Démos: Philharmonie de Paris enlarges access to culture

February 14, 2017 | By French Culture Arts

Launched in 2010 by the Philharmonie of Paris, Démos is an initiative aiming to give access to musical and orchestral education to children coming from rural and low-income communities.

The Philharmonie of Paris issued this project, in partnership with several cultural institutions and orchestras, to enrich children’s education and to insure the transmission of classical heritage. Its intent is to broaden the access to classical music to a large and diverse audience. 

Démos is a three-year program that offers its students four hours of instrumental workshops per week, trainings during the holidays, and orchestral repetitions every six weeks. At the end of each year, the orchestra gives a performance open to the public. 

After experimenting its impact on two regions including Ile-de-France, the Philharmonie of Paris aims to expand Démos on a national scale between 2015 and 2019 through different operators such as public establishments, orchestras and music conservatories.

Besides, following a meeting between the teams of the Philharmonie de Paris and the Lycée Français de New-York (LFNY) in the spring of 2016, a partnership between the two institutions was planned. It would take the form of an educational musical residency and be part of the ‘Artist in Residence’ program launched by the Lycée Français. So the educational team of the Philharmonie de Paris will be visiting the LFNY from March 12-17, 2017, providing an introduction to orchestral instrumental practice that will end with a public performance in the auditorium of the LFNY on Friday 17 March 2017.

Led by a team of teaching musicians from the Philharmonie de Paris and aimed at a hundred or so pupils in the 5th grade of the Lycée Français, the project has been organized in close cooperation with the Lycée’s teaching staff. The aim is to provide a physical and vocal introduction to music, present orchestral instruments (strings, woodwind and brass) and offer an experience of orchestral music practice. During the residency, the children will have an opportunity to take part in orchestral playing and perform short extracts from symphonic pieces adapted to their level. The teaching musicians of the Philharmonie and the group of teachers from the LFNY will accompany them at the final concert, playing the most advanced parts.

Children from the New York French American Charter School (NYFACS) will be associated with the residency. They will be advised by the teachers of the Philharmonie at a number of sessions, developing a choral practice that will be included in the program of the final performance.

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