The birth of this project
Founded in October 2012, located next to the Alameda da Universidade de Lisboa, the Colégio Moderno Music School is the embodiment of an ancient dream of the School Board.
The School of Music is run by Professora Inês Saraiva and by Maestro César Viana, two major references in the Portuguese music scene and has a faculty includes many highly regarded teachers, as well as the music teachers at the Colégio.
Initially geared towards the teaching of string instruments – violin, viola, cello – they would include piano lessons under the coordination of pianist Jill Lawson.
From the first 50 pupils, who transitioned with the teachers to the current 300 it was just a small step. Most children attend the Colégio Moderno, but the School of Music is an independent body, open to outside pupils and this number keeps growing.
Mission and syllabus
Not all pupils will grow up to be professional musicians, but the goal of the School of Music of the Colégio Moderno is to prepare them for that possibility.
The School is open to children from age 3 and there is no maximum age of attendance. The syllabus is built to follow the pupils’ ages in the varying steps of the official education system. However, any one may apply and will be directed to the fitting level.
The course follows a format and contents defined by the School.
The structure of the Music Course is divided into three main blocks:
• The preparatory course – equivalent to the pre-school for children aged 3 to 6. They have one individual one-hour lesson per week and, for pupils learning string instruments, a biweekly ensemble lesson, always on Saturday morning.
• The initiation course – running parallel to primary education and geared to students usually aged 6 to 10. They have one individual one-hour lesson per week and, now, an additional hour of choir and another of musical initiation – solfeggio – each week. The biweekly ensemble lesson for string instruments still applies.
• The general and complementary course for children in secondary education aged 10 to 18.
The general course – the first five years – for pupils aged 10 to 15. They have one hour of instrument and another of choir as well as 90 minutes of musical training, a more advanced version of solfeggio. String-instrument pupils have a further two hours of orchestra and another two of ensemble each week.
The complementary course is the most demanding one. For the pupils in the final three years, aged 15 to 18. They have one hour of instrument, 90 minutes of musical training, 90 minutes of chamber music, 90 minutes of musical analysis and 90 minutes of history of music.
The School of Music issues a diploma to all pupils who finish each degree.
Concerts, projects and workshops
As well as the many auditions throughout the year that allow the pupils to showcase their talents to the public, regardless of their level, the School of Music of the Colégio Moderno develops and takes part in several cultural activities including several auditions inside the School and some concerts, including:
• The annual concert at the São Carlos National Theatre.
• Taking part in Music Days and Mini-days at the Centro Cultural de Belém.
• Concerts at the Ajuda National Palace, at the Lisbon Sé, at the Estrela Basilica and the National Pantheon.