comăniță, a professor of Musical Education and Educational Advisor at the 'Spiru Haret' National College: 'It is a commendable initiative, because the majority of our students only listen to classical music during our musical education classes - they have no such concerns at home. To be able to listen to classical music together during recess is a privilege that other schools do not share. During musical education classes, auditions are an extremely effective practical tool to complement the theoretical base; through the 'Listen to five minutes of classical music' project, students are exposed to this kind of music which many reject because they have no knowledge of it. Even if they can identify a musical fragment as being part of, for example, an animated movie, more often than not they have no idea that the respective piece of music was written by a great composer. I believe that classical music stimulates students intellectually, has a formative effect on character and develops their taste for quality music. At the same time, they learn to appreciate cultivated music in modern arrangements, which are more accessible to them. It is my belief that all we have to do is to give them the opportunity to become acquainted with this musical genre. They are very receptive.'

Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Șerban Dudău and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest