Local Musician returns from two-week training at Juilliard Music School

Burrell Boom native and musician and teacher Courtney Gillett has scored a pair of major accomplishments. She has just returned from a two-week training for music teachers at the world-renowned Juilliard Music School in New York City, and soon leaves for Panama as Belize’s first and sole representative in the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), which will be touring Central America this summer and coming to Belize in August. Ms Gillett spoke to PLUS News today about the training.

Courtney Gillett – Musician and Teacher:
vlcsnap-2013-06-17-18h52m38s103The symposium was on Violin Pedagogy, and what that is it’s the art of teaching the violin techniques, especially in the left hand in violin playing.  It’s both the right and the left hand, but the left hand is very important.  So it was how to apply the techniques in your left hand to certain pieces, in this case it was Bach, the Bach sonatas and some other pieces.  So practical application of those techniques.  We’ve been very lucky to have been able to go, because it comprised over 130 people, from 14 different countries.  These are music educators all over the United States and around the world. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from them, so I’m very happy.

Music director for the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Colville Young Jr., shares with us how important music is as a tool to address social conditions.

Colville Young Jr – Music Director NICH:
vlcsnap-2013-06-17-18h52m55s3Symphonic orchestra as a tool for transforming communities is vell known and as a proven track record through Latin America and the Americas. In fact what we are trying to do is to get young people.  Once again we focus on aquiring skill and education.  Music is one of the most important of musical subjects, because it teaches both discipline needed for high achievement, as well as the academics of history and of course culture.

As for Courtney, she looks forward to sharing what she knows with locals as a teacher.

Courtney Gillett – Musician and Teacher:
It’s very very important, but it’s not seen as very important, as important as medicine, or business, or other things. But truth be told the arts is what holds us together, that cultural aspect.  If we invest more in the cultural arts in Belize, I am sure people will see a benefit in our societies.  It’s what used to happen in the villages.  People used to get together, sing and dance, and when you interact with people on that level, you get to [build] friendships and common bonds.  That is what has been destroyed in our society. We don’t have that level of interaction any more. It’s very important and I hope that through my participation people will see that they can contribute to the arts in Belize, and help us develop even more, so that other people can have the same opportunities.

Belize’s national youth orchestra and choir, formally established in September of 2011, will participate in the August 4 concert at the Bliss.

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