And so I arrived at Spitalfields Music on a bright sunny day towards the end of September to begin my six month Learning & Participation internship. The first week whizzed by – meeting staff, gradually learning how the organisation works and more particularly, scratching the surface of the many projects on the go within L&P.
A whistle-stop tour of the area took in the many venues Spitalfields Music uses for its festivals and L&P projects. A part of London I’m not very familiar with as yet, but Tamsin’s sneaky top tip of using the “big, fat, tall building on Bishopsgate” as a guide to avoid getting lost has proved helpful as I’ve navigated my way around. My timetable for the first couple of weeks was punctuated with meetings within the office to explain in greater detail where projects are and who is involved in them, and then putting the faces to the names as I met some of the people involved externally.
“Tamsin’s sneaky top tip of using the ‘big, fat, tall building on Bishopsgate’ as a guide to avoid getting lost has proved helpful”
One especially fun day was spent meeting the six new MAASers, the trainee animateur apprentices appointed for a year to develop their skills in workshop leading. An inspiring morning with Phil Mullan as he probed the MAASers to think about what qualities are needed to be a successful leader was followed by a lively session with James Redwood. James threw out some wonderful games and techniques to act as energisers and coolers for the MAASers to motivate and engage their project participants. What else would follow “roller”, “gingerbread house” and “night” than “coaster”, “come in my pretty” and “ingale” (it is the centenary of Florence’s death afterall!)?
At lunchtime, Tamsin and I ran back to the office to meet three artists having a creative brainstorming session equipped with their massive sheets of paper, brightly coloured felt-tips and of course the quintessential tub of homemade chocolate brownies! My second week ended with a lively conversation with the accommodating receptionist at one of our Neighbourhood Schools and an insight into Clare’s role as Programme Director of L&P at Spitalfields Music. A great beginning!
Learning & Participation Intern