アート教育:スペインにおける新しい動向 | Arts Education: New moves in Spain

ROCE 2013バルセロナで行われた2013年ROCE年次会議で、基調講演を行いました。ROCEは、教育的な企画を行う事業者の集まりで、設立3年目を迎えます。とても新しいですが、熱意あふれる団体です。会議には、コンサートホール職員、オーケストラ関係者、地域で活動する音楽家が参加していました。

I have just returned from Barcelona where I gave the key note speech at the ROCE 2013 annual conference. ROCE is the association for the organisers of educational concerts and it has been in existence for three years; so a young, but very enthusiastic organization. The attendees included concert hall administrators, orchestra representatives and community musicians.


It is interesting that despite the major challenges Spain faces because of the financial crisis (25% unemployment), there is still a great optimism for taking the arts into communities. The nature of the work that takes place also seems, in some cases, to be taking on the role of social enterprise rather than being based solely around performance activity with a much greater awareness of the societal implications of what they are doing. There was much talk of the different ways in which they should identify and integrate with their communities and they had a very interesting and varied array of speakers; from a workshop leader in techno-music to city mayors. They have now attracted the interest of the government and will be making a report later this year.


嬉しいことに、年次会議2日目はカタルーニャ音楽堂 (El Palau de la Música Catalana) で行われました。世界一優雅なコンサートホールのひとつです。

One of the bonuses was that the second day of the conference was held in El Palau de la Música Catalana. One of the world’s most elegant concert halls.

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上野学園大学でファシリテーター養成講座 | Faciliatator training workshops at Ueno Gakuen

We recently announced our summer series of facilitator training workshops at Ueno Gakuen (Tokyo). We have run these for a number of years, and at many different venues, however this year we have had a change of direction. The course is much longer, has greater depth, and will involve two guest speakers.

I have been running workshops in Japan for 15 years, but it is only within the last 18 IMG_4424months that I have started to detect a real change in the way that arts education programmes are delivered. In 2012 there were a number of significant initiatives that came together and provoked a reexamination into the methodologies of workshop and facilitation practice.

As a result, I sense that we needed to take a different approach to training. It has always been my intention that the work in which I was involved should be responsive to the local conditions and cultures, and ultimately involve practitioners who knew the environment 6185176148_672b63a0a6_bwell. When I worked in South Africa this was the principle that lay behind the Creative Voices project, the schools programme which ran for 12 years in the townships outside Johannesburg.

There is now in Japan an evolving body of practitioner knowledge which means that ideas imported from elsewhere, still a valuable addition, should now take more account about the territory in which they are to be applied.

The conversations which take place between practioners are also becoming more informed, drawing on a much wider breadth of knowledge which can move almost seamlessly across cultures and art forms.

For this training series we have invited two quite different specialist practitioners to give seminars. Satsuki Yoshino studied in the UK, but has returned to Japan to develop her own systems and methodologies for working with people who face both physical and mental challenges. Professor Toshibumi Kariyado is a former elementary school teacher who brought his expertise to bear on a research project exploring the background, development and implementation of workshops. His Workshop Designer programme is now in much demand.

講座は、いくつかのモジュールに分かれています。詳細はFacebookページ「コミュニケーション:音楽と文化 – Communication: Music and Culture」でご紹介します。質問もお待ちしております。
There will be a number of modules to this course and I will go into more details on my Facebook page ‘Communication: Music and Culture’ which will allow you to ask further questions.

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地域創造の講演原稿|Japan Foundation for Regional Arts Activites – Keynote speech

Hyogo Ken Arts Centre今年(2013年)1月に兵庫県芸術文化センターで行われた地域創造主催のステージラボで、基調講演を行いました。地域創造は公立文化施設を支える事業で有名ですが、特に事業制作者やアーティストの専門的な養成にも力を入れています。

In January this year (2013) I was invited to give the keynote speech at a conference held at the Hyogo Prefecture Arts and Cultural Centre near to Kobe, by the Japanese Foundation for Regional Arts Activities. This is quite an influential organization in Japan that deals with a wide variety of issues, and in particular the continuing professional development of administrators and artists.


There is currently quite a sea-change in the way that arts organisations are being encouraged to engage with their communities and I was asked to discuss the role of the public venue in society. This is a transcript of the speech.


It was particularly interesting to research this topic because I hadn’t realized before how much the development of formal public performance spaces related back to the religious ceremonies of the Ancient Greeks. This was really a European phenomena as it wasn’t until much later that such dedicated structures developed in Asia. It also helps to explain why lyrical art forms originating in the West have the potential for development on a much bigger scale. The Ancient Greek theatre at Epidaurus held over 14,000 people, and the natural extension for this style of performance arena evolved to accommodate, for example, the operas of Wagner, the ballets of Diaghilev, and symphonies of Mahler.

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音楽とヘアスタイル – Boy / Music and Hair – Boy



This article came as a result of one of my more interesting friendships in Japan.  It was published in the magazine produced by the influential contemporary hair artist, Masayuki Mogi.  Mogi-san was the first Japanese Creative Director for Vidal Sassoon.  He lived in London for some time before returning to Tokyo and starting his own hair styling salons; Boy.   His first salon was in Daikanyama but he has recently opened one in Thailand.

He is a great believer in the development of his staff and encourages them to learn about food, wine and art.  This article was one of the tasks he set for two of them.  As a result I have run music workshops for Mogi-san’s staff and clients, and we collaborated a few years ago on a major training project, ‘What is Creativity’, for all the brand managers at Unilever (Japan)

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近藤誠一文化庁長官 / Commissioner Seichi Kondo, Agency for Cultural Affairs





It was with great interest that I came across this link to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit which was held in August 2012. It was all the more pleasurable when I realised that Commissioner Kondo from the Bunkacho was participating. You can see part of his contribution from 63’11″ Unfortunately it’s only in English.

He mentioned three major challenges that he faces in Japan when trying to attract public and private support for cultural activities.

Because of the subjective nature of the Arts It is difficult to show a connection between inputs and outputs. In business it is much easier to show cause and effect. In the Arts however, making a financial case for funding such as the creation of new jobs is generally treated with skepticism by potential financial sponsors. This is particularly the case when funding has to be secured before an event takes place.
Any cultural investment can take a long time before it shows a return, and sponsors require a much faster response time.

Generally speaking, any returns on investment are too widely dispersed which means that sponsors view any benefits to them as becoming over diluted.
This is not a problem restricted only to Japan. It needs, however, a different sort of dialogue between cultural organisations and sponsors, and I am not convinced that arts administrators are sufficiently knowledgeable about the requirements of sponsors and how to fulfil them. Generally, I have found that commercial sponsors are very clear about their organisations’ aims and objectives, but it is rare to find an arts organisation that have the same understanding.

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私の新しいショーリールです。 My new showreel

It was time to update the events and presentations in which I have been involved over the past year!!!

Michael Spencer: Showreel (日本語の字幕付) from Michael Spencer on Vimeo.

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TEDxWWF: Geneva

What a privilege to be asked to contribute to this ‘meeting of minds‘ in Geneva.  And a challenge to fulfil the brief of linking serious environmental concerns with sound, but there was a logical connection…

One of the most evocative relationships we make with the natural world is through its sounds. As an abundant source of information they have influenced our survival rate and enriched our cultures and traditions. Erosion of these connections not only impoverishes our aural spectrum but marks a loss of the implicit knowledge that is held within.

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LPO – Deutsche Bank

This video was part of an evaluation of the outreach work undertaken by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  It was sponsored by Deutsche Bank, who were interested to see what effect their sponsorship was achieving.  As a result,  they were generous in making a considerable increase in their funding to the project.

Evaluation video: LPO Bright Sparks Project (日本語の字幕付け) from Michael Spencer on Vimeo.

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Keio Futsubu High School

This project took place over about 6 months and took advantage of a combination of technology and on-site facilitation to create a number of workshops, each devoted to a different piece of music. We worked with the music after-school group (bukatsu) at the prestigious Keio Futsubu School, and assistants from the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

It was particularly interesting to run a workshop from Madrid when we were working with De Falla’s 3-cornered hat. We were able to talk about all sorts of different aspects of Spain, and in some cases I was able to show these from my hotel room by holding my laptop out of the window!

This workshop concert was held in Yuport Hall in Tokyo.  It was attended by all the school students, staff and parents; approximately 1500 people.

人生のリズ|Rhythm of Life (English subtitles) from Michael Spencer on Vimeo.

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Questions of Choice / 選択の難しさ


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(サー・ケン・ロビンソン著『The Element(邦題未確認)』2009年出版)

At the core of any Art form lie two principles; the impulse to question, and to respond. The response may generate even more questions. As a cornerstone of the artistic process the outer manifestation may seem less formalized than in other more academic subjects, but the willingness to create constructive challenges, to know what questions to ask, and to create a generative method of evaluation and articulation is what lies at the basis of all learning.

The fast-paced technological world in which we now live presents us with many dilemmas particularly in the way we select and apply information. We have access to a wider frame of reference than ever before, and need to be more ‘fleet of foot’ in the methods by which we select and take on knowledge. Choice, and the way in which we make informed choices is arguably more important than the quantity of data we can digest and regurgitate.

Involvement in the Arts is about making choices. It is also about making distant connections tangible, and seeing new possibilities. The acquisition of knowledge is accumulative, linked to the past but looking to the future. As the French philosopherJaques Derrida said “When we read we all stand in the ashes of those who have gone before”. But we need to re-configure past experiences in a format that is relevant for today, and use them as a launch pad to stimulate the sorts of creative learning processes essential to the evolving societies within which we live. In this the Arts are a significant player.

“We need to evolve a new appreciation of the importance of nurturing human talent along with an understanding of how talent expresses itself differently in every individual. We need to create environments where every person is inspired to grow creatively”

(Sir Ken Robinson. The Element. 2009)

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