St Saviour’s Primary School & the Isle of Wight Music Hub create ‘space’ for music…

A Case Study from the Isle of Wight Music Hub

Pupils explore creating music with iPads

This term the Isle of Wight Music Hub were delighted to work with St Saviours Catholic Primary School in Totland on a very special music project composing music for The Great Light and Dark Show one of four art commissions for Lift the Lid, led by artist Julie Myers.

The Music Hub challenged Pupils in Years 5 and 6 to compose some original music to underscore the event with themes of space and an exploration of ‘dark’ and ‘light’ within that. The Hub provided two curriculum specialist workshop leaders to run a day of activities composing music using iPads for this. In the morning session students used the iPad app Garage Band to create mysterious soundscapes depicting the infinite darkness of space before the ‘Big Bang’ took place. Students worked in groups using a mixture of iPads and real percussion instruments facilitated by workshop leaders. The music was then played live in groups and as a whole ensemble and recorded. In the afternoon session we continued to use the iPads with some additional music-making apps such as Launchpad to create the chaos and explosion of light that happened in space after the ‘Big Bang’. The recordings that were taken on the day were then passed on to be played at The Great Light and Dark Show on Saturday 22 June alongside some students from the school also performing their original compositions live.

St Saviours had not previously used technology in this way and were extremely impressed with the versatility of the iPads as a tool for music making.  Although the hub provided the iPads for this project the school had a number of their own and while in situ we were able to help teachers to download the apps we were using on the day and give them a little training on how to continue using them in this way for music-making in the future.  The pupils also found it particularly engaging to write music in this way and the outcomes and recordings from this session really were fantastically evocative of space.

Pupils perform live at the Great Light and Dark Show in Totland.

The Great Light and Dark Show in Totland was one of four art commissions for Lift the Lid and was presented as an afternoon of art, science, local history and fun with presentations by numerous island science, arts and community groups alongside ourselves and the school.  This was a great example of how partnership working can benefit schools by enhancing their music provision as well as linking them to their local community organisations.

Nia Collins IOW Music Hub Relationship Manager

“This was a wonderful project and a good example of how the hub likes to tailor our music provision to each school based on their specific needs.  Not only were the musical outcomes of such high quality but we were also able to build in some CPD for staff at the school helping to ensure legacy from this project”

Lift the Lid would like to thank both the Isle of Wight Music Hub and St Saviour’s Primary for their help in making The Great Light and Dark Show a success.

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