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2014-09-05
Meet Your Teachers Series: Mr. Marco
A conversation with Marco Iannelli, Bebegarten Music & Sound Coordinator

Q: Hi Marco, tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: I was born in Italy – what now seems like a very long, long time ago! I have always loved playing music and I started composing when I was very young. I studied hard with a lot of passion and graduated in Composition and History of Music and since then it has become my life, not just my job, to compose and teach music.

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Q: I know you’ve won numerous international awards and your music is played around the world; and you’ve written several books too! What brings you here at Bebegarten?

A: Well, since the beginning of my career, I’ve always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and passion. I taught Musical History and Multimedia Technologies in two top Italian Universities but have always been captivated by working with children. As a result, I started my own music school in Italy and also the “Under 13 Orchestra”, the first Italian children orchestra that today has trained almost 100 young musicians.

I genuinely believe that Bebegarten is one of the best education institutions in town. The enthusiasm of the staff and professionalism is in the foundations of the centre and provides an amazing place for children to play and learn at the same time.

My personal love for children stems from a position of respecting them first. I respect their needs, passions and their own ‘inner’ time for learning. I believe the staff at Bebegarten share the same philosophies for respecting each child as an individual.

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Q: When not teaching at Bebegarten, where are you most likely to be found?

A: I’m in a rock band so I can often be found in a recording studio or on stage. I also love to cook and eat and make a point to read at least two books per month. I love travelling and am still discovering Hong Kong’s secret places and hiking tracks. So it is anyone’s guess where I’ll be next weekend!

Q: So what are your personal inspirations to work with Early Years children?

A: Children are always my inspiration. I’ve never lost sight of my inner child so I think I see the world and the people around me like a four-year-old! I have been lucky to compose a lot of music in my life and conducted many orchestras but every time I conducted the Under 13 Orchestra and I saw all those little eyes looking at me, waiting for my cue and when we create music together – those were unique, magical, indescribable little miracles of moments.

In fact, every time I start any lesson, I see the happiness of my students discovering music and it’s joys and I also experience that same magic.

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Q: Talking about your classes now, what are the key curriculum focuses?

A: Exploring and creating are the key elements of my classes. If children can explore and create within our classroom and bring that spirit into their own time with music and instruments, well, this is my goal. Learning as a process is a never ending path and it is our job as educators to keep alive the curiosity for learning. Through singing, playing instruments, moving to music and creating their own music, children acquire not only musical skills but also the capacity to connect this knowledge and experience with other aspects of their lives. Last but not least, a good music education helps provide children the building blocks of self-discipline and self-confidence through experiences that require focussed and sustained practice and play.

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Q: Music is clearly a passion of yours – what advice can you share with our parents looking for their children to experience varied classroom subjects and interest activities?

A: Never stop stimulating children with real and varied experiences. Every class will have a different and unique approach to reach out to children and their interests. Let them explore and experience new ideas and disciplines but don’t give up at the initial difficulties that they may face – children are often stronger willed than many of us give them credit for!

Q: Lastly, can you describe a typical day in the life of Mr. Marco at Bebegarten?

A: Each and every day will of course be different, but most importantly is greeting our children with big smiles and big hugs. As we prepare the classroom equipment and instruments for the day’s classes, I will of course be busy making sure that we have everything in place for the children to have another magical classroom experience. Once they are in class, it will be a time and a place where everyone will learn and enjoy experimenting with different musical activities, and within these classes I find that I am always learning something new from the children and that is what makes each and every day special for me at Bebegarten.

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