Link Up Goes International: La Orquesta se Mueve
This season, Carnegie Hall's Link Up program makes its debut on
the international stage through new partnerships with orchestras in
Japan, Spain, and Canada, and is set to reach approximately 200,000
students worldwide. Through a collaborative effort between Carnegie
Hall's Weill Music Institute and Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado
de Asturias (OSPA) in Oviedo, Spain, a Spanish-language edition of
the Link Up: The Orchestra Moves curriculum was
delivered to students and teachers in Spain this January.
Below, OSPA Executive Director Ana Mateo discusses how Link Up made the leap from Carnegie Hall to northern Spain.
How were you introduced to Carnegie Hall's Link Up program?
Ana Mateo: Rossen Milanov, our music director, talked about the program in one of our working sessions to prepare this season. [Mr. Milanov conducts the Orchestra of St. Luke's for Link Up at Carnegie Hall]. The possibility of implementing it here in Spain became a reality when I travelled to New York to see Link Up myself. I had no doubts.
What about Link Up made it a good fit for OSPA's educational programming?
AM: At OSPA, we like to work closely with the schools and the teachers. Our educational concerts are always prepared with prior work in the classroom and with different levels of participation. We have kids on stage and kids in the hall, and they interact with each other in order to show what they have been working on at school. Link Up was the perfect next step for us, with the whole audience participating with the orchestra in what I feel will be a great experience for them. The printed guides make a big difference, as well. The quality of the materials is exceptional and a great help for the teachers. It can work as a curriculum itself for the whole term. The show, including the visuals to help the kids, is just amazing and works very well.
A professional development session for participating Link Up teachers in Spain.
How were you involved in the process of adapting Link Up for use in Spanish classrooms and concert halls?
AM: I participated in the translation of the curriculum guides into Spanish with the awesome team at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. It has been a great pleasure for me to work on this and to be involved in this way. I came to know not only every single detail of the guides, the songs, and the visuals, but also how much WMI cares for what they do. I have had much fun in our discussions about every single word and nuance.
Has Link Up changed the way you interact with schools? With your community?
AM: We were already very interactive with the schools, but this is a big challenge for them and for us. In the professional development workshops, we all come closer and get to know each other from a different perspective. I feel all this work we are doing now will help us to keep challenging everybody in the future.
What are your goals for implementing Link Up? What are you most looking forward to through your participation?
AM: Quality is one of our goals. I believe that if we offer quality, our audience will look for it and be able to recognize it and call for it again. Link Up has this quality. Link Up is also fun, which, in the end, is what classical music is about. It requires an effort which is great reward in itself. We should transmit this to kids: Effort has value. I hope they will work hard at school in order to have great fun playing with us. If they want to come back again, we will have done a good job.
Stay tuned for more news about Link Up's premiere in Spain this May!