In 2013 the initiative to this project was realised by Lubertus Leutscher, conductor/artistic director of the Veenkoloniaal Symfonie Orkest and trumpeter of the Noord Nederlands Orkest, with the management of SC Veendam. Leutscher played at a young age in the national youth orchestra and the national Dutch youth football team. This combination formed the inspiration for the idea of ‘Music meets Sports’. Lubertus Leutscher realises better than anyone that music and sports can strengthen each other. In addition, they provide a connection and positively contribute to mental and physical health.
Because of his experience in giving clinics at various schools in the north of the Netherlands in collaboration with FC Groningen, amongst others, Lubertus Leutscher sought contact with Hans Leutscher, working at ‘SportDrenthe’. Hans Leutscher has worked in the field of adapted sports and revalidation since the 80s. He has also gained much experience in the information project ‘Klas op wielen’, developed for primary schools. Both men share the ambition to expand ‘Music meets Sports’ to a broad offer, intended for various groups.
Connection between music (culture) and sports
There are various reasons to stimulate the connection between music and sports:
- Contribution to social issues: increasing participation, vitality in shrinkage regions and quality of life
- Contribution to identity and health of both music and sports: discovering one’s talent and development and interpretation of that talent
Participation in music and sports improves the physical and mental health of people and reinforces feelings of well-being. It is important that as many people as possible, of all ages, get the opportunity to participate. Some people are better at music and others at playing sports, but combining those different interests offer the opportunity to reinforce and unite.
Remaining active throughout life
Music (culture) and sports are both vital when it comes to the development of young children and therefore belong in and around school as well as in the selection of activities offered in their leisure time. In addition, adults benefit from music (culture) and sports too as it enhances health and a social active role up to old age.
Professor of neuropsychology Erik Scherder defines moving, mind games, culture (especially music and dance) and healthy food as the four most important contributions to active and vital brains. Both music and sports have their own intrinsic values to the practitioner. People play music or sports because they enjoy doing that in the first place, but also because they can try to improve their skills and derive part of their identity from sports and music.
‘Music meets Sports’ is an information project and it makes children and young adolescents familiar with both music (instruments and voice) and sports. It is therefore important to offer diversity and quality. The goal is to make primary and high school children aware that playing sports and/or an instrument is essential to their personal development. (Re)discovery with music and musical instruments applies to the elderly. Furthermore, this project wants to stimulate participants to be more artistically and/or creatively active in their spare time.
The project focuses on primary school groups 5-8, the first grades of high school and special needs education first. Besides the groups themselves, teachers and parents/carers are reached as well.
In addition, we would also like to start projects for the elderly, elderly suffering from dementia, disabled people and people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
All clinics last approximately one hour and are led by professionals. The contents of the clinic at schools is as follows:
- Film (5 min)
- Sports of the day/musical instrument of the day
- Being active through rhythm/singing
- What are the commonalities between sports and music
- Playing and examining various instruments by the participants
The other target groups will receive an adapted version of this clinic, suitable to that group.
This project is likely to start at the Gymnasium und Grundschule in Haren/Ems and in Meppen in spring 2020.
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