Merlyn here, lead musician for Digital beginnings NW. Greetings from the northwest contingent. the project has been on the go for 5 weeks already in the from of taster sessions at Landgate and Hope schools both in Wigan. Landgate provides for pupils on the autistic spectrum and hope provides predominantly for children with PMLD. Several pupils at landgate are strong singers including Martin Flynn who has a stunning ability in vocal mimicry. Drake Northwest have worked with Martin on previous projects including music engine and it is great to have him on board.
The taster sessions took place in both schools and now the project has started pupils from landgate are coming over to hope (less than a mile away) to make use of their fantastic facilities: a dedicated studio with projector, lights, sound-system and a Midi Creator setup. We have had 2 successful sessions so far for which I have been assisted by Tom (trainee associate musician) The first session involved some Dalcroze techniques to help pupils establish a sense of musical pulse. The second involved performing some music to accompany images of a space launch. It is hoped that during the project vocal pupils will learn to sing solfa and form a mini choir that will hopefully receive some vocal coaching from a student at the RNCM.
Other plans for the project include a trip to the local football stadium with the intention that pupils will capture images and video footage of their day trip to be accompanied at a later date by appropriate music composed or chosen by them ( or a mixture of the two).
It's early days but its a great team including a great deal of support from teachers at Hope and both myself and tom will be trying to keep you up to date as the project develops.
bye for now