the Philharmonie de Paris system extends to the rural areas of the Aisne

Since 2013, in collaboration with the Philharmonie de Paris, the music education system and orchestra with a social vocation (Demos) have made it possible for young children in Aisne to learn about music. The department is one of the pioneers of this operation in the province. First docked in the departmental towns, this year it opened for the rural sector of Thiérache.

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First movement, first sound. In a room in the Nouvion-en-Thierache in Aisne, several children are trying out musical instruments for the first time. “We play the violin and we learn to play together”, Leonie rejoiced. From now on, this violin, viola, or other wind instrument will be integrated into his everyday life for 3 years.

Since the beginning of January, every week one hundred children have attended one of the workshops ddevices for music education and orchestra with a social vocation (Demos) in Thierache. 7 towns care this year in this rural area of ​​northern Aisne.

The aim of this operation is to bring these young people from Thiérach to learn about music individually, but also of course in an orchestra. “This is the start of the project, we know each other. It is the meeting and discovery of the instruments, the disciplines, the way the music session takes place. It’s new to them. Little by little, they learn to play individually, but also to play together, to listen to each other, to learn to start together. This is almost a lesson that will follow them throughout their lives“, explained Mario Guierre, the teacher at that time.

With the Isère department, Aisne has been pioneering Demos in the province for 10 years. It all started in 2013, first in Soissons and Saint-Quentin. To Jean-Michel Verneiges, associate director for the development of music activities in Aisne (ADAMA) and delegate to the department for music in Aisne: “it is a device for children aged 7 to 12 years which is intended to introduce them to music through orchestral practice only with the method intended for children who have never attended music school, who learn by imitating, reproducing, through singing as well as dancing“.

The operation is 60% financed by the Philharmonie de Paris with national credit and sponsorship, the rest is carried out by local authorities. “It is totally free for kids and their families. Instruments are loaned, there is no fee to participate. Instruments are also given definitively after a 3-year cycle, for those who take part in teaching activities at music schools.highlighted Jean-Michel Verneiges. The demo is aimed primarily at children who are far from the cultural and music sector in particular. In towns, we go to the neighborhood kids“.

This year, however, the project is taking a new direction in Aisne. For the first time, the action shifts to a rural sector: Thiérache. If the interest is clear, the activity is also more complex to carry out given the distance and travel that can be a brake. “There are questions about mobility to be resolved because we have children who are not in the traditional cultural structure and therefore sometimes we also have to go and look for them. We also plan to transfer students who have schedule constraints“, explains Vincent Lamoureux, vice president in charge of culture at the Thiérache du Centre’s Community commune. Therefore, shuttles or even taxis have to be provided and paid for, but “it is a defect that must be overcome“, said Jean-Michel Verneiges.

The challenge lies in investment. “The goal is not to train great musicians. Before it was even a music project, it was an educational project. This is why social support and support is so important. We strive to encourage the individual growth and development of these children“, specified Jean-Michel Verneiges, assessing the device “efficient“.”The experience at Soissons and Saint-Quentin has shown us that a number of children have been saved from personal adversity by this activity.”.

At the end of their 3 year cycle, the participants will perform in a grand concert at the Philharmonie de Paris, in the presence of their families. A sort of apotheosis for these young musicians from Thiérach. In 10 years, almost 500 children in Aisne will benefit from Demo. This year, 5 sectors benefit from this system throughout Hauts-de-France.

With Lounis Khelaf and Franck Levasseur / FTV.

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