washing line with A4 pages with town names of Bach's journey hanging from it
open pink violin case with violin and bouquet of pink flowers inside
blackboard with lists of what we learned and what we felt

Friday 17th December was the last session of Bach’s Quest School. 

We strung up a washing line and hung pieces of paper from it with the names of the towns Bach passed through in our version of his journey (1st image). This was as an aid to creating the storyboard for the video clip that we decided would be a good way to present what we had experienced during our 8-week journey together with Bach.

We discussed how he might have felt at the various stages of his journey and I played a selection of excerpts from the 6 sonatas and partitas, which the students either matched to a particular episode of the journey or rejected outright.

We discussed which of the students’ videos and instagram posts were to go where in the film, and which images from my journey in the summer should be used. 

The students really wanted me to grade them – something which didn’t seem appropriate for me as this project was about participation and not about achievement – but I offered them the option of a certificate listing everything they had learned. We discussed what exactly they had indeed learned and made a list (3rd image). I also asked them whether they would recommend a similar music project to others in the school, and if so, what they would tell them. Thankfully, they were all very enthusiatic about the project, and the right-hand list is what they would tell others.

Then it was present time! The beautiful flowers in my violin case (2nd image) were a gift from the students; they also had a bouquet for my assistant, Lara, and some chocolates for my assistant Titus. We also had gifts for them: miniature cans of coke (having used “cola” as a clapping rhythm for weeks on end) and a tshirt with the Bach’s Quest Logo.

The video documentary clip has just been completed and, pending consent from all participants, I hope to be able to publish it here soon.

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the “Neustartkultur” grant I received from the German state: all of us involved in the project are intensely grateful that we were able to realize it in this form.