Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Half term musings from the Education team

Mon Feb 18 2013

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So much happens in the OAE Education department and as it is just little old me, the only office-based member of the team, I hardly get any time to sit down and blog about what I’ve been up to.  My track record of broken blog promises for Team Comms is horrendous but today, the first day of half term, I have a bit of extra time so I gleefully agreed to actually sit and complete a blog.

I want to tell you about all the wonderful things I’ve been up to this half term.

I’m going to start with my most frequent commitment – String Club – which dominates every Monday afternoon. Every week Nancy Cole (our Graduate Intern) and I head over to a local primary school to join OAE violinists teaching the violin.  One of my favourite moments at String Club, in fact one of my favourite moments since joining the OAE, happened last week when the tutors decided to run a listening session based on the Four Seasons.  Excerpts from Winter and Spring were played by Cathy Ford, Naomi Burrell and Holly Harman and the pupils were enthralled.  It was magic to watch, seeing them watch their tutors completely in awe, as if they were Rock Stars.  Baroque and Roll.

String club February 2013

Another thing that happened this half term was my viol debut.  When I joined the OAE, I never imagined that I would be sat in front of a class of 10 year olds with a bass viol, picking out a ground bass for a professional player.  This is exactly the situation I found myself in at a Guardian Newspaper workshop where we invite classes from partner schools to Kings Place to interview an OAE player and write about them in a journalistic style.   I’m particularly proud of the picture description (at the top of this blog).

To report everything else that has been going on in one article would take me into a small novel word count rather than a punchy blog but, to give a bit more information, this half term has included – Early Years work in Camden, live music in nurseries, the OAE Academy where young professional players receive OAE coaching, an amazing schools concert where about 350 pupils came to Kings Place to play with the Orchestra, coaching for youth orchestras and a newly formed early music group, Musicians on Call visits to nursing homes…

So this week I pause briefly to catch my breath but it isn’t really a break; it’s a chance to gear up for next week when we have a pre-concert event, a study day and performance and another schools concert – to name a few things.  Phew.

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