Our students regularly go out into the community to work with local organisations. This semester Claire Brook from Moor Park High approached us about having UCLan students regularly involved at the school. Musiclan spoke to Claire and final year student Holly Hughes about the developing collaboration.
CB: There are is one main objective for our collaboration with UCLan, to provide an excellent first hand musical experience to inspire, engage and motivate our young people to help raise their aspirations to continue their music studies beyond Moor Park.
There are two main projects we have launched this term. Firstly the introduction of lunchtime concerts where students from UCLan perform a variety of music, soloists and ensemble, acoustic performances as well as using music technology. This introduces our pupils to new music, it gives them the opportunity to experience live music first hand, to be up close and personal with the performers as well as having the opportunity to ask questions about writing and performing music.
The second project focuses on the role of the performer within the BTEC Music course. Students from UCLan have been delivering presentations to the pupils about approaches to rehearsal and the importance of practice, to help them to improve their performance techniques as they prepare for their first assignment.
M: Tell us more about the sessions and what you are getting from them Holly.
HH: On the 24th of November, Myself and the rest of The Busking Collective (Iori Hicks, Javon Aziz & Sam Bowen-Wild) visited Moor Park to give a lunch time concert for the students. We played a half hour set demonstrating a variety of musical improvisations ranging from folk to blues and allowed the students to see what can be achieved by studying music at university.
By doing this performance, not only was it a good performing experience for the Busking Collective but it allowed me to begin to see what it would be like to work with/for school children, which was a valuable experience, as that's one of the areas I would like to work in once I finish university.
Image from www.blogpreston.co.uk
M: Claire, what would be your advice for anyone wanting to go into teaching music in schools?
CB: Go for it....it is the best job in the world! It is so rewarding. Everyday is different, every year is different as the music tastes and trends develop so you never get bored (that is why I am still here after 10 years!!!) Knowing that your music lesson could give a pupil a 'voice' which allows them to be individual, to nurture creativity and the opportunity to express themselves whilst developing their confidence and many other employability skills. The job truly is an amazing opportunity to work with such unique and wonderful people. That is why I love working at Moor Park so much. There are a lot of talented pupils here and our Headteacher Mr Corbett fully supports the work that we do and understands the value the Arts has to our young people.
M: What happens next?
HH: Moving forward I'm going to be observing some music classes to get an idea of what it's like as a music teacher for high school and possibly help organize/run a musical workshop.
CB: This is just the start.....I am hoping I will be able to bring the BTEC Music class up to UCLan to see the facilities and possibly record a piece for their unit 2: 'Managing a Music Product' assignment. I would love to see a joint concert at the end of the year or this time next year where Moor Park pupils share the stage with UCLan students performing music together. Finally, I would really like to tap into the hidden talent of the young songwriters where UCLan students share their knowledge and expertise in composition workshops and projects.
Many thanks to Claire, Holly and the staff and students at Moor Park for their involvement in this work.
Moor Park Website