Key Stage 2 children at Springfield School in Sunbury on Thames had a chance to get to grips with the practicalities of playing and writing music recently when London-based band The Melodic paid a visit to the school.
The four-piece band, who play 18 instruments between them, are described by their own record label as an Afro-folk-pop ensemble, and recently released their debut album. Their day at Springfield began with a mini-concert before pupils were given a chance to examine and play their instruments, ahead of a song-writing session.
“This was certainly something a bit different to an average day in the classroom so right from the outset, it really caught the imagination of the children,” said teacher Hannah Gregson, who organised the day.
“The opportunity to handle and play instruments, many of which they had never even seen before, really got them involved and made them want to play an active part in the day, so they were more than happy to sing along with the band and then try their own hand at composition."
A total of 60 children took part, composing pieces with the musicians on instruments including xylophone, west African djembe drums and a variety of other tuned and non-tuned percussion instruments.
It was just the latest musical-related activity at Springfield, a member of the GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi academy chain which now runs over a dozen schools across the south east, based on a model of strong collaborative management.
Last year singers from Springfield performed at both the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 Arena, and the visit of The Melodic will go down as a similarly memorable experience as the day ended with the children recording CDs of the music they had made on the day.
“The whole day was something out of the ordinary and very memorable for the children so to have it captured on CD was the perfect finale,” said Miss Gregson. “It’s not often when parents ask what happened at school today that a child can hand over a recording, so I think it’s a lesson they will remember for a very long time.”
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