Nicola Benedetti has captivated audiences and critics alike with her musicality and poise. While she is a highly sought-after performer on the world’s stages, Nicola is also passionately dedicated to music education.
What do you think about Meludia?
For me personally, one of the greatest things about Meludia is actually the privacy. I think for a lot of people to develop their musical understanding is a very personal and very sensitive journey especially for a musician actually to develop it further.
I also love the beauty of it and the ease and how a naturally it taps into your instincts. The fact that everything is very reactive. It never feels entirely theoretical. And you’re using your ears! They can’t be a straighter route to developing your musicianship than really through your intuition and your hearing.
What are your favorite exercises?
There are no exercises in Meludia that I sort of avoid or skip. There are some that were definitely challenging my weaknesses. Certain exercises focusing on intervals and holding on to the long succession of notes and making sure that I always feel where I am. I think as a violinist though I’m always playing single lines and I have to develop my vertical hearing as much as possible through exercise, through imagining things on the piano or playing the piano. So those exercises that really force your mind to hear everything at once, I think they’ve been most beneficial for me.
What role Meludia can play in music education?
I think when looking at the place of Meludia for kids at school, musicians or not musicians. I think there are two aspects. One, having spent a lot of time in schools and communicating with a lot of teachers – teachers who are not music teachers, peripatetic teachers and those who are instrumental teachers – I think within the larger education system, for the teachers to have the tools with which to teach music in a way that’s effective for everyone and that it really is inclusive and is fun. I’ve heard hundred of stories as to how difficult that can be. So for them to be given on a silver platter, a tool that is so encompassing and so functional and that is fun, and interactive and, of course, uses the skills that are second nature to a younger generation now which is through a screen and through a computer. I think that is an absolute gift. I could see every teacher being endlessly grateful for this tool.
Second to that is the actual experience that young person will have with Meludia. It’s definitely something that is always challenging, it’s colorful, it’s beautiful to see, very interactive. It plays into all the things that the younger generation is looking for now. I think it’s a good mix of encouraging and gratifying… and challenging!
What impact would it make to have a world with better listeners?
I think there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that we would all interact with each other better if we have had more substantial music and creative education from the age of nursery, three and four, right through to the time that we graduate.
I think all the invisible things in life. Just how you listen to what somebody is saying and interpret what they are saying in a way that is tapping into what they intended to give you with that sentence. If you just take that kind of very small, very specific interaction between two people and you multiply that by the amount of interaction there are per day! How many potential misunderstandings? Things that people take in the wrong direction that are to do with a lack of development within your educational years, your formative years, developing that part of your being, your whole self.
I think if we actually saw that for what it was and understood the importance of that in our everyday existence and also general happiness. I think if that were given a priority in school, we would all be so much the better for it. Unfortunately, it’s just difficult to quantify but we just need to keep fighting that fight and illuminating as many people as possible to the necessity of that!
Describe Meludia in three words.
If I would try to summarize Meludia in 3 words. I would say… intuitive, fun and effective.