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Explore and learn to play Lithuanian and world musical instruments online

Lithuanian multi-instrumentalist Saulius Petreikis has created music educational portal, which is dedicated to promoting independent music making at home or at school and is availbale also in english language. The portal offers detailed descriptions of old Lithuanian instruments, educational videos presenting instruments from all around the world, and an extensive sheet music library.

"We aim to provide resources and inspiration for music teachers, self-formed ensembles and all musicians. The wider mission of our portal is to revitalise interest in instrumental music, which is currently declining. In addition, we want to draw attention to folk and world music genres as an alternative to classical and jazz music. The more people who play different instruments, the more listeners there will be, and the more listeners there are, the more people who understand the importance of the acoustic idea of live instruments," says the project's creator, S. Petreikis.

A Ukrainian whistle, concert zitter, a Hulusi flute from China, whistles, a clarinet, and even an ancient organ from the north of Norway, dating back several hundred years - the live sound and stories of these and many other instruments can now be heard in an educational videos. The digital library of the portal has also been expanded with sheet music for as many as 11 pieces, which are available to anyone who wants to make music at home or in music lessons.

The latest educational video "Sounding Castles and Travelling Musicians" is an introduction to 15 instruments played by Saulius Petreikis himself and a team of musicians assisting him: musician Donatas Petreikis, zitter player Aistė Bružaitė, organist Rimvydas Mitkus, percussionist Domantas Razmus and guitarist Chirs Ruebens.

"Just like in the previous educational video about archaic folk instruments, in this one we are looking for new sounds, so the audience can see not only the instruments themselves, but also feel the process of performing the music, a process that is accentuated by the stunts performed by the street artist Viačeslavas Mickevičius. We didn't hide the behind-the-scenes of the filming, so in the video you can see how the cameraman works, and you can also see the involvement of the little listeners of the live performance," says S. Petreikis.

The educational music video "Sounding Castles and Travelling Musicians" was created by a large team of professionals: director Juozas Bobina, sound engineer Normantas Ulevičius. The video was filmed in the "Smoke Factory" space.

Saulius Petreikis sees sharing sheet music and compositions that will help people with a basic knowledge of music to take their first steps towards music as another equally important mission for himself and for Currently, 11 compositions for different instruments are available in the digital library.

"Our portal's free digital library has been updated with sheet music for 11 compositions for 16 instruments. These pieces are born out of a desire to share and inspire. All the scores are suitable for piano and a different solo instrument, but the pieces have been chosen so that they can be joined with any instrument or even a whole group of instruments, so that the number of musicians, like the number of instruments, is unlimited. We aim to share pieces that are accessible to musicians of all abilities, so all you need is to be able to read music. Our main goal in sharing our sheet music is to show how music is made and how different instruments can be combined. We hope that this initiative will not only inspire people who are interested in music to take up music making themselves, but also encourage other composers and musicians to share their melodies more widely", says Petreikis. Arrangements by Donatas Petreikis and piano by Rahel Talts.

"We want to convey the idea of playing as a game. After all, in many languages around the world, playing means "play". Understanding music performance as a game helps us to enter the world of playing more courageously, which is very important in our culture, where music making is often presented as a very difficult, highly skilled job. We are going in the opposite direction and aim to restore the playful, even therapeutic side of music-making. We believe that this approach helps music to grow and helps more and more people to try music making as a way of leisure, therapy and relaxation", emphasises S. Petreikis.