Friday, 22 January 2010

Digital Beginnings SW 2

Hello again from Digital Beginnings South West. Time for a slightly overdue update!

We have now completed 7 of our 10 music days at Penrose School in Bridgwater. This week’s session was the first since December due to the snow, which caused the school to close on the previous two Wednesdays. After the first 2 or 3 weeks which we spent working with pairs of students, we put together a timetable which features 4 groups of 4 or 5 children. The needs of the children at Penrose vary a lot, and school staff were keen for us to work with all the students from 3 classes in keystages 1 & 2. This has meant that our groups are quite mixed, with students with physical disabilities working alongside students who are more physically able. In every group the line-up includes players using Assistive Music Technology as well as some who are accessing mainstream instruments – mainly percussion. A distinct theme has emerged in each of the groups over the sessions, and they have all been ideas that came from the students. We have a counting song based around the number 7, which happens to be Victoria’s favourite number. We have a song about some rowdy farm animals (working title is “Moo! Baa!”), a seaside song and a ghostly tune where the students are the ghosts and they have come along to scare the adults. We have 3 music days left and are working towards recording each song and building to a performance in assembly on the final day of Term 3 (Friday 12th Feb.) We will endeavour to film the performance and put some clips up here for you to see.

The following video clip features footage from early sessions. The musicians are Aysha, who plays Soundbeam with her feet (the sensor is above her legs, and is just out of shot), Daniel, who is apparently not usually as communicative and extroverted as he is in our sessions (especially when he has a mic and a nice delay effect on it!), and Lewis who is playing electric guitar using MIDI Creator. All of these musicians will feature in our performance in February.