Bertsolaritza at schools: constant innovation

Mar 03, 2021
More than 50 teachers of the association Bertsozale Elkartea are working to bring the improvised verse singing art in Basque closer to their students; nowadays, they are 29,500 in total.

The project developed by the asssociation Bertsozale Elkartea to spread bertsolaritza at schools is in good shape. It is integrated in 511 centers which are located in 229 municipalities, and thanks to a staff of 53 members, this project reach 29,500 students.

Our teachers are being trained and making improvements in teaching methods on an ongoing basis. Mikel Artola of Bertsozale Elkartea is leading the implementation of these new ways of teaching: "If we ask our students to make a whole bertso all of a sudden, for sure, it will be a difficult task for them; however, almost everyone is capable of completing a rhyming sentence of a bertso, having been provided with the first part", explains Artola and continues: "Thus, they act like bertsolaris usually do when performing: playing it by ear and without counting the syllables every time".

"Thus, they act like bertsolaris usually do when performing: playing it by ear and without counting the syllables every time"

Therefore, the students gain skills to make an entire bertso little by little, and the process is more amusing. Actually, the activity in the classroom changes quite a lot. According to Nerea Urra, teacher of bertsolaritza, "this methodology makes the dynamics of the classroom more intense and participatory", and she assures that students have more possibilities to develop their abilities. Students are more motivated, "since experimenting with the bertso becomes a game".

Her colleague Asier Alcedo says that it’s "curious" to see the reaction of the peers when a student sings: "When someone completes the task good, that has a good effect on the others: sometimes, they celebrate it as if they would have seen something impossible to do", and he adds: "Aware that their turn comes later, they get nervous, but once they have sung, they are also pride of themselves".

 

Bertsolaritza at schools: figures

229 municipalities

511 centres

29.500 students

53 teachers

 

Our own teaching material

In this constant development, we are creating continuously didactic material to work on bertsolaritza at schools. "The ones that create the material are the teachers themselves, the ones who will use the material in the classroom", explains Ixiar Eizagirre, head of the pedagogical material at Bertsozale Elkartea. All these material is available at www.bertsoikasgela.eus. "Now we are making material to put this new methodology into practice, and our new card game is part of this effort". Besides, the textbook is being renewed.

The card game has been created by Bertsozale Elkartea and Lanku Kultur Zerbitzuak, together with the teachers. It is a collection of six batches categorized by difficulty and each one is aimed to work on a specific exercise. This material has been distributed among the extracurricular bertso schools and it will also be used at schools. Besides, it is also available on www.bertsoeskola.eus , in the section Hasiberriak.

A different school year

As a consequence of the pandemic, measures against COVID-19 have been taken in all the centres, and so it has been done as well with the activities to teach bertsolaritza.

 

Card game (2020)