Friday, 4 December 2015

Music literacy for all? Estonia shows the way as part of the Year of Music

26th Estonian Song Festival, 2014 - photo by Ivo Kruusamägi
26th Estonian Song Festival, 2014 - photo by Ivo Kruusamägi 
2015 has been the Year of Music in Estonia with major celebrations throughout the year. As a culmination of this the government has announced that for December access to the Meludia platform will be made available free of charge to every citizen and resident. Meludia is a Paris-based French music education company and their innovative new music learning system is gaining wider currency since the company's founding in 2012. The new agreement will mean that all 1.3 million inhabitants gain access to the music literacy programme.

Having attended a number of music events in Estonia, I have always been struck how the rate of music literacy was high and the number of major composers produced by the country is remarkably high considering the population is only 1.3 million. Music has always been important to the country's identity and during the 19th century the song festivals were such an important part of the development of a national identity. So much so that the song festival in Tallinn continued throughout the Soviet era and song was significant part of Estonia's move towards independence. In 1988 spontaneous mass singing at the Tallinn Song Festival grounds was a significant factor in the overthrow of the Soviet regime in the country.

But even so, the collaboration with Meludia is remarkable and I wished that I had the confidence that a British government might implement a similar move!

Meludia aims to teach people using sensations and emotions, rather then deluging them with jargon. If you are interested in learning more about Meludia, then do visit their website to get a free trial and there is a video on YouTube which explains things.

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