Successful visit to Inverness schools by Scottish Ensemble
Scottish Ensemble, the UK’s leading professional string orchestra based in Glasgow, completed a four day residency around schools in the Inverness area last week giving pupils taking part a unique experience.
The workshops focused on activities to inspire and empower young people, while other parts of Ensemble’s work concentrated on young people who face barriers to participation, or who are from more vulnerable groups. In all cases, live music and interaction was used to inspire enjoyment, learning, skills development and confidence.
Workshops at Milton of Leys; Dalneigh and Smithton Primaries, looked at ‘where composers get there ideas’. At Smithton, three children from Primary 5 had an even closer experience, when they were invited to go and sit amongst the players. One of the pupils commented that: “It was really good sitting with the rest of the class, but it was amazing being able to sit up close to the instruments. I really liked how they played, especially the violins.”
The Ensemble didn’t just play music from the Classical era, but played pieces that reflected things as diverse as the bombing of Dresden in WW2 and life in the Australian outback. Two members of the Ensemble performed a clapping duet and the children were able to join in with their own ‘clapping orchestra’.
A Higher Music Listening workshop “Listen Live” was held at Culloden Academy, and on the same day, there was a chamber music session with two string quartets involving players who were nominated by their Council Music Instructors.
The schools activities around Inverness were planned by the Ensemble’s Project Manager, Duncan Sutherland and The Highland Council’s Music Development Officer, Norman Bolton.
Speaking after the successful visit, Norman said: “We have a vibrant professional relationship with Scottish Ensemble through previous work around schools as part of the Council’s Instrumental Tuition Service and also wider curricular work. Their visits are always well received and it is great to see young Highland musicians being given this kind of inspirational contact with professional musicians.”
With pupils at Smithton Primary