Intern Diaries: Marie

Our Learning and Participation Intern Marie joined the Spitalfields Music team at the end of last year. Three months in, she tells us what she’s been up to and what she’ll be working on over the coming months.

Greetings from the intern desk! I’m half way through my time at Spitalfields Music as the Learning & Participation Intern and return refreshed from the holiday break to kick off possibly the most exciting thing to ever happen to an L&P-arts-education nerd like me: An in-school, cross-arts festival designed and presented by kids! WOOHOO! I’m talking, of course, about Takeover Spring Festival. This creative project asks students to envision and present a series of events and activities around a central (curricular) theme that will culminate in a one-day festival that literally takes over their school. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a celebration designed by 7 year-olds, and I can’t wait to see the process and results!


Marie testing Sound Explorers: Moon Man props

In addition to the Takeover Spring Festival, I’m revelling in the wake of my first three months at Spitalfields Music so far. Coming from a much larger organisation in an entirely different country, Spitalfields Music’s intimate team and hands-on opportunities have been a refreshing cup of the finest English tea. Some highlights for me have included:

  • Joining and assisting a group of Year 5 students in their literary and musical journey through a song-writing project inspired by their reading
  • Liaising with our cultural partner with the best acronymic title ever, THAMES (Tower Hamlets Art & Music Education Service), to take a lead in presenting two key, student-focused events in the Winter Festival
  • Having the magical and behind-the-scenes role of falling-star-purveyor above a sea of smiling babies in the opera Musical Rumpus: Catch a Sea Star
  • Returning to my workshop leader days, this time as a participant, in the Trainee Music Leader scheme Core Training workshop day

I love the balanced perspective that working in both the office and out in the field offers. I feel that I get to see Spitalfields Music’s micro- and macro- vision simultaneously. This term I’ll be working closely with the fabulous Clare Lovett (Programme Director: Learning & Participation) as she mentors me in some areas of long-term planning and large-scale trends that particularly interest me, in addition to taking on some more projects within our exciting season of Learning & Participation activities. Between Takeover sessions, meetings with partners, and the occasional intern spreadsheet, I also aim to get some more one-on-one time with the members of the Spitalfields Music team. With the New Year begun and my time at Spitalfields Music flying by, I’m looking forward to continuing to do and absorb as much as possible. I’ll report back again in the spring!

Marie Ortinau
Learning & Participation Intern

You can find our more about our Learning & Participation projects on our website, including Takeover Spring Festival which runs 24-27 March.


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