uniting local communitiestransforming lives through music
Newsletter 03 | March 2013
This newsletter is dedicated to our projects. But before you read on, pleasemake sure you’ve filled in a Gift Aid form at the front desk in respect of the donation you made thisevening. To date we’ve received a tax rebate from the government to the tune of £510
in respect of this.One minute of your time makes such a difference. Thank you.
‘Cool Voices’ – The Glebe Project
Glebe School in West Wickham provides specialist secondaryeducation for students with diverse special educationalneeds including emotional/behavioural, speech/languageand communication difficulties, as well as those with specificlearning problems and those on the autistic spectrum.In January, Community Music In Action engaged experiencedcommunity musician Kim Perkins to set up and run alunchtime choir for students at the school. The project,funded wholly by CMIA, aimed to encourage enthusiasm forsinging and entice students to join in vocal activities outsideof lessons, thereby affording them the opportunity toexpress themselves and to communicate through music, aswell as inspiring collaboration and teamwork.
“When I first met with Becky to plan the project, I was concerned that itshould be something that would provide a lasting legacy for the school,rather than a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ that would only benefit a few students for ashort time. I believe we have succeeded in this as there is now a core groupof regular attendees to our lunchtime choir, and I look forward to buildingon this foundation.”
Margaret Hawkins, Head of Music, Glebe School
Kim has spent the past term recruiting members through aseries of taster singing sessions, as well as leading the choireach week. The culmination of the project took place onThursday 21 March when the students performed to theirparents and carers in an informal sharing assembly.
“I like to sing but I get so nervous and shy about doing it. It’s not so scarywhen you’re singing with other people.”
Student, Glebe School
“I like coming to choir as it’s fun. I really like the Mosquito song and all theother songs that we sing. Kim is very nice.”
Student, Glebe School
“Working with the students of Glebe School has been an absolute pleasure.The students have responded with real enthusiasm for singing and the staff have been encouraging and supportive. Over the past eight weeks the wholeschool has participated in vocal activities whether through our first assemblytogether, taster workshops with each class or ‘Cool Voices’. CMIA hasenabled a wave of enthusiasm for singing which permeated throughout theschool, and I can't wait to see the music groups after Easter to see how theycontinue to come together to be creative and enjoy music.”
Kim Perkins, Project leader
CMIA member Sarah Richardson has attended the sessionseach week as a volunteer, assisting the group with theirsinging, encouraging participation and documenting theproject. Here are some extracts from her diary of the project:
Very encouraging turn out for the new choir with 17eager children calling themselves ‘Cool Voices’. After somefun warm-ups, ‘Twist And Shout’ and a superb ‘Singing In TheRain/Umbrella’ mash-up, Kim had everyone singing andsmiling. Next came two taster sessions with some ‘not-so-sure’ children but we’re confident we’ve converted a few andwill have some new recruits for next week’s choir session.
Thankfully lunchtime snowballing wasn’t tooenticing and we were pleased to see the children back forchoir practice along with some new faces. ‘Cool Voices’ weresounding so great we did some live recordings which theyloved hearing back. Then came a class of Year 7s for a tastersession followed by a group of energetic Year 8 boys. All-in-all another fun and super-sounding week at Glebe School.
We had a tough group to crack today with 12 boyswho had recently returned from a football victory; the lastthing they wanted to do was sing! We got their attentionwith some b-b-b-b-beatboxing exercises and before we knewit we had a human drum-kit in the room. The next singingtaster went down a treat. I had to high-five one boy inparticular who, after not making a sound for most of thesession, found the courage to sing and surprised us all withhis amazing voice. Let’s hope he’s caught the bug and comesto choir practice next week.
We’re officially half-way through our project andwhat a week—the most dynamic yet! We had the Year 8 boyson their feet with a physical samba exercise; then everyonewas ‘Kung Fu Fighting’! Yes, much to the boys’ delight theywere able to combine learning a new song with plenty of kung fu moves. A genius idea from our project leader Kim.Good job it’s half term though as we all need a rest!