Between 13 and 17 February, our colleagues Carmen Carreiras, Ángel Montes and Virginia Lis visited the Uppsala Kulturskola to carry out the activities of learning by observation programmed in the Erasmus+ project of the current academic year.

Monday 13th February was the beginning of the adventure for the three companions of CMUS Professional Vigo. Angus Keay, the head of international relations and coordinator of the Erasmus+ programme of our host school, was waiting for them in Uppsala, who, in addition to organising our agenda in detail, has been accompanying us the whole day.

Angus Keay, Erasmus Coordinator at Uppsala Kulturskola.
The warm teacher’s room at Uppsala Kulturskola.
Day 1 at the entrance to the host centre.

The activities included in the job-shadowing tasks ranged from attending instrument classes (mainly in the specialities of the visiting teachers: piano, clarinet and trombone), group theory classes, general music classes in the surrounding schools, ensemble, jazz band, ethnomusicology and, of course, several meetings with the management team and various heads of department (e.g. piano accompanist) to gain a better understanding of the bureaucratic, economic and personal management of the centre.

Carmen Carreiras on a tour of the centre’s facilities.
Uppsala municipality library
Virginia Lis with Martin Cederquist, the clarinet teacher, after observing her classes.

One of the most striking activities was the attendance at a large morning concert, with 4 performances on the same day, which was attended by more than 4000 children from schools in the city of Uppsala, including those located in the most disadvantaged areas of the city.

Great concert by the students of Kulturskola Uppsala and other regular schools.
Dozens of children prepared to enter the Uppsala Konsert & Kongress (UKK), where the musical took place.

In those parts of the city where the population has fewer possibilities and resources, the Kulturskola has implemented the “El Sistema” programme based on the social action programme created in Venezuela a few decades ago to promote the inclusion of the most disadvantaged children.

Music classes for 6 to 9 year old.
Team of teachers of “El Sistema” in Sävja.
Collaboration by the teaching staff in the children’s orchestra of “El Sistema”.
Virginia Lis and Dorota Frick, clarinet teacher and coordinator of the social inclusion programme “El Sistema”.

The Kulturskola, in addition to music classes, also offers classes in other arts: painting, dance, theatre, and creative writing, specialities in which we have also had the pleasure of participating.

Painting classes at the National Museum in Uppsala.

We leave Uppsala with many unforgettable experiences, many examples of good practices to apply in our future teaching work, as well as a great motivation to carry out collaborative projects with various institutions involving students from other arts schools and, above all, we take with us new Nordic friends whom we look forward to meeting here at CMUS Professional Vigo. Thank you Angus Keay for your great dedication and thank you to everyone else for your warm welcome!

The involved teachers with their inseparable travelling partner, Angus Keay
Uppsala Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Sweden
ABBA Museum at Stockholm.