The great success of the “Space Philharmonic” project
The series of 15 educational concerts realized by the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk with the substantive support of POLSA attracted almost 10 thou. spectators – pupils from the Tricity primary schools.
On the 16-17th of April 2018 the four final performances of the last part of the meetings were held as part of the "Space Philharmonic" - an educational project carried out in the Polish Baltic Philharmonic on Ołowianka in Gdansk in cooperation with the Polish Space Agency. The project was aimed at pupils from 1-3 grade of elementary school, and apart from strictly musical content, it featured multimedia materials and educational resources concerning astronomy, space missions and satellite technologies used in everyday human life.
In the storyline, "Space Philharmonic " is the stage adventures of Jan Heweliusz - a famous citizen of Gdańsk and great astronomer. His adventures are related to the original discovery of the Planet of Music, on which he spotted the greatest composers of subsequent musical epochs. In spite of great astronomical knowledge, the scientist is not acquainted with music, which leads to the humorous presentation of the greatest works of classical music. The times of Heweliusz were seamlessly intertwined with the present while the old instruments and ideas were confronted with a modern state of knowledge and technology. Pupils participating in the concerts were encouraged to learn with Hewelisz while interacting and playing. The "Space Philharmonic" series consisted of 15 meetings divided into 4 episodes took place.
Department of Education of POLSA had become involved in organizing the event and had prepared substantive content which was included in the subsequent episodes of the series. The level of difficulty of the knowledge transferred was adjusted to the age of the participants. The visual materials presented during concerts were based on educational materials offered by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA).
The four editions of the series, which began in October 2017 (subsequent performances took place in December, and in 2018 in February and April), were devoted to various space-musical issues, illustrated with relevant examples of classical music and multimedia materials. During the performance selected instruments were presented by the musicians. The children learned about its construction, ways of extracting sound and sound possibilities. The accompanying elements consisted of ballet, ballroom dance, as well as educational games (such as the Solar System model, the principle of jet drive operation, construction of a telescope), to which children from the audience were invited to participate.
The following episodes of the series are:
- The Musical Universe (October 2017)
- Instruments of Jan Heweliusz (December 2017)
- Interplanetary flights (February 2018)
- Kosmoteka (April 2018)
During all performances, 18 movies, animations and slideshows on astronomical and astronautic topics were shown: Where did the constellations come from? Seasons, Zodiac, Wonders of the Solar System, the Sun - our day star, Contemporary astronomer instruments, Mystery of the Bethlehem Star, Suburban giant Hevelius, Selenography, or description of the Moon, Great telescopes of modernity and space telescopes, How does the rocket work?, The Moon capture, Space odyssey of Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft, Direction - Mars, How does GPS work?, What do we owe to artificial satellites?, Space music. All or part of 56 compositions of classical or popular music were played, including works by: Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Boccherini, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Dvorak, Bizet, Faure, Grieg and Strauss, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov and other composers.
A total of 9795 spectators took part in the performances, including children with physical and mental disabilities, as well as invited guests. Each of the shows was viewed by approximately 660 spectators on average.
"Space Philharmonic" was a useful and original way of spending time, which combined different art disciplines with an elementary introduction to astronomy and space exploration. The project was based on interdisciplinary approach to educating the youngest. While sensitizing pupils to the beauty of music, singing and dancing, the series could become an impulse for self-development, individual out-of-school education and development of one's passions and interests, not only in the sphere of culture and art, but also in the field of astronomy, astronautics and satellite technology.
The involvement of the Department of Education of POLSA in the implementation of the "Space Philharmonic" project is related to the implementation of the POLSA statutory tasks related to information and promotion activities in the field of the use of space and educational activities.