INTERVIEW with an outstanding OMGjazzStar

I had the chance to chat with some very talented musicians at WolfiJazz Festival (see last post) and they shared some very useful insights on how to best initiate our OMGchildren to music.

I asked Nicolas Folmer, the Festival art director who is also a renowned trumpet player , amazing composer and conductor of the Paris Jazz Big Band, what are the best activities to do with our OMGchildren in order to develop their musicality from an early age.

Nicolas’s talent to create and execute has led him to perform with some of the greatest artists of the world: Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Lalo Schifrin, Michel Legrand, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paco Sery… He also won a Victoire de la Musique and two Django d’Or.

LADY M: Nicolas, congratulations for WolfiJazz Festival! It’s been a success, especially among children. I’m curious to know what you do with your OMGchild to develop his musicality…

Nicolas Folmer: He is still a baby but I encourage his parents to come to a Jazz Club I often go to in Paris. The concerts start early, and the Jazz Club is ‘kid friendly’ – it’s smoke-free and the music isn’t loud. He’s only a baby but he has already some beautiful melodies in his head.

You know, it’s never too early (or too late) to expose children to a variety of sounds and musical influences. I started to help him play on my piano and drums. And when I play the trumpet, I make sure I explain to him what I do when I play.

LADY M: Do you have other advices to give to OMGparents who aren’t musicians themselves?

Nicolas Folmer: I think it’s important to introduce your godchildren to a great diversity of music genres to help them develop their critical sense. I personally try to preserve the children from the media hype of some big record labels that treat music as commercial goods. The best way to do so is to give them ‘tools’ to understand music and decode it, by exposing them to as many talents as possible.

LADY M: What kind of games/gift would you recommend to our little OMGchildren?

Nicolas Folmer: I think the ‘musical hopscotch is great as it stimulates the relation between body, rhythm and movement and engages different senses.

I’m not keen on ‘Guitar Hero’ type of games, because it makes children think that music is easy and doesn’t need any effort. Music is a real learning process and is highly rewarding as such. I’d say that disconnecting children from that process doesn’t put them on the track of reality, because to obtain (any) results – be it artistic or not, there is a learning process.

Something as simple as a piano keyboard is a great gift since looking for notes is a very constructive, creative and exploratory game , and it highly stimulates musical awakening.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have Nicolas Folmer as an OMGparent?

NB: You can find some musical play-mats on that website, starting from 29$:

To know more about Nicolas Folmer:

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