Music in Schools: Music Workshop at London Fields Primary School (Hackney)

Percussionist Calum Huggan in a music outreach workshop in Hackney

Percussionist Calum Huggan with pupils playing the tembor drum

On 28 April 2016 percussionist Calum Huggan gave a music outreach workshop to a Year 1 class at London Fields Primary School in Hackney.

In the 45-minute session pupils learnt about the djembe drum and how different sounds can be produced from it. They also learnt how music can be created through using their bodies. The 60 pupils engaged in rhythmic activities that involved clapping, singing and movement.

Several pupils played the school’s djembes in a performance led by Calum, whilst singing an African children’s song. The session culminated in a movement-based activity, in which the children sang and moved in time with the rhythm.

“Music provides a strong form of creative expression for children. It was so rewarding to see pupils actively engage in the workshop at London Fields, in which they utilised their listening and co-ordination skills. I believe that percussion-based workshops are particularly effective because they are accessible to children of any age and musical ability. The outreach sessions have also helped me to develop my career as a musician, as music education is now a staple part of every musician’s career.”
Calum Huggan, percussionist

Music Outreach Workshop

Pupils engaging in a movement-based music activity

“Yeomen from The Musicians’ Company conduct outreach workshops at the school once a term. The musicians expose pupils to different genres and traditions of music, and encourage them to think about different musical elements such as tempo, rhythm, and how music makes them feel. This helps the school to fulfill its music curriculum requirements. Many pupils have limited experiences of seeing musicians play live, therefore the workshops bring learning about music to life. The workshops have encouraged several pupils to learn an instrument through one-to-one lessons at the school. The sessions also help to show teachers within the school that not all learning has to be formal, and that a lot can come out of a loosely structured session involving music. The workshops have created some memorable experiences for the pupils, and have increased my determination to make music a much more visible priority at the school.”
Victoria Gonzalez, Music Co-ordinator, London Fields Primary School