A suitcase full of recorders

 

104 recorders were donated to Music Crossroads, and in January they traveled with

me from Norway to Malawi.

 

The recorder is not a popular instrument in Norway. The instrument has gotten a

bad reputation because every child is forced to play it in the 5th

with the rest of the class. It does not sound good when 20 kids are playing in unison

and many of the recorders are out of tune. You tune a recorder when playing and by

controlling the flow of air — this is very difficult.

I have a bachelors degree in classical music with the recorder as my main instrument.

Usually, when I tell people in Norway this they either start laughing or do not believe

me. They do not know that the recorder is a real classical instrument, that there is so

much music composed for it and that you can find recorders in many different shapes

and sizes.

Before I came to Malawi I had heard from last year’s participants that there was a

children group, Hear Us Children, that played some recorder music. When I arrived

in Malawi in August I was planning on teaching these children and not really hoping

for much more than thinking that the recorder would be the same in this country

as in Norway. But I was very surprised by the excitement my recorders caused.

People were curious and eventually very eager to learn how to play this instrument.

As a result, I had gotten many requests from the students to teach them to play the

recorder. The only problem was that Music Crossroads only had 5 recorders to

use and these were in real bad condition. This was an enormous problem because

the students did not get the chance to practice and the instruments also frequently

disappeared. I wanted to do something about this and decided to send emails to

friends, colleagues, family and teachers asking if they had a recorder or two laying

around which they did not have use of anymore. Already within a day I had gotten

a response, and at the end of the week the responses were massive. People really

wanted to help.

I travelled to Norway the 20th of December to celebrate Christmas. During the

three weeks I was at home I collected all the donations, and I was truly amazed. I had

received 104 recorders in different shapes and sizes! I packed all of these recorders in

my suitcase and brought them back to Malawi. I distributed the recorders to all of the

enthusiastic members of Music Crossroads who are interested in learning how to play

this classical instrument, and they were all really happy with the instruments. The last

week I have gotten many new students who are really motivated. My goal for the next

couple of months is to start a recorder ensemble at Music Crossroads and also end the

year with a concert.

 

I would like to thank all the kind people in Norway for their generous donations!

Stay tuned for more recorder news soon!

Lisa
Lisa

– Karmøydialekta mi er eit større handikap, eg er jo glad for at eg spelar blokkfløyte, ler ho. Frå fyrste stund slår Lisa deg som eit vesen av heil ved: ærleg, annleis og fargerik. Ho sit med hovudet litt på skakke, munnen er på gløtt når ho tenkjer.

– Eg byrja då me hadde blokkfløyte på barneskulen. Det var interessant å læra meir, eg hadde høyrt blokkfløytemusikk elles. Eg fann grepstabellar, spela meir. Fordi eg fekk det til, seier ho. Ho utstrålar ein tryggleik som smittar, blikket hennar fell til ro på deg. Men ho har heile livet vore på reisefot:

– Faren min er frå USA og reiste til Jemen med Peace Corps. Der arbeidde òg mor mi som jordmor, og dei vart kjærastar. Eldste broren min vart fødd i Nederland, der mor mi kjem frå. Dei hadde planlagt å få meg i Jemen, men det viste seg at eg kom før, så eg vart fødd i ei hytte før dei undervegs.

– Du skal vera med på eit friviljug engasjement over ni månader i Malawi, er du idealist eller berre interessert?

– For det fyrste så har eg sjølv lyst til å dra på eventyr, læra noko nytt. Eg har lært mykje om landet og er skikkeleg gira på å reisa ned og gjera noko og læra noko.

– Kva trur du kjem til å endra seg etter opphaldet i Malawi?

– Eg vonar å få større perspektiv på livet, ikkje ta alt for gitt, ikkje vera så sjukt high maintenance. Eg håpar òg at eg tør å kasta meg ut på område der eg kjenner meg veldig utrygg førebels: improvisasjon og rytmisk musikk. Eg vil dessutan verta meir sjølvstendig.

– Du verkar jo allereie veldig sjølvstendig?

– Jo då, men eg merkar at det alltid må vera ein person i livet som eg føler meg trygg på. Eg hadde vore dritredd om ikkje eg reiste ned med dykk. Men eg hadde skikkeleg sommarfuglar i magen då eg sat på flybussen og skulle møta dei andre. Kom dette til å gå bra?

– Kva set kjærasten din mest pris på hjå deg?

– Ja, sei det? Ho ler, ser til sida. Humoren min, kanskje? At eg ikkje tek livet så seriøst, og meg så sjølvhøgtideleg. Eg kan tulla dagen lang, kjekt å vera med meg for det vert det ikkje kjedeleg.

Ho set blikket i meg og ler:

– Dersom du skriv ned alt dette no, så må eg få lesa gjennom teksten din, slår ho fast. Eg nikkar med eit lurt smil, lagrar dokumentet og pakkar saman. Skal sjå Lisa vert den fremste improviserande blokkfløytisten Noreg har sett.

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