Thursday, 21 August 2014

Musical Stories ...

The Family Festival workshops as part of Grimm and Co's Summer programme went really well - many children enjoyed a variety of activities designed to inspire storymaking and storytelling. We had great fun during my sessions, creating stories which evoked a walk through an enchanted forest and creatures they met along the way - some imaginative and truly inspiring young people took part in and then performed their musical stories to each other during these informal, fun sessions.

Kate O'Brien's photo.
Kate O'Brien's photo.We started by looking through a selection of images all of forests, hidden buildings in woodland settings  and creatures - woodland and fantastical. Using a selection of instruments, the storymakers created sounds to evoke elements of their stories, using percussion, guitar and vocal percussion in some instances too. 
Kate O'Brien's photo.

It is so refreshing to allow students to follow their own train of thought, to allow them to work in their own way without the constraints of a particular learning intention or success criteria and the fear of whether or not they are moving forward quickly enough .
Often, it is equally important to allow students the space to be inspired, to nurture their creativity and celebrate their successes regardless of whether or not a list can be ticked or a target can be highlighted on a given spreadsheet which promises the perfect 'level 4'or 'level 5' when complete.

Kate O'Brien's photo.

That is why places like Grimm and Co, Inspire Rotherham et al are so important. Teachers' workloads are such that many opportunities for this kind of learning are currently being squeezed. I don't for one minute believe that the current education system's incarnation can or will continue, but until children are once more afforded a more holistic, creative curriculum, the opportunities offered to our young people by charities and community groups such as Grimm and Co are invaluable.

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