When the first edition of Vi spelar piano 1 was published in 1958, Carl-Bertil Agnestig's playful and at the same time highly thought-out musical methodology was something completely new. Since then, the book has contributed to hundreds of thousands of children's first experiences of their own music-making, and Agnestig's method still stands out as distinctly forward-looking and modern. Also as a music school principal, children's choir director and composer, he made a big impression on Swedish music.

Carl-Bertil Agnestig was born in Järvsö in 1924. The family moved to Småland, but landed during Agnestig's teenage years in Nacka outside Stockholm. He took his music teacher's degree at the age of 22 at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and after a short time was a teacher at Nacka Music School, where he would later become principal.

The human voice, its beauty and the possibilities that language provides were always part of Carl-Bertil's thinking, not least in the instrument schools that would revolutionize teaching in the country's music schools. In the late 1940s, Carl-Bertil started his singing lessons at Nacka Music School; a persistent work that gave rings on the water for over 30 years. Nacka Music School's Girls' Choir became a role model with its vocal beauty and luminosity, not least in recurring Lucia concerts on radio and TV.

In the mid-1950s, during a period when the municipal music school in the country was in strong expansion, Carl-Bertil came into contact with Gehrmans Musikförlag. He had developed material for his piano lessons in Nacka, and the publisher saw the potential in the pedagogical innovation. We play piano 1 and Our first recorder book came to dominate the country's music schools for a long time.

Carl-Bertil Agnestig lent his keen eye for the musical development, desire and needs of children and young people to many other instrument schools (trumpet, violin, flute, clarinet...) in collaboration with some of the foremost educators of the time. He also composed over 150 children's choir songs (Diskanten, published on Verbum) to texts by Britt G Hallqvist, Lennart Hellsing and Anders Frostenson and others, which came to form the basis above all for children's singing in the church for many years.

Agnestig's great influence in Swedish musical life is clear not least through the prizes and awards he received, among others the Medal for the promotion of the musical arts from the Kgl Musikaliska Academy, Children's and Youth Choir Leader of the Year (Ung i Kör) and Life Time Achievement Award (Svenska Musikförläggerareföreningen). . He was also an honorary member of the National Association of Church Musicians.

But Agnestig's importance is perhaps best measured in the amount of teaching books that have accompanied generations of children and young people in their first active encounter with music. We play the piano 1 has sold around 700,000 copies and is still, almost 70 years after its publication, one of Gehrmans Musikförlag's best-selling editions.


Carl-Bertil Agnestig 100 years

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