July 10, 2017
On a balmy summer’s evening at the picturesque St Mary’s Perivale an enthusiastic audience was entertained by no fewer... Read more
EYO includes players from all kinds of schools and backgrounds and we want all talented young musicians to feel welcome. We feel passionate about the experience of playing music and think learning an instrument is one of the best things that can happen to a young person. Summer Term 2017 saw the fourth annual EYO Roadshow visiting local schools to work with students.
The team visited a wife range of local junior and high schools, plus Spring Hallow Special School. Thanks to Ealing Music Service they were able to provide a range of orchestral instruments for students to try out, with some amazing results!
Please read the account about the 2017 EYO Roadshow by EYO player Olivia Howard below. The programme was a great success and we hope to continue it, so if you’d like a visit to your school please contact EYO Chair Chris Brown via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A record 27 players from all sections of the orchestra made up this year’s EYO Roadshow team. We visited six schools over the course of a week, after a day of intensive rehearsal the week before.
First we visited four local primary schools, where we began each session by playing a variety of pieces including Night On A Bare Mountain, then some arrangements of theme tunes such as the theme from Thunderbirds and Pink Panther. I was genuinely impressed by the children’s ability to sit still, listen and engage with the music, and how much some of them already knew about orchestral music and instruments that I’m sure I would not have known at their age. It was really gratifying to see how excited they were about the opportunity to actually get their hands on the instruments, especially in the first school we visited where, on being told that after the performance they could actually have a go, the children let out a collective “Ooh!” of excitement, which made us all laugh.
In between pieces, each section performed a short excerpt to demonstrate unaccompanied playing, and Lee or Esther gave an explanation of each instrument. Then we split up to give the children an individual try on the instruments, introducing them to the basics of how to play and encouraging them to have a go and make a sound. This was the most tiring part of the day, as we wanted the children to be able to try as many instruments as possible, but it was definitely also the most rewarding for me as their excitement was infectious. It was especially encouraging when some of them showed an obvious aptitude for the instrument they were playing and went off enthsiastically saying that they were going to ask their parents for music lessons.
While each school visit was enjoyable in its own way, the school which touched us most was Springhallow Special School. I think we were all slightly apprehensive of how the visit would turn out as we knew we going to have to have a very different approach from the previous days. Instead of the have-a-go sessions we decided to perform to small groups of children, with longer explanations of the instruments and the orchestra and question and answer sessions, while some of the players went among the children so they could get a closer look at theinstruments. Some of the children had a try at conducting us, and would clap or march to the pieces making the sessions more interactive. It was such an incredible experience, and was definitely my favourite school out of all of those that we visited as we really saw what a positive impact we had made. The children looked so happy during and after the sessions, really engaging with us and the music.
Doing the Roadshow made me feel that I had genuinely made a positive impact on the community, as well as being good fun into the bargain. I think that the Roadshow helped to change children’s viewpoints on classical music as ‘boring’, ‘for adults’ or just ‘not for me’ and show them that people from all backgrounds can get involved in music. For anyone considering doing the Roadshow next year, I’d highly recommend it.
The EYO Roadshow 2017 team:
Roland Balbag, Lara Bondarenko, Ben Bucknall, Clara Brown, James Curran, Julia Flint, Brendan Gann, Ines Gill Fonfria, Olivia Howard, Sam Huston, Teddy Hyams, Joss Inwood Wright, Harry Jackson, Nick Kwong, Isha Lamba, Debbie Mamali, Eleonora Nanni, Grace Pang, Trini Prasadam, Gabby Simon, Leon Suttil, Victoria Szymanska, Laura Thomas, Jake Trowbridge, Michael Vangelatos, Patrick Wilson
Project leaders: Lee Marchant, Esther Sheridan
Schools visited 2017: Willow Tree Primary School, Little Ealing Primary School, St Mark’s Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, Springhallow Special School, Ealing Fields/William Perkin High Schools