I first set foot on Kolobrzeg in July 2009 to participate in the 4th European Musical Workshop. I was only 10 years old then, and I fell in love with the azure sky, beautiful sunsets, old lighthouse and crashing waves of the Baltic Sea.
Now in its 10th year, the European Musical Workshop draws students from all over Europe and Asia who seek to learn from some of the top music pedagogues – professors from the UK, Germany and Poland.
The first night of the musical workshop, as a tradition, starts with an inaugural concert by the music professors. The balmy night at the Ratusz (Town Hall) is soothed by classical music – Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Schubert.
There are opportunities for participants of the workshop to play in the orchestra and perform solo. There is an in-house luthier to see to all string players’ instrumental needs. Concerts take place every evening either at the Ratusz or the Cultural Centre.
I particularly enjoy the Masterclasses with Professor K. Smietana from London and Professor B. Bryla. Besides fine-tuning my playing, I love the titbits of information about their experiences when they were students. They also share tips on how to practise effectively and tackle difficult passages of music. Due to the relaxed setting of the music camp, learning takes on a different tone – creative energy is greatly enhanced. Without the usual pressure of school term, I seem to play better.
One of the treats of this camp is a non-musical activity of riding on an old fishing boat – the Santa Maria. Going for a 1-hour cruise in the summer is always a pleasant way to chill out. However, I remembered that during one of the years almost everyone on board got really seasick, as the Baltic Sea had been exceptionally choppy. All of us had a great laugh whenever we recall this mass puking incident. At night, I usually hang out at the pizzeria with fellow participants. There, over handmade pizzas, we trade “juicy” gossip about the people in the classical music circle.
Who thinks that musicians only practise all the time?
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