MARY MC CARTHY VISITS CUSCO- 2011
Written by Flor Canelo, Suzuki and traditional piano teacher in Cusco, Peru
This last January, we enjoyed the visit of Mary McCarthy to Cusco. We had a wonderful time together working with the students in Cusco, in our passion, the traditional music of our countries, Scotland and Ireland (Mary) and Perú (Flor).
Mary made an excellent workshop with the students and parents from Cusco, playing and explaining them how the Scottish and Irish music is made, the scales, the modes, the different genres: the working songs. All of this with really very beautiful music. The children also learned how to accompany this tunes, listening very careful when the harmony changes. They really enjoyed this very much, and she gave us also many ideas in how to teach traditional music to the children. I liked very much the emphasis in the listening and the importance or making or collecting recordings for the students. The children also played for her Peruvian’s traditional music in piano, sikuris (panpipes from the high altitudes) and afroperuvian percussion. They have been learning this along with their Suzuki repertory. I think the most important part of all this experience is that the parents and also the children, even the teenagers got aware of the importance of learning their own traditional music.
At the next day, Mary made master classes for my students and the students of Arioska Falconi. We work together, sharing our activities. I think this is the best way to work, the only way in Cusco if we want to improve always our work. I saw the same work and spirit in Scotland. I felt so well when I went there last year. Our students really liked the lessons, and they improve so much in a few hours! I like very much the way that Mary use to inspire them. The children and the parent felt themselves very comfortable, free and happy with Mary. We liked very much the way she teaches, it gives hope, self-esteem and freedom to the student.
At night we had a Traditional Piano Concert in a beautiful little hall in downtown. We made a very special concert, sharing the ways we have used to make our arrangements in piano. For example, Mary played a piece inspired in the Scottish bagpipes, and then I played a piece inspired in the Peruvian panpipes, named sikuris. She played a very old piece from the Isle of Skye, telling the audience the story, and I also played a very old piece from Ayacucho, telling the audience. The idea was to share not only the beautiful music, but also the different ways people in very far places, express their feelings, their work, and their spirits. In few ways, we are different, but we are the same. And we must do traditional music because it is our heritage, from our parents and grandparents, it built our self-esteem.
Thank you, for your wonderful visit. Come back again soon!