Putting the kids in charge

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Takeover is one of our newest Learning & Participation projects, in which Year 3 pupils are given the opportunity to programme and produce their very own festival, filling every corner of their school with music. In 2013, we saw pupils at Canon Barnett and Shapla primary schools embrace their creativity as they took the reins and produced a fun-filled day of music, song, dance and puppetry.

This term, children at Kobi Nazrul Primary School explored the Ancient Greek story of Persephone as an overarching theme of their festival, which they named BOOM! Festival: Year 3’s Fantastic Journey to the Underworld.

Over the course of several weeks, our workshop leaders delivered song-writing sessions and asked the children what they would like to see in their festival to get the ideas flowing. Right from the very beginning of the project, their enthusiasm for producing and performing their own material was mind-blowing! In one of the first sessions, workshop leaders Sam Chaplin and Rus Pearson encouraged the class to write a song as a group. As Rus played a riff on his double bass, Sam asked the class ‘What do you think Persephone would say as she was being dragged to the other side by the King of the Underworld?’ The outcome was an emotive song using dynamics (and facial expressions!) to convey Persephone’s feelings.

I feel so angry (quietly)
I feel so angry (loudly)
Why oh why is this happening? (quietly)
I just want to go home.

We were really pleased to see the parents getting involved in the festival too. They flexed their creativity by painting and sewing these deceptively juicy pomegranates, as according to the myth Persephone was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds whilst being held captive in the Underworld.

On Friday 28 March, the festival got into full swing with the children creating a magical orchard and a sound tunnel. The drawing wall was particularly popular where hundreds of monsters, ghouls and demons were drawn emerging from the crack leading to the other side!

The corridors, classrooms, assembly hall and playground were bursting with sounds and music, as performances took place throughout the day.

We’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who helped programme and produce the festival. The performances put a smile on everyone’s faces!

 

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