Limassol, CY: For the past couple weeks, I had the great joy of working with renowned actress Ermina Kyriazi and her (very) young acting students. I composed music and songs for their two productions: The Trianglefish by Vangelis Heliopoulos and A Scarecrow's Dream by Evgenios Trivizas - both directed by Ms. Kyriazi. The shows were produced as a double bill at Theatro Ena in Limassol last Saturday, June 22, 2019.
The Challenge of Writing Music for Children
Writing songs and music for amateur children actors might seem like a simple task, however I assure you that it can be quite the challenge!
Firstly, the music you write has to be interesting, otherwise the kids won't bother learning it (and, trust me, they will let you know when they don't like it!). Furthermore, the music needs to be enchanting, in order to help them get into character. Children tend to have a very limited attention span, so they get bored very easily. This makes it hard for them to stay excited about the show while they rehearse week after week. Introducing the show's music a couple of weeks before the performance helps renew their interest in the project - in a very magical way. Finally, in addition to all of the aforementioned qualities, any songs they sing, must be simple enough to learn, since most of them don't read music and some of them have never attempted to sing before. At such a young age, a child's potentially positive experience with music could encourage them to learn more about it - maybe even start music lessons. Therefore, there is a big educational responsibility one undertakes when one decides to work with children and it should not be taken lightly.
On a personal note, I cannot express the pure joy a composer feels when children embrace his songs. This alone is worth all the time and work put into the project.
How Theater Affects Children
In the few weeks that I joined the team I was able to witness, first hand, how much good this workshop does for the children and the community in general. To see so many kids from many different backgrounds, with extremely varied personalities, work as a team to put on this production was simply stunning. Theater helps them overcome their fears, it hones their imagination, it teaches them discipline, teamwork and respect. Furthermore, the children get exposed to the many other art forms that make up a theater production: music, dance, visual arts, etc. Most importantly, however, they get to socialize and make friends in a safe and accepting environment. I firmly believe that children exposed to such experiences will be equipped with powerful tools to help them successfully navigate through adulthood and become valuable members of society.
I would like to congratulate Ermina Kyriazi for creating this amazing project and thank her for entrusting me with the music portion of her production. Ms. Kyriazi is a remarkable actress with a solid theatrical presence in Cyprus and Greece which spans for over twenty years (National Theater of Greece, Cyprus Theater Organisation, Versus Theater, et al.). In addition she starred (and still stars) in a number of hit Cypriot T.V. shows, and has lent her voice to a number of cartoon characters in Greece and Cyprus. Furthermore, she is a dedicated educator teaching theater classes and workshops for the young and old, from beginners to professionals. If you are based in Cyprus and are interested in an acting workshop for you, or your children, get in touch with Ermina on Facebook!
For more information about Aris Antoniades please visit: https://www.arisantoniades.com