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‘Reconnect’ at Ingol Primary School

Posted by Darren Leadsom on 02 August 2023

“A word becomes a rhythm,

Objects becomes soundscapes,

Words becomes lyrics,

Drawings becomes stories,

Feelings becomes movements.”

 – Maja Bugge


A new thought-provoking video and accompanying soundtrack has been created by Y5 and Y6 children from Ingol Primary School in Preston as part of ‘Reconnect’.

‘Reconnect’ is an exciting multimedia schools project led by acclaimed cellist Maja Bugge and music leader/producer Leroy Lupton delivered by More Music and funded by Lancashire Music Hub.

The idea of Reconnect is for musicians and pupils to work together over five sessions to create a unique musical and visual response to the children’s experiences of the Covid pandemic and lockdown. The project has happened twice before at Christ Church School in Lancaster in Spring 2022 and Ryelands Primary School in Lancaster in Spring 2023.

Reconnect at Ingol took place during the summer term 2023. The video was shared with the children on 18th July, who were delighted and excited to see the final version of what had been created with Maja and Leroy.

The children contributed ideas, played instruments, wrote lyrics and created artwork, which Maja and Leroy brought together to form the collaborative video and soundtrack. The finished work serves as a time capsule, a piece of social history of a very unique period in all our lives. The children maturely reflected on their thoughts and feelings from lockdown and afterwards, creatively documenting those experiences and emotions with remarkable honesty and insight.

Maja said:

“Making ‘Reconnect’ at Ingol school gave me an opportunity to further explore how the rich creative material generated by the children (text, drawing, sounds, objects) could translate into acoustic and digital composition. The children engaged with, and explored my instrument, the cello in new ways. There is always something intriguing about seeing children trying the instrument when this is completely new to them. Their approach has a sense of curiosity and wonder and it wakes a desire to connect. It also sometimes gives me ideas of new and different ways of playing the instrument.”

“This time round, I experienced a stronger creative dialogue with the children. Reflecting on this, I think the time More Music gave us to explore new compositional and pedagogic tools, holding mine and Leroy’s vastly different musical backgrounds, helped our ability to share, listen and make with the children. We have now created a methodology that can be used in other schools and settings. The project’s focus on a topic or a theme makes it easily adaptable to other pressing issues of today like climate change.”

Leroy said:

“Reconnect is a fascinating and liberating project that encourages musical/visual exploration and creativity in ways that I’ve not seen in any other kind of school-based activity. Over the 5 weeks we allow the children to contribute towards the final piece by using their voices, words, thoughts and feelings as well as playing instruments and making sounds with personal objects they bring in from home. Delivering this project for a third time has allowed us to develop a methodology that can be repeated in any school setting with flexibility to cater for different ideas and themes.”

“As a music producer I find it inspiring and exciting to use recording/production software with the children in their classroom to give them an insight and understanding of how the music that they listen to can be created from scratch. The possibilities can be endless when using music production software so I am learning how to be more concise and give the children options to hone in their ideas. It is always a pleasure working with Maja and combining our two different musical backgrounds and ways of working. We are often exploring and developing new ideas just as much as the children are.”

“It is always interesting how different classes and children interpret the feelings they experienced during lockdown. This has led to us creating striking and sometimes thought-provoking visuals through their words, video ideas and drawings.”

Naomi Parkinson, Headteacher at Ingol Primary School said:

“Reconnect is aptly named as it allowed our pupils to really immerse themselves in a multitude of creative aspects for a single outcome. The children were enthralled and emotionally connected to the project as the effects of the pandemic are still visible within them. We feel privileged and honoured to have been invited to take part in this project with such special and talented individuals such as Maja and Leroy.

The children have created a piece of history that can be used over and over again to help future pupils gain a deeper perspective of what the pandemic felt like.

From all at Team Ingol, we thank you.”

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