KLANGSPUREN LAUTSTARK is a 9-day composing and music-making workshop for about 50 children ages 8-14 focused on playing music without a score, improvisation, and creating music as a group. Under the direction of Cathy Miliken (oboe, composition, education) the team brings together 10 highly qualified tutors: Dietmar Wiesner (flute, composition, Ensemble Modern), Michael Schiefel (vocal performances, composition, Weimar University), and 8 music school teachers from North and South Tyrol. Together with the participants they dive into a world of new sounds, working under a particular theme both in instrumental and composition groups as well as a whole.

LAUTSTARK provides a space where everyone can create their own works and try out musical ideas without fear of judgement, a space where children can simply express themselves. At the same time, this process allows for a relaxed transfer of skills that supports the participants in their subsequent reflexion process and broadens their knowledge of the various possibilities in sound making. Great value is placed on working together, on dialogue and on the desire to discover as a group. No boundaries are set on the participants’ creative potential.



LAUTSTARK began in 2008 and takes place once a year in August in the small mountain village of Imsterberg. Every year the camp hosts its activities under a different motto and musical concept, always keeping creativity at its core. 70% of the participants come from Tyrol, the rest from other provinces of Austria, Germany, South Tyrol and Switzerland. Requirement for enrolment is that each participant has had at least two years of instrumental or voice lessons, which must be verified with a signed statement from their teacher. The success of the project is based on a clear daily and weekly schedule: each day, according to age and endurance, the participants work both in small groups and as a large ensemble for 4 to 6 hours. The rest of the time is spent practicing, playing chamber music and/or original compositions, as well as taking part in joint activities. Classes take place at the Imsterberg elementary school. The participants are accommodated in a guest house and sit for meals together with the tutors and the leisure activity teachers. The latter are present at all times and are involved in scheduling a diverse leisure plan that adapts to the weather conditions: collective games, films, barbecues, football matches, among others. These activities play a significant role not only in regards to composing and playing music together but on the group dynamic as a whole.



The annual themes are a strategic resource in creating the overall programme as well as for the approach each work module will take. These strategies help create the spaces in which collective music-making, improvising and creative composing can take place. They are an important tool in bringing together all the musical elements in order to create a final performance under one unifying theme. The compositions that are brought to life during the course – some of which are notated as graphic scores – are worked on collectively, always in close collaboration and with the support of the team of tutors, who see themselves as equal partners during the process. The 9-day process at KLANGSPUREN LAUTSTARK culminates in a big final concert at the village hall in Imsterberg. In all aspects the works presented are very much a part of each participant’s identity.