DO YOU LOVE CLASSIC MUSIC – THEN THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOUMy name is Erin McGahan and I come from Dublin, Ireland. I have been playing the violin for the past 8 years. I have a great interest in classical music and it is a dream of mine to become a professional violinist and to travel the world with some great musicians. Therefore, when I heard about OrkesterEfterskolen from two friends who have been here in the past and heard about their great experiences, I knew this was the perfect place for me. On arriving at OrkesterEfterskolen, I immediately felt a sense of belonging. Although I did not understand much of what was being said, the students were quick to offer a translation. The generosity of all of the teachers and staff here shocked me. The first two weeks were our ‘intro weeks’. They were very exciting filled with introductions, games and of course lots of music. We had a trip to the coast, went to a concert, visited Holstebro city and did much more. Everyone was eager to get to know eachother and it didn’t take long before close friendships began to emerge. When I think of the word ‘school’, I think of long, boring days of teachers speaking about useless information, however here, school is not something I dread every morning. In fact, classes are something I look forward to. As an international student, I participate in the normal school classes like English maths and social science with the rest of the 10th grade. Myself and four other international students attend a separate Danish class to the other students where we learn more basic Danish and about the culture and history of Denmark. Our teacher Gitte is very kind and dedicates her time here at Ork satisfying the international students needs and helping us improve our Danish. However, Wednesdays are what sets OrkesterEfterskolen apart from other schools. Every Wednesday is dedicated to music. Whether you have chosen the piano line, the orchestra line or the choir and theatre line, your day will be filled with musical subjects such as music theory, music history, music appreciation, choir, orchestra and of course, your solo lesson. As an international student, I have been provided with what is called a ‘host family’. My host family have kindly decided to host me for the next year without any income. About one weekend a month when the school closes for four days, I stay with my host family. Much of my time is spent resting because life in an Efterskolen can be quite exhausting. In addition to hosting me for them weekends, my host family have kindly provided me with a bike, a duvet and pillow, a music stand, and several other things which were too big for me to bring on a plane. Any problems I am faced with, I can contact my host family and if I am ever sick they will always welcome me with open arms into their home. I have great expectations for the year to come, there are many planned events which sound fantastic such as the gala in January, the trip to Copenhagen, the trip to Germany, our Christmas month with a lot of concerts and much more. The social life here is something that really intrigued me. At first I questioned how such great bonds between people could be built between complete strangers in such a short space of time until I found the answer. Music. Everyone here has one common interest and passion , and that is music. Whether you are brilliant at music and want to become a professional musician or if you are only a beginner at your instrument, as long as you love music, then this is the place for you. After only one month here I have grown and developed so much as a person. I am excited to see what the rest of the year in this new school, country and culture has to offer. Erin McGahan
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