Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Music & Literacy - Carolyn's blog

Our Music & Literacy project Moving on with Music started this week at Stewart Headlam Primary School in Tower Hamlets. Here's what our musician Carolyn had to say about the first day:

When plannng a music/literacy workshop somehow the possibility of a pandemic never arose. Imagine our confusion when the day before we were told that only 4 out of a class of 31 were in school.
Monday morning started with a flurry of calls-to the school, co-workers, management and GP's. Eventually the consensus seemed to be that we would go to the school with a core of 13 pupils and hope that more would appear during the week.

Oh yes-the temperature! Victorian primary schools are not the best ventilated buildings and we had the challenge to try and motivate very hot and listless Yr 6 pupils. We had a variety of activities incorperating the theme of "moving on" to secondary school. To do this we had planned songs, school riffs, written letters, soundscapes and poetry. The children learnt 2 songs and did a exercise of positive and negative emotions which all linked in with their own feelings of "moving on".

Second day and the numbers increased to 18-newcomers integrated well and picked up very quickly on the previous days activities. The school riff was made up of 6 groups all adding their own phrase accompanied by a steady beat. The new song now had instruments added-all these things growing daily and improving their abilities.

The musicians also played and one of the most gratifying parts of any workshop is watching rapt expressions as they hear (possibly for the first time) musical instruments up close and personal. The word magician has the same effect as he weaves his ideas and uses the pupils own words to add texture and new ideas to ongoing themes.

Thats it for now....sleep well and see you tomorrow.

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