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In Harmony: Musicians in the Classroom

  • Date: 12 December 2012
  • Area: Midlands

Musicians from two top orchestras spent a week with children and teachers in school to launch the new In Harmony programme at Old Park Primary in Telford and Herons Cross Primary School in Stoke-on-Trent. In Harmony Telford and Stoke, is one of 4 new programmes funded by DfE through Arts Council.

The two schools will be working with partners, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Telford and Wrekin Music, Stoke-on-Trent City Music Service and Staffordshire Performing Arts. 

Through the ‘Musicians in the classroom’ project, all 770 children from both schools got a taste of the professional orchestra, as players of the violin, trumpet, trombone, double bass and clarinet made unannounced appearances in the middle of morning lessons! Performances in assembly and the playground also saw children, teachers and parents listening and interacting with the musicians.

Project manager Richard Shrewsbury explained: “In the classrooms the orchestral musicians changed their approach to suit every age group with sessions including, bringing stories to life with live sound effects on violin, to emotional listening sessions with eyes closed, creating characters, stories and scenes through imaginative listening to live performances of classical music.

“Musicians from both orchestras performed at the end of each school day to audiences of children and parents in assemblies and on the school playgrounds, to introduce the programme to the wider school communities.  Several parents have already asked when they can start to learn instruments.”

In Harmony – Telford & Stoke is a partnership programme between two professional orchestras and two music education hubs.  From January 2013 every child will learn an instrument and taking part in singing and ensemble playing from the start. In Harmony is inspired by the El Sistema programme in Venezuela, and aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities, using the power and disciplines of community-based orchestral music-making.

Visit the blog for more information and some images of the work already achieved.