We currently offer the following music workshops – scroll down for more info on each one:
Music Technology + Production, DJ + MC workshops, Drumming workshops and Music Composition.
All of our workshops aim to engage students in Music in a way that links into the 2014 National Curriculum.
“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.”
– National Curriculum Music 2014.
Brazilian drumming workshops exploring rhythms such as Samba & Maracatu are among our most popular sessions because they are so easily accessible to everyone involved. A typical session would begin with a short talk about the history of the music and a bit of information on all the different instruments. Participants then take part in rhythmic games and warm ups before moving on to the drums. We strive to give each participant the chance to play every instrument during the workshop. Our workshop leaders have been to Brazil several times to study traditional music and are professional percussionists. Workshops can be tailor made to suit your schools requirements running from 30 minutes taster sessions to several days! These workshops are a fantastic way of enabling your students to learn about another culture in a fun an exciting way
Music Technology + Production
Music technology can often seem confusing or complex when used without a little direction from someone who knows what they’re doing. Utilising software such as Reason or Ableton live, participants work in groups with one of our tutors to create melodies and program beats into the computer. This activity can be differentiated by using pre-programmed loops or spending more time to create your own. The end product can then be burnt onto a CD and given to the student to keep. Due to the nature of this work, it is best suited to small groups of two or three young people for around half a day. It combines well with our DJ + MC workshops. Our tutors for this workshop have degrees in Creative Music Technology and also work in the music industry.
DJ + MC Workshops
The classic setup of two turntables and a microphone is as popular today as it ever was, and is an integral part of many modern styles of music such as Dubstep, Grime, Drum & Bass and Hip Hop. One workshop leader teaches participants how to mix two tracks together using two turntables and a mixer via a computer with software called Traktor. A second leader works with the participants as they write lyrics and develop them into a song. The two groups then come back together so one participant is able to mix two tracks together whilst others rap over the top. We operate a policy of no swearing or offensive lyrics during these classes. This workshop combines well with the Music Production class we offer as participants are able to create tracks on the computer and then export them for use with mixing software. This workshop requires around three hours to reach a competent level.
Using the popular West African drums Djembes & Djun Djuns, participants take part in various warm up activities and rhythmic games as an ice breaker before learning a version of a tradition African rhythm. Participants learn about the history of these instruments, making it ideal for cross-curricular learning. The rhythms have different parts, some more simple than others, so it is also ideal for a large group of mixed abilities. Our African drumming workshops can be run with groups from anywhere between five to 50 people. Each participant gets the chance to try out different drums so everyone is included. All the leaders of our African drumming workshops have studied this music to a high level and have a deep understanding of the related traditions and culture. These workshops can last any time from 30 minutes to three hours, with one hour being the average time.
In groups, participants work to create an original piece of music involving as many young people as required. The workshop leader comes to the class with rhythmic or melodic starting points which are then developed by the young people themselves. The workshop is great for bringing together students that wouldn’t normally work or compose together by using a mix of instruments including guitars, drums, woodwind, brass, vocals & music technology to collectively create a unique piece of music. Within this class there is scope for older or more musically proficient students to lead the instrumental sections and help out participants with less experience. This class works best when booked for one or more whole days at a time or for an extended project such as creating music for a school production or play.