Musical treat for Birmingham schoolchildren

Primary school pupils visited by world-class musicians in their classroom.

180 pupils from two Birmingham primary schools are enjoying a unique opportunity to listen to world-class musicians perform – in their classrooms.

The 9 and 10 year olds are all pupils at Springfield Primary School in Moseley and Yarnfield Primary School in Tyseley.

As part of a project called Big Ears, the pupils have been visited by musicians from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. As well as performing in the classroom, the musicians have worked with the pupils to create new pieces of music.

Naomi Wellings, BCMG Learning Co-ordinator, explains: “Big Ears is a long-standing project at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. This year we are working with six classes at the two schools, who take part in workshops in their classroom with a composer and musicians. The children create music inspired by pieces which they can then hear performed live in the CBSO Centre in a special schools concert.”

Composer Duncan Chapman has led the workshops alongside cellist Elaine Ackers, Bridget Carey on the viola, clarinetist Jack McNeill and Anthony Robb who plays the flute.

Chris Webb, Headteacher at Springfield Primary School, commented: “The project with BCMG is the highlight of our year. Bringing live music and composing into the classroom is a real thrill. Our children and staff experience an arts partnership of the highest quality culminating with the concert at CBSO Centre. Working with BCMG is such a joy, and a wonderful example of cultural diversity in the classroom.”

The pupils have created pieces of music inspired by two works which feature in a special concert for schools on Monday 9th March: Simon Bainbridge’s Path to Othona and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Runes from a Holy Island. BCMG will also perform a piece composed by Duncan Chapman which uses elements of the work created by pupils in the school workshops.

Families can also hear this piece when it is performed at BCMG’s Family Concert on Sunday 8 March at CBSO Centre.

Pic: Flautist Tony Robb at Springfield Primary School.