This past week, Music students in Grades 8-12 had the opportunity to participate in a trip to Vienna, where we visited many types of museums (scientific and historical), homes of famous composers such as Mozart and Haydn, and enjoyed a variety of musical performances – from string quartets, to opera, to a big band!
The main purpose of the trip was to give students an opportunity to experience the kinds of music that they may not get a chance to normally engage with. For example, opera is a style of music that can be difficult for students to enjoy, so we had the great opportunity to see ‘Die Fledermaus’, which is a comic operetta – designed to be funny and also somewhat shorter than a more traditional opera. It is a great first experience with opera for our students. Another example was that we took the time to visit important places for historical figures of music – not only did we visit the homes of Mozart and Haydn, but we also visited the graves of some of the titans of western classical music, including Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert. My hope is that students will gain a better understanding of the people behind some of the most well-known music in the world and will feel inspired to pursue their musical interests with even more passion.
The other purpose of the trip was to help build community between grade levels. Students had the chance to meet and work together with students in other grades, building a community where younger and older students know each other and can support one another in their musical endeavors.
“The most informative parts of the trip were the museum visits – we learned a lot of things about Mozart we never knew! They told us on the tour of his home that he likely had Tourettes!”
– Trayii Iyer, Grade 8
“The opera was nice, although it was long it was enjoyable. It was like a movie with music. I’d never seen an opera before. I also learned about some instruments I didn’t know about before, for example, we saw a bass clarinet at a big band performance.”
– Damien Schraft, Grade 8
“We really loved the big band and jazz! It was surprisingly jazzy for what they advertised as ‘traditional Viennese music’, and the audience interactions with the singer were fun. We also really liked the clongs – which are 3-d renders representing frequencies, something we got to see in the House of Music museum. We also got to make our own clongs which was cool. We also liked the opera, we thought that the actors and singers did a great job and were very true to the time period.”
– Aksh Joshi and Carson Colangelo, Grade 9