For mastering instrumentalist skills of performing classical music, it is necessary to understand that musician functions as a bridge between the musical notation and the listener. The performer has to “translate” and bring to life musical text and musical information from paper to air and to audience.
Understanding this fundamental point brings us to the methodology of improving the ability to transmit musical imagination through the instrument. After developing high motor abilities on the instrument, performers have to use these motor abilities to produce musical ideas. In other words: the physical movement has to be used in an intuitive, automatic way, in order to transmit what artist wishes, according to the musical notation.
To develop this complex intuitive ability, the musician has to perform regularly in front of an audience. However, this crucial element is not integrated into the traditional system of classical music higher education. The music academies offer only a very limited number of performance opportunities, as class or department concerts, which usually takes place once or twice a semester. In these concerts students are under strong psychological pressure, being judged by classmates and professors. These concerts function as an exam and under such circumstances it is almost impossible to play with musical imagination. During these concerts students feel stress, fear, shame and competition. These feelings are known to slow down the communication in the frontal lobe of the brain, a region responsible for the learned movements. In order to be a good performer of classical music it is necessary to develop musical intuition with the purpose of being able to play not “technically” or “mechanically” but artistically.
The young musicians, musical mentors and repertoire are carefully selected for their excellence and quality.
Teachers in the Musethica education program are considered mentors: they intensively prepare concerts together with the young musicians through master classes. One of the distinctive features of Musethica is that the mentors also perform with young musicians in the concerts. This methodology places high demands on the teacher and presents a special challenge for the young musicians. The interaction between teachers and students through the rehearsals and performing in concerts together is a key element of the Musethica education program.
During certain activities, workshops, and festivals teachers and students may live together for a certain period of time. This way of working strengthens the relationship between students and mentors, allows increase work intensity, promotes exchange of experiences and facilitates collaborative learning.
The audience of Musethica concerts is diverse, honest and demanding. Concerts in social institutions are attended by different kind of listeners, varying from children to elderly people, specifically people with disadvantages caused by personal difficulties (immigrants, people with some kind of disability, elderly people, etc.) and, in general, those who are socially excluded or at-risk of exclusion. These audiences have no or little experience with classical music and attending to classical music concerts. Therefore, Musethica concerts in social institutions are held in facilities and rooms that are normally used for center day-to-day activities (like gyms, hospital waiting rooms, classrooms, cafeterias) to facilitate the proximity and interaction between musicians and audience. These circumstances place high technical demands on the musicians who must overcome acoustics difficulties of the room and establish immediate contact with the audience.