A Year in Music Education
Posted on 15th December 2014 at 14:30
The Music Workshop Company has had a positive and exciting time in 2014. We’ve worked with participants we’d not met before, designed brand new workshops, revisited some of our previous clients and thoroughly enjoyed facilitating a whole bunch of creativity and music making.
Much of the recent emphasis on music and music education in the media falls on the lack of funding faced by professional musicians and music educators, and the failure to make space in the curriculum for this valuable educational area. MWC is passionate about music education, and determined to have a positive impact through music workshops.
In order to give a sense of exactly what the Music Workshop Company is about, we’ve put together a round-up of some of our 2014 highlights: Our year in music education.
We got off to a flying start in January with a Rock School Workshop at Thomas Deacon School where we’ve worked before, and our first visit to Clarendon Fan Court Preparatory School for a Composition “Rock ‘n’ Roll” workshop.
“I was really pleased with the way the workshop leader got the children working as an ensemble from the start. Even as a whole year group, it made them focus on working together for the rest of the day. The material and songs chosen to demonstrate the points the workshop leader was making was relevant to the children, and he made sure everyone was included and involved at every stage of the day. I would most definitely recommend The Music Workshop Company to colleagues.” Claremont Fan Court Prep, Esher, Surrey, January 2014
We also had the opportunity to work with Ealing Mencap Group.
“The musician (Sarah) was very organised, well prepared, and had a very pleasant manner which our young people with learning disabilities seemed to appreciate. She was able to engage some people who find this very difficult and ran the session to meet their varying needs. I was impressed with her.” Kathryn White, Ealing Mencap, January 2014
In February, we enjoyed meeting past, present and future clients at the Rhinegold Music Education Expo at the Barbican. You can read all about the Expo in our blog post. We’ll be there again in March 2015 and look forward to seeing you if you can make it.
Our projects for March included a Music Composition project based on “Differences” at Milton Court Primary School.
“The children were thoroughly engaged in the workshops …a fun day was had by all … overall a very enjoyable experience.” J Pearn, Milton Court Primary, Sittingbourne, March 2014
We also led our first Community Orchestra project with Yardarm Folk Orchestra & Sussex Orchestra.
“The experience was seamless from the start and the workshop itself was brilliant. The Music Workshop Company immediately understood our problems at our initial enquiry … booking the workshop was simple and everything ran like clockwork. The workshop identified and dealt with the main problems which are faced by the two orchestras that participated. The pace and style of presentation were very appropriate and they were delivered in a capable and confident manner which held everyone’s attention throughout. This is definitely the most valuable activity that our orchestra has done since its formation.” Malcolm (Yardarm) and Eileen (Sussex) Orchestras, Benfleet, Essex, March 2014
Also in March we had our first of two visits to one of our longest standing clients, Newstead Wood School, with a West African Drumming Workshop. African Drumming is one of our most popular workshops for both adults and children, and it brings a surprising number of benefits.
In April, we got involved in the ISM’s Protect Music Campaign, and had a brilliant time at Clarendon Ongoing Opportunities, a group we have been working with for several years.
“High levels of engagement and listening with a group involving some with severe learning disabilities, young people were given ownership and variety” Thomas Hillman, Clarendon Ongoing Opportunities, April 2014
In May we visited our good friends at the Harpenden Gateway Club. We have run workshops for the group since 2007!
“Thank you so much for your wonderful music workshop at Gateway last week. Our members thoroughly enjoy your visits, as indeed the turnout that evening showed!” Natalie Chaston, Harpenden Gateway, May 2014
We returned to Newstead Wood School in June for their annual Composition Workshop leading to a performance at their school concert.
We also had a fabulous time at Story Wood School with a Samba Workshop.
“Enjoyed the range of instruments and putting them together as a Samba band- it sounded great! Very positive and enjoyable!” Rachel Marsh, Story Wood School, June 2014
Then we had another amazing day with West Mercia Brownies. It was great to be invited back!
July was a busy month with school workshops, holiday club projects and a corporate project, including a fun day at the Oak Tree Centre in the Lightmoor Village Centre for the Bournville Village Trust working with participants from aged 3 to 13.
During the school holiday in August, we spent a hot, sunny day in Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage taking part in a music day. We worked with participants of all ages in our family workshops.
And as the new school year began we worked with children and parents at Lostock Gralam Church of England School, to write a new school song, which you can listen to on our audio page.
“A very enjoyable experience for both adults and children in school. The finale where we shared the song was fantastic!” Lostock Gralam Church of England School, September 2014
We got more great feedback from one our October workshops:
“The children were introduced to new instruments and had the chance to play them…. All the children enjoyed the interactive style of the workshop.” Laura Burton, Moseley Church of England School, October 2014
And in the October half-term, we were lucky enough to spend a day at the Elgar Birthplace Museum working with families to create new pieces of music. It was a real privilege for the workshop leaders to work in the home of one of England’s greatest composers, and the workshop was brilliant fun. The pieces we created there are also available to listen to on our audio page.
“A big thank you for the lovely event you ran last week.” Lily Dean, Elgar Birthplace Museum, October 2014
In November we visited Wyvil Primary School to celebrate their Latin American Day, and as the end of term approaches we have a whole host of workshops to look forward to, and plenty of creative ideas for next year.
Thank you to all our clients and participants for making 2014 a truly memorable year.
We are always open to receiving last-minute enquiries if we are available to run a workshop for you, and we are taking bookings for the New Year. Contact us to arrange your custom-built workshop today. We are looking forward to making music with you!
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