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‘Reconnect’ at Ryelands School

Posted by Darren Leadsom on 11 May 2023

A fantastic new video and accompanying soundtrack has been created by schoolchildren from Ryelands Primary School in Lancaster working with musicians from More Music.

‘Reconnect’ is an exciting multimedia schools project with acclaimed cellist Maja Bugge and music leader/producer Leroy Lupton working with primary schoolchildren to make new music, delivered by More Music and funded by Lancashire Music Hub.

The idea of Reconnect is for musicians and pupils to work together to create a musical and visual response to the children’s experiences of the Covid pandemic and lockdown using drawings, words, voice and recordings of objects and instruments in school. The project took place for the first time at Christ Church School in Lancaster in early 2022.

In January and February this year (2023), the project was delivered for the second time working with two classes of Y5 children from Ryelands Primary School in Lancaster.  It took place over five weeks and resulted in the creation of a video with a new soundtrack, all created by the children in collaboration with Maja and Leroy.

One of the Y5 children describes the project like this: “I think it was very calming and it was good that we managed to make music for the first time. the piece of music we made was spectacular”. Other children described it as one of the best things they had done at school

For both children and workshop leaders, this was a rare opportunity to embrace the challenging and lifechanging event of the pandemic and lockdown in a creative and safe way.

Maja says:

“Delivering the project for the second time meant that we could dig deeper into the exciting meeting points between digital and classical music. The children’s generous creative material and original ideas allowed us explore composition and song writing in a new way while at the same time thinking about ways of representing our soundtrack in a visual way. A lot of children came out of the sessions eager to try a new instrument and we would often had children bring in their own poems of drawings inspired by the sessions. For me as a workshop leader, these projects are so inspiring as they help me discover new teaching methods and at the same time I can help empower children to use music as a tool for expression and play.”

Linda Pye, Headteacher at Ryelands School, said:

“I am delighted that the children at Ryelands have had this wonderful opportunity to work creatively on an open-ended musical project. The artists were incredibly skilled and were able to bring out and develop the children’s thoughts and their talents. The children learnt a great deal through the five-week creative process and they are proud of what they have achieved, which is show-cased in the film. Having the opportunity to think about the pandemic, to look back on it and reflect, is so important – the Year 5 children were able to do this in a safe, exploratory way with positive outcomes.”

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