Music to make you think at Kennet Valley School

Kennet Valley C of E VA Primary school have begun an exciting new music project with Thinking Music staff and music students from Bristol University.

Thinking Music is an initiative seeking to develop more opportunities for music that enriches the lives of children, especially in rural areas where access to musical opportunities are limited, while connecting primary and higher education institutions to work together through music.

Thinking Music is run by Alice Poppleton and Frances Leith and their goals are to provide primary aged children, in rural areas, with access to live music making and performance. They also want to support school teachers and teaching assistants so that they can develop ways to use music as a tool to deliver the core curriculum in new and exciting ways. Alice and Frances also aim to introduce children to music students from universities, with the hope that children will gain an insight in potential future career paths in the creative arts.  

At Kennet Valley Primary, children in Year 4 and 5 will be working on this project for the rest of the year. The project will mean that these children will have several sessions with Alice, Frances, and their students either in the school or via zoom, before the children travel to Bristol University for a celebration day where they will perform a song that they are currently writing.

On the first day of the project the class met Alice and Frances, and four Bristol University students. They broke the ice by playing a wide range of rhythm games using body percussion and actions to compose simple tunes. The children worked really well together to gain new skills before they went on to find out about the 4 student’s instruments. These were the tuba, viola, trumpet, and flute. Towards the end of the day the class worked together to begin to write their own verse of a song.

Kennet Valley is one of three incredibly lucky schools in Wiltshire to be involved in this project and headteacher, Mrs Emma Russell, is delighted that the school is part of the exciting project.

“At Kennet Valley we work hard to ensure that all of our children have as many cross curricular opportunities as possible and to be involved in this music project is marvellous. The children have loved their day and can’t wait for the next day with Alice, Frances, and the student musicians. Thank you so much.”

Children in the class agreed raved about the day, saying

“I really enjoyed my day with Thinking Music. We had an amazing time. I especially loved making up our verse” and “It was really interesting to find out about the instruments and hear them being played in different ways”.

And the staff agreed with them – Mrs Bushnell, class teaching assistant, commented that

“This was an amazing experience for out children. They are so excited about this project already and loved working with Alice and the students. Alice has built a great relationship with the children, and they are so engaged.”

Alice Poppleton, project director, said

“WOW – what an amazing day! We love your school. We had the best day and felt so welcome in your school. Thank you so much for joining the project.”