GuitarRama: The Bandstand Classroom

Working and playing with high-profile musicians can form an inspiring and motivating part of the ongoing development of any musician’s artistic skills. Such experiences, however, are rarely offered in the typical main instrument curriculum at the music academies. This project investigated if recurring participation in concerts with professional guitarists from different musical backgrounds would increase and strengthen the artistic and professional level in guitar students as well as in their main instrument teacher.

The concerts
A total of six concerts were organized by Kwella in collaboration with the Center for the Danish History of Jazz. Each concert featured a visiting professional guitarist, all of whom were experts within a specific musical style. At each concert, 2-3 of Kwella’s guitar students participated together with a rhythm group consisting of soloist programme students and Kwella himself. The repertoire was selected in collaboration with the guest soloist and the participating students. Concerts were prepared in the preceding lectures and in a single rehearsal with the soloists.

The soloists
Sept 2, 2019: Klaus Lorenzen (DK) – funk and soul
Oct 7, 2019: John Stowell (US) – modern jazz
Nov 4, 2019: Ronni Boysen (DK) – urban blues
Feb 3, 2020: Heikki Ruokangas (FIN) – open improvisation
Mar 2, 2020: Uffe Steen (DK) – modern blues and standards
May 25, 2020: Søren Addemos (DK) – Bebop

To evaluate the potential learning outcome, the students were required to provide oral or written reflections after each concert on their experience with taking part in the concerts.

The student feedback indicates that the concerts provided the participants with an increased knowledge about different instrument techniques and thereby increased creative and pedagogical competences. Furthermore, the students were able to increase their own performative and professional skills by participating in the concerts.

The concerts also led to new collaborations, both between the teacher and the guests and between the visiting musicians and the guests. Finally, they generated a mutual sharing of knowledge which may have long-term benefits for both students, the soloists and the teacher.

See Kwella’s poster about his project as presented at the RAMA Research Seminar April 4th 2020

Read Kwella’s reflections on the project outcome in his report (in Danish).