Primary ideas for taking Music outside the classroom

Date Posted: 07/08/2018

Royal Albert Hall

Music and singing play an important role in our culture and can be found everywhere, including television and theatre, CDs and cinema, celebrations and ceremonies.

Benjamin Britten was one of the 20th century’s great composers and the Red House in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, is where he lived for the last two decades of his life with his muse and partner, the tenor Peter Pears. The Britten-Pears Foundation offers exciting education sessions for KS1 and KS2 at Red House, including Musical Mini-beasts which is an introduction to both the world of mini-beasts as well as Britten and music composition.

Science of Sound is a KS2 workshop that takes place in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, which is renowned for its outstanding acoustics. The hall is transformed into an interactive sound laboratory by a team of musicians, technicians and a science specialist from Science Made Simple. Pupils explore how sound is made, how it travels and how it is heard through fun and interactive demonstrations.

London’s Royal Albert Hall organises special tours, performances and workshops for children. Thousands of free tickets are given out each year for the Music for Youth Primary Prom concerts aimed at KS1 and KS2. Offering the opportunity for pupils to experience live music making in one of the world’s most famous concert halls, this year’s Primary Prom takes place on Wednesday 10th October.

Staying near the capital, the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill has one of the UK’s most comprehensive collections of instruments from around the world, dating back to a pair of bone ‘clappers’ from ancient Egypt in the form of human hands. Musical sessions for KS1 and KS2 include a fascinating look at a variety of instruments to discover how sound is made, coupled with an exciting opportunity to play instruments such as a ‘talking drum’ from Ghana.

The British Music Experience is based in Liverpool’s landmark Cunard Building and charts the story of the country’s musical culture. Engaging sessions suitable for KS1 and KS2 include What’s the Score? In this interactive and lively workshop, students examine how music in films is used to convey mood and emotion and try their hand at composing their own soundtracks.

Of course, any musical mention of Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without touching on The Beatles Story, the world’s largest exhibition devoted to the Fab Four. New for 2018 is the Beatles in India display, marking 50 years since The Beatles travelled to Rishikesh in search of spiritual enlightenment. 

The Beatles Story has developed resources to create a fun and educational experience for Primary pupils. In the Discovery Zone they can learn about The Beatles’ lives, times, music and influential legacy using interactive screens, a giant piano and themed areas such as the 1950s NEMS record store.

Lead image: Royal Albert Hall.

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