Our School Project

Basically, each of us has already experienced that music is good for children and adolescents, strengthens the senses, spirit and personality. Studies also show that active music making has a positive impact on a child's personality development and promotes their ability to concentrate and their social skills. It is not only for this reason that it is very important to offer children and young people the opportunity to come into contact with music again and again.
However, this is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve in everyday school life. Even if no exact numbers are available: Estimates assume that not even half of all music lessons can be given or taught outside the subject.
For almost 10 years the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra has been organizing school concerts directly in the gymnasiums of the respective schools. We started with offers for elementary school, in the last two years we had a concept that was aimed at secondary schools and secondary schools (together with a street dancer). In the meantime, we have been able to reach well over 14,000 children and young people with this project, which is unique in the region, and to familiarize them with the special features of an orchestra and a piece of Mannheim's impressive music history.




The basis for the new concept are our extremely successful "Dream Concerts in the Castle", which appeal primarily to a much younger audience - including many students - and have been enjoying incredibly positive feedback for the past three years popular concerts on chairs, but the entire concert lies on mattresses and can be brought to the calm and concentration bit by bit to soft sounds of selected classical music, the room being darkened all the time and bathed in warm colors.



About the concept of "dream concerts in school":
We live in a globalized world. This presents us with new challenges: How do we create peaceful coexistence in a time of serious social upheaval? How do we have to act responsibly so that the world remains livable for future generations? What really moves us, what is important to us and where do we have to rethink? Topics such as sustainability and the call for a new value system play a central role here - questions that are of fundamental importance to all of us, questions that each and every one of us must face. But this takes time without distraction, it needs moments of rest that encourage reflection - a basic requirement for later action. 

Especially for the generation of digital natives, however, this is not so easy in a world in which everything revolves around fast information, interaction, multitasking and constant availability. This is exactly where the "Dream Concerts in School" would like to start. This format is not only about conveying the beauty of classical music, but far beyond: We want to proactively invite young people to the To slow down in order to be able to enter into dialogue in the next step. The fundamental concept is that the pupils can experience the music lying down and with their eyes closed. That is why the concerts are also designed for gyms in which the Gymnastics mats can be laid out and used as lying areas.Alternatively, another large hall would be conceivable, in which the pupils can sit on their own sleeping mats and ideally also with their own blankets and pillows, so that they can enter the contemplation phase , sleep masks are handed out after an introductory discussion t, which ensure a concentrated listening experience without external distraction stimuli. After 30 minutes of music, the final discussion takes place.




The exact sequence of the "dream concerts in school":

Spatial requirements: gymnasium, use of the existing exercise mats as a lying surface for the pupils (alternatively: self-made sleeping mats).

Technical requirements: 13 chairs without armrests for the musicians, a handheld microphone for the moderation.

Other requirements: In advance, the students are asked to bring their own blankets and pillows (possibly also sleeping pads).

The orchestra brings along: sleeping masks, music stands

Age groups: Classes 4 to 10 or older, up to approx. 100 pupils per run

Total duration: max. 90 minutes (2 runs per school visit)

Dramaturgy: At the beginning 15 minutes of discussion with the students, which topics they are currently moving. Then: transition to music with 15 minutes of "visible" experience of the orchestra while sitting. Afterwards taking the lying position, putting on the sleep masks, 30 minutes of classical music without clapping = time for contemplation. Afterwards: about 15 minutes of debriefing.


So far, the project has been supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Mannheim with project funding. Thanks to the exceptional commitment of FUCHS PETROLUB SE and Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Fuchs private, who has generously sponsored the project since 2014, can continue to offer this special school hour experience to the schools free of charge and continue the fruitful pedagogical work of the Mannheim Chamber Orchestra.

              Hierfür möchten wir an dieser Stelle nochmals herzlichen Dank sagen!