Welcome to the Innovative Conservatoire

ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK


Op zoek naar een eigen stem

Ingela Hellsten

Last updated August 20, 2013

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

When I read this poem I thought about the importance of an inner voice that’s not primarily depending on the light from outside (confirmation), but is rooted in a genuine love for the art. A light inside that keeps driving you to a devoted work which can be both easy and a struggle, but these moments are profound lessons where we can reach deeper into ourselves, our feelings and the personal expression may grow even stronger.

Sometimes during lessons the students can be concerned about what I as a teacher think of their performance, which can make them lose sensitivity to their own impulses and feelings. If you get stuck in fear of making mistakes the spontaneous reaction can be easily lost. If the student feels free to explore, unconditionally and uncritically, I as a teacher can contribute with giving tools to help them increase the contact with their instrument and support each student in their artistic maturation and give them the conditions necessary to develop their musical expression and a strong identity.

Improvisation as well as teaching is a way of interacting with others and yourself with an openness, presence and humbleness, you search within yourself both on an intuitive and intellectual level, you move between freedom and structure, between control and non-control, between organization and spontaneity. A balancing act between listening, responding and initiating your own ideas. What you hear and what you contribute are therefore in mutual influence and constant interrelation.

In 1-2-1 interaction there are never two occasions/lessons that are the same, interaction has a dynamic structure that’s dependent on the people that get together. Unconsciously, very rapid decisions are made when interacting, both musically and socially. I hope I will listen to what the student needs, what the music needs, simply what the situation needs and give the student permission and space to use their curiosity and fantasy, to try, search and reflect in a true and honest way. To meet each student where he or she is and in a respectful process support to artistic maturity.


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