Project "Art for Children". How Moscow art schools are changing

September 8

Moscow art schools keep on changing; they are becoming more modern, comfortable and available. This changing encompasses various spheres — from major overhaul of buildings to purchase of musical instruments, special furniture and equipment. The project "Art for Children" gives momentum to additional art education in Moscow. Thanks to this project some art schools finally received their own buildings, others renewed their equipment and resources, and still others expanded the list of departments. Read more about how the “Art for Children” program changes life of educational institutions in the article of

Home for a music school

On September 1 the new building of Glinka children's music school at Guryanov street opened its doors for students. By the way, this is the seventh art school built in Moscow over the last 10 years.

The music school exists since 1962 and for several decades it changed more than one address, and only now received its own building thanks to the "Art for Children" program.

Denis Gordeev, director of the Glinka children's music school

“Having no own building, we had to rent premises since 1993. And it is sad to be in some way homeless. But finally we have a new school — our home. It will belong to children, and this is wonderful,” said Denis Gordeev, director of the Glinka children's music school.

The new building of the music school has four floors with underground space. It was designed according the uniform style of Moscow art schools approved in 2018. For example, each floor has its own color corresponding to a particular musical instrument. Such a solution both enriches the interior and, according to Denis Gordeev, will allow children to intuitively navigate around the school from the first days.

Photo by Vladimir Novikov, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

Lessons will be held in 36 classes, a choreographic hall, a chamber hall for 40 people, as well as in a concert hall for 300 people, about which the school director is proudly speaking:

“The concert hall is absolutely modern. It looks like a movie theater, including a huge screen instead of a back wall. Any animation and videos can be screened on it. Our hall is equipped with modern equipment — it complies with almost any technical rider. There is a lot of electronic and digital equipment, as well as a rare concert grand piano. We can implement a variety of projects in our concert hall — both classical and modern, screen installations during a musical performance and much more,” emphasizes Denis Gordeev.

The Glinka children's music school traditionally had five art departments. Among them are pianos, folk instruments, string instruments, musical folklore, wind and percussion instruments. This academic year, four more departments will be added — vocal, painting, choreography and the art of theater.

The enrollment also expanded: 488 children can take classes at the school now compared to 403 pupils before. Denis Gordeev’s forecast is that this figure will be as high as 600.

Besides, the director is planning to open new modern departments in the art school including VR (virtual reality), sound design and web design. Seventeen pianos and grand pianos, eight violins and cellos, six accordions, 15 percussion instruments, three guitars and two saxophones were additionally purchased for teachers and students.

“I hope that our efforts will make the school a generator of creativity and art talent factory. I am sure that the school will be pounding with activities and new opportunities will bring about better results,” Denis Gordeev shared his plans for the future.

Electronic organ for world-renowned choir

On September 1, the A.S. Ponomarev children's music choral school "Spring" was reopened after a major overhaul. The school traces its history to a small chorus circle back in 1964, and now the senior student choir alone has nearly 100 chorists. The chorus has a long lasting international fame — the chorists performed in China and Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and other European countries.

For the last two years, chorists and teachers were eagerly awaiting the renovation to be completed. The building was overhauled and reconfigured to increase the number of classrooms.

Nadezhda Averina, artistic director of the Spring school

“We are working in a former standard school building. It has a lot of space, spacious classrooms and halls. But we were short of small classrooms. Thanks to renovation four classrooms were transformed into eight. And we are planning to increase the state-funded opportunities in the next academic year,” said Nadezhda Averina, artistic director of the Spring school.

Once the renovation was over, new instruments were purchased for the school. Two organs are installed in the Spring school now: the first — pipe organ — was received from the city as a gift for the 850th anniversary of Moscow, and the second — electronic organ — appeared thanks to the "Art for Children" project. Additionally, two pianos, 15 grand pianos were purchased, as well as sound and light equipment, video projectors for concerts and other events.

Thanks to new musical instruments, the school program was expanded since September 1 and two more departments were opened.

Major overhaul as the key to success

One of the first to join the Art for Children project was the Ludwig van Beethoven Children's Music School. It is located in a 1968 building. It has never seen major overhauls before the program was launched. School director Alexander Palitsyn recalls that the works were completed quickly enough:

“It was a large-scale renovation, but carried out over the summer; however, some works were finished in September and we started classes with a slight delay. The repair was done in a short time and with high quality and three years passed without complaints or claims on our part. We are satisfied, both students and parents."

After the renovation, the building looks modern, and the classrooms are lighter and more comfortable. Also, new instruments were purchased for the school, including 12 pianos and grand pianos, string instruments, domras and violins.

The school is known for its concerts and festivals now performed in a renovated concert hall. Teachers and students organize two citywide festivals — "Alexander Tsygankov Invites" and "Beethoven Days in Moscow". The latter turned 20 last year.

Alexander Palitsyn is sure that the overhaul plays an important role in the school’s success. For example, it is a long tradition to perform excerpts from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jacques Offenbach. And this year students staged West Side Story in full. The recording of this performance took part in a contest in Berlin an won a prize there.

“We are preparing for the 85th anniversary of the school next year. We are discussing how to make the celebration interesting. We are full of plans and moving forward. And the 2018 overhaul certainly helps with this. And the mood is quite different in the renovated premises,” said Alexander Palitsyn.

The project "Art for Children" started in 2018. Two years of the project implementation saw comprehensive current repairs of 111 sites and overhaul of 14 sites completed, overhaul of six facades of buildings carried out, about 10 thousand units of musical instruments, 30 thousand sets of special educational furniture, more than 5200 units of technological equipment (musical equipment, sound, light and other) and equipment for art schools (muffle furnaces, easels, etc.) purchased.

Works were not carried out in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic — they had to be postponed. Until 2022, a comprehensive current repair of 38 sites will be carried out, including the completion of the work of 19 institutions started in 2020, as well as the overhaul of 29 sites. More than 13 thousand sets of special educational furniture and about five thousand pieces of musical instruments will be purchased for schools. In addition, two more buildings will be constructed in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative district. Children's art schools will appear in Moskovskoye and Mikhailovo-Yartsevsky municipal districts.

The project is planned to be completed in full in 2022.


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