Schools at the Academy

Our Programme Manager: Learning & Participation, Cathy has been spending time in school working on a project with pupils and students from the Royal Academy of Music. With the final performance just a few days away, she tells us a bit more about how it’s been going.

So, after 15 school sessions and 2 ensemble rehearsals, yesterday saw the 16th and final trip into school for the Nelson team, ahead of Tuesday’s outing to perform at the Royal Academy of Music.

As the project comes towards its culmination it’s not just the music that’s been created which excites me, but that Nelson has been a fine example of the collaborative nature we aim to achieve in all our Learning & Participation work. On a fundamental level it’s produced in partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, involving their students in both workshops and performance, and taking it’s musical starting point from a piece specially commissioned by them. That piece began though with the primary children and teachers themselves, when composer John Webb visited schools in the autumn to explore ideas for his piece. From their stories and suggestions he weaved a musical adventure which brings Nelson to life, only to see him topple from his column to face a London very different from the one he once knew. Leaving “windows” for each of the four classes to create their own journey, Tuesday’s performance will see Nelson face the traffic, fly by helicopter, travel down the Thames and take a trip on the London Eye.

The teams working in school have included established workshop leaders, our own Apprentice Animateurs, both undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Royal Academy of Music’s Open Academy department, and the Open Academy Fellow. Excitingly they were also joined in some sessions for the first time by one of our Student Ambassadors. Coming in to observe and get a feel for what our L&P department does, Kate found herself fully hands on within about 5 minutes, supporting the group singing and gamely bringing out her violin (having just come from a lesson) to work with a small group the second time she was with us.

It’s been a great experience bringing together so many people in making music and we’re all looking forward to sharing what’s been created in Tuesday’s performance, when taking to the Duke’s Hall stage will be… a composer, 2 leaders, 2 apprentices, one fellow, a conductor, 4 postgraduates, 4 class teachers, 14 undergraduates and 116 Year 3 & 4 pupils. Oh, and not forgetting Nelson!

Cathy Birch
Programme Manager: Learning & Participation

Don’t miss the performance:

Tuesday 7 February, 1.15pm
Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music


2 thoughts on “Schools at the Academy

  1. Pingback: Music: Nelson John Webb Royal Academy of Music Spitalfields Festival | Thoroughly Good Blog

  2. Pingback: In pictures: Schools at the Academy | Spitalfields Music's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s