Mariana Miguel, Paulo Rodrigues, Helena Rodrigues

Aveiro University; CESEM – FCSH: NOVA University
CMT’s artistic-educative constellations and its music-making practice

The works of Companhia de Musica Teatral follow a constellation organization, including visual and sound installations, performances for all kinds of audiences, workshops and immersive training, where music, emotion and communication take basis for interaction. Each constellation has a unique set of specific ideas and environments, while maintaining human and social interaction an essential part of both the artistic and educative practice. As a result, finding innovative ways to communicate and establish a common ground for musical and social interaction calls for the creation of new collective instruments and means of music making. This presentation looks at the different constellations, environments, instruments and methodologies involved in the process of music making and its implications on human interaction, from the CMT-artist/educator standpoint.

Keywords: community music; educative practice; real-time composition; improvisation.


Mariana Miguel is a pianist, percussionist and pianoscopist. She studied in the University of Aveiro, and is now currently working under the supervision of Ana Telles (University of Évora). Through her education as a musician, she found interest in the performing arts and the interactions between performers and the audience. The collaboration between herself and Companhia de Música Teatral started in 2016, through the mutual interest in education and new performative practices. With focus on social and community interactions, her work as an educator ranges from piano teacher to music facilitator, working with Escola de Artes da Bairrada, MUSA – _Escola de Música de Aveiro and other occasional entities. As a musician, she collaborates frequently with orchestras and continually develops her performative skills with CRASSH percussion group.

Paulo Maria Rodrigues is a composer, performer, artistic director and educator. After completing a PhD in genetics and biochemistry at the University of East Anglia, he resumed earlier music studies and graduated in opera at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and composition with Rolf Gehlhaar. His interest in Music Theatre led him to collaborate with artists in different fields and start several multidisciplinary projects, including Bach2Cage and Companhia de Música Teatral (CMT). With CMT he has developed many artistic and educational projects, exploring the intersection of music and other artistic languages and technology, and addressing the idea of art as a tool for human development. Some of this work has been presented in Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Germany, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Brazil and China, and has appeared in many academic publications. Between 2006 and 2010, as Coordinator of Educational Services of the Casa da Música (Oporto, Portugal), he was responsible for conceiving and implementing a vast and eclectic programme of activities, including projects for the disabled, communities, schools and families. He was Visiting Professor at the School of Arts of the Catholic University of Porto, Associate Researcher at the Collegium Planetary at the Caiia Hub, University of Plymouth and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Art at the University of Aveiro.

Helena Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and the founder of the Laboratory for Music and Communication in Infancy of the CESEM research unit at the same institution. She is also one of the founders of Companhia de Música Teatral (CMT), a group that has specialized in creating artistic and educative projects that have music at the root of interdisciplinary practice. She was a Researcher Fellow at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. She has studied with Edwin Gordon for almost twenty years and has completed her PhD under his supervision. She disseminates his music learning theory since 1994. Trained as psychologist and musician, more recently she started studying physical theatre and became interested in the therapeutic effects of music. Aiming to improve practices for infants, she has been developing an innovative approach to training that she defines as “opening the gates on communicative musicality”. Colwyn Trevarthen – who has been a supporter of CMT’s work – has been another strong influence on her work. She coordinated Opus Tutti, a project that aimed to create and implement good practices in community for infancy and early childhood. She is now the coordinator of GermInArte project. She publishes regularly and is often invited to lecture and give workshops all over the world.