In December 2022, Accent Music Hub partnered with Live Music Now to deliver a creative music project to special schools across Warrington and Halton. The FESTIVAL! project aimed to support children and young people in collectively exploring, creating, and performing their own music.
Five schools eagerly participated in the fully subsidised project and received eight-weeks of music-making sessions, delivered by Live Music Now musicians. The project kicked off with an initial concert for the entire school. This was followed by a series of bespoke workshops for two-three classes in each school, led and tailored by two of our Live Music Now musicians. The project concluded in March 2023 with final celebratory concerts, where the students proudly performed their music for the rest of their school and families.
The participating schools and musicians were as follows:
- Chestnut Lodge School: Edward Robinson (baritone) and Rachel Fright (piano)
- Brookfields School: Edward Robinson (baritone) and Rachel Fright (piano)
- Cavendish High School: Ali Mac (percussion) and Ben Gorb (guitar/vocals)
- Fox Wood School: Jess Tomlinson (clarinet, saxophone) and Eleanor Mills (bassoon) from Chameleon Quartet
- Green Lane School: Jess Tomlinson and Eleanor Mills
Approximately 90 pupils across 11 classes participated in the project, while over 300 students and visitors enjoyed the initial and celebratory concerts.
Feedback emphasised the positive effects of the project on various aspects of the pupils’ development. The music sessions were highly tailored to the students’ needs, fostering engagement, focus, and personal and social growth. Moreover, the project positively contributed to the students’ mental health and well-being.
Throughout the project, Teachers observed increased excitement, happiness, and participation amongst the students, as well as a sense of pride and achievement following the final concert. Shy and unsettled pupils were also able to enjoy themselves and actively participate. Overall, pupils were able to develop their instrumental and vocal abilities significantly over the course of the project.
The final celebration concerts were well-attended and highly regarded by the schools, and families and carers were invited along to witness their children’s musical achievements.
‘There was a buzz of excitement throughout the performances. Visitors commented on how they enjoyed the quartet’s performance and each class listened keenly to the other classes as they showcased their new skills. The pupils worked together as one to perform their musical pieces and there was mutual respect throughout. What a wonderful experience’ (Teacher, Fox Wood School).
A massive thank you and well done to all participating schools, alongside Accent Music Hub and our very own Live Music Now musicians for making this project possible!
For more information about working with Live Music Now to develop your school’s music offer, please go to: https://www.livemusicnow.org.uk/contact-us/