A crowd of over 300 elementary school students enjoyed a special performance at Kingston’s St. George’s Cathedral on Wednesday as renowned Canadian organist Sarah Svendsen brought the young students into her world.
Svendsen is well known for her child-friendly, educational organ outreach concerts and workshops. The New Glasgow, N.S., native is also the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ travelling clinician.
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“I’m recruiting for the love of music and I think that in the current climate, where everything is about screens and computers and video games — I grew up with video games, there’s nothing wrong with it, per se — but to be able to go and attend something that helps you learn how to listen, it helps you learn how to hear melodies and understand music, which I think only helps,” said Svendsen.
First introduced to the organ at the age of 15, Svendsen has climbed the ladder of success ever since. She holds a master’s degree in music from the Yale School of Music as well as a Church Music Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Svendsen can’t stress enough the importance of music, especially at a young age.
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“It’s definitely something that I would always say. Proper music education, properly trained musicians who are a part of it, is a really important part of a child’s well-rounded education,” said Svendsen. “We have a lot of studies now that are showing you want your test scores up, start teaching music, and I don’t think that’s a mystery.”
The concert was put on by the Kingston Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.