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Community Music students forge new relationship with Barnsley Music Hub

Throughout the last two terms, we’ve been very happy to be Champions for the BBC’s national project, Ten Pieces, an exciting initiative for primary schools focussing on classical music and creativity.

Running over a school year the project started with free cinema screenings of the Ten Pieces film which shows celebrities such as Barney Harwood from Blue Peter guiding viewers through the storytelling being each piece.

Culminating in finale performances across the UK this summer the Ten Pieces repertoire includes a range of music from baroque to contemporary classical repertoire. Opening up the world of classical music to children, the project aims to inspire them to develop their own creative responses to the chosen works through music or dance or art, and supports the wealth of benefits music education has for youngsters.

With BBC Learning providing a great range of resources, LCoM projects were led by Christine Bates with a number of our second year Community Music students, who formulated a practical workshop to cater for a wide range of musical interests, genres and abilities. Considering the range of musical study at LCoM, our students really pushed the boundaries of the Ten Pieces project and incorporated jazz and pop music alongside classical for their workshop ideas.

Contacting KS2 classes in Spring 2015, our students visited schools across Yorkshire to deliver the workshops, encouraging children to explore their imaginations and become musically creative. The result was some great compositions after children had experimented with songwriting, different instruments, choral work and body percussion. Doncaster Road Primary School in Barnsley were even pre-prepared with ideas, and went on to produce their own fully themed production called In the Jazz Jungle!

Our venture into South Yorkshire marks the beginning of a relationship with Barnsley and Barnsley Music Hub, based at The Civic theatre and gallery, who are rapidly increasing engagement in music education for youngsters in the town. The Hub works with a wide range of music in their junior bands, a KS2-3 samba group, a children’s choir and also the world famous Grimethorpe Band harking back to the area’s colliery days.

Impressing the BBC Ten Pieces team, LCoM’s third year Community Music students considered the content of the BBC Ten Pieces  project and the possibilities for its inclusion in their Community Music Project placements. These placements are broad in nature and age range, and are carried out in a variety of organisations across Leeds. This meant that BBC Ten Pieces has now also featured in projects in hospitals, youth groups, older age groups and projects supporting health and well-being such as Arts & Minds. Community Music lead at LCoM Christine Bates has created an online interactive resource full of information and guidance, which students this year have added to, and will exist for students to continue the project with in years to come.

With the BBC having just announced plans for Ten Pieces second stage of delivery, we’re looking forward to working on the project again, this time with secondary schools, and making more great contacts across Yorkshire’s Music Hubs!

From the Leeds College of Music website