Music in Schools: Peter and the Wolf Outreach Projects at the Barbican (Islington)
On 2 May 2017, eight Yeomen from the Musicians’ Company performed with pupils from Vittoria Primary School and Thornhill Primary School at the Barbican Concert Hall.
The concert was organised by Arts First, Islington’s Music Hub, and featured over 300 pupils from several primary and secondary Schools in Islington. Yeomen and pupils performed their own versions of several characters’ themes based upon Prokofiev’s classic children’s work Peter and the Wolf in a 25-minute performance.
Over the Spring and Summer terms, Yeomen worked separately with 30 Year 5 pupils from Vittoria Primary School and 60 Year 5 pupils from Thornhill Primary School. Yeomen worked with pupils in several hour-long interactive workshops in each of the schools to jointly compose their own version of each character’s theme in the story. Pupils at Vittoria drew musical inspiration from pictures of the characters, whilst pupils at Thornhill based their characters’ themes on distinct rhythms. Pupils from each school played on instruments that they were currently learning through the school’s Wider Opportunities music lessons.
The condensed story of Peter and the Wolf was narrated by Jan Yerbury, Head of Developed Outreach at The Musicians’ Company. The Islington Primary Orchestra, which consisted of pupils from Vittoria and Thornhill, provided musical illustration. Watch the YouTube video of the performance below.
“Thank you all on behalf of the whole community at Thornhill. The project was hugely successful on so many levels, opportunities to develop self-confidence and belief, collaborative skills were developed, musical appreciation and so much more.”
Louise Ryer, Assistant Headteacher, Thornhill Primary School
“It was so great to see pupils worked so enthusiastically and creatively at Vittoria Primary. They have learnt and achieved so much during these few sessions, it’s fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed working with the children to compose their own versions of Peter and the Wolf and felt they found it inspiring to listen and play alongside Yeomen. Playing at such a prestigious venue as the Barbican was really exciting for the children, who left the venue after the event being truly inspired by, and interested in, classical music.”
Alena Lugovkina, Yeoman Project Co-ordinator, Vittoria Primary School
These two projects were generously funded by the Richard Reeve’s Foundation, whose continued support of our outreach programme has enabled us to develop our large-scale project work in several Camden and Islington schools.