Music seminar for Academy experts makes FIG history

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Article Copyright Federation International Gymnastique

The last days of February 2015 saw the FIG Education Programme involved with a number of projects. Most significant among them was a music seminar for selected FIG Academy experts. 

This music seminar was an overwhelming success and also made FIG history for being the first time that experts from four disciplines, five continents and three language groups were brought together for a common purpose and to help solve a common problem.

With the generous support of President Bruno Grandi (ITA), the FIG Academy Programme for a selection of those experts who teach artistry, choreography and music at FIG Academies. This was an attempt to assure that experts from all disciplines that use music have a common understanding of music and will teach common lectures in Levels 1 and 2 of the Academy programme in the same way.

Academy experts were brought together form each of the disciplines that use music and from all over the world and representing the most common Academy languages of English, Spanish and French. The music seminar was supervised by Hardy Fink (CAN) and led by music expert  was hosted at the magnificent facilities of the World Cycling Union (UCI) in Aigle, Switzerland.

Music Seminar participants 2015_600x455
South African
Tammy Johnson
 on the bottom far right

In attendance were Jorge Méndez of Spain and Úrsula Martins of Portugal for Acrobatic Gymnastics; Tammy Johnson of South Africa, Olga Kyselovičová of Slovakia, Irma Santibáñez of Chile and Valerie Grandjean of France for Aerobic Gymnastics; Katja Kleinveldt of Germany and Marta Bobo of Spain for Rhythmic Gymnastics; Stacey Umeh of Australia, Lilia Ortiz Lòpez of Mexico and Mónica Calabró of Argentina for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and they were joined by Australian federation funded Lisa Bradley. We would have wished to invite many more but this was all that the budget allowed. Several other Academy experts have had frequent opportunity to work with Lasse Nettum at Academies and were therefore not prioritised for this music seminar.

The group listened to lectures and then worked together in mixed discipline and language pairs and small groups to practice aspects of musical rhythm and to help finalise the content of the Level 1 and Level 2 common lectures that Lasse Nettum had prepared. These would then be supplemented with discipline specific musical lectures.

It turned out to be one of the most successful coach education events ever hosted by FIG. Thanks go also to Eunice Lebre, one of FIG Sports Managers for doing the preliminary organisational work and attending the first day and to the assistance of Delphine Bouillet of the World Cycling Union.

In the week preceding this music seminar, Hardy Fink, the Director of FIG Education & Academy Programmes was asked to chair two other important meetings that involved Academy experts: an E-learning study group and a Rhythmic Gymnastics Code of Points Working Group. Both meetings were held in Lausanne at the FIG Headquarters.

One meeting was to study the possibilities of expanded e-learning and technology assisted learning for FIG education programmes. It was a very interesting three days of meetings that studied firstly what is already done well without web-based or electronic learning and then the advantages and challenges of introducing such learning opportunities. The Study Group members included FIG 1st Vice-president Slava Corn (FIG), E-learning expert and former gymnastics coach, judge and educator Gene Schembri of Australia, the President of the Scientific Committee, Keith Russell of Canada and the developer of the computerised judge education programmes for all disciplines, Doug Hills of the USA. Sport Manager Eunice Lebre attended the meetings and members of the FIG IT staff also attended for some portions of the meeting. A series of graduated proposals was prepared with the most urgent and immediate being the web-based hosting of the judge education programmes to avoid accessibility problems due to the widely varying uses of operating systems, Android devices and tablets.

The other meeting was to study possibilities for improving the Rhythmic Gymnastics Code of Points and make recommendations accordingly to the Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee. This three-day meeting also included Slava Corn as well as Natalia Kuzmina (RUS), the President of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee and a number of coaching and scientific experts from the FIG Academy programmes. Natalia Gorbulina of Russia and Nadya Aleksandrova of Great Britain were in attendance. Both have enormous coaching expertise and helped develop the academy curriculum for this discipline. They were joined by Katja Kleinveld, a medical doctor who chose instead to devote her life to Rhythmic Gymnastics and who was recently appointed as head coach for Germany and by Dr. Marta Bobo, a coach, judge and rhythmic gymnastics sport professor and researcher from Spain. FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Sport Manager, Sylvie Martinet was also present throughout the meetings to provide whatever support was needed. At the conclusion of the meeting a number of preliminary proposals were prepared and shared also with the entire Rhythmic Technical Committee. Another meeting in June will develop the final recommendations for the TC to consider when they prepare the next Code of Points.