Within Rutland two schools, Edith Weston Primary School and Cottesmore Primary School, were identified to be part of the Music of Diversity Project.
Both Schools are ‘fed’ in terms of pupils by the army base in close proximity to them. Recently both Schools have doubled in size due to an expansion of personnel within the army bases. This reassignment has mainly come from Germany, with the majority of army personnel being recruited from Africa, thus resulting in a huge change in cultural and social demographic for Rutland.
Challenges for the schools include integrating these families into their School, respecting and embracing their cultural diversity in rural Rutland, while educating existing residents.
The school also both had a very high turnover of pupils, as they often only stay for periods of around 8 months before moving on. This results in a struggle to engage parents in school activities and affects the pupils’ ability to build friendships and immerse themselves in classes.
With this in mind Music of Diversity aimed to get the pupils creating their own pieces of work that they could take ownership of and to get the parents on the site working with their children and communicating with the teachers. It also looked to create a lasting legacy that meant they could revisit the work after they had left the school and share it with family members who were serving abroad.
As part of this ambition to create a legacy, soundLINCS’ Music Facilitators went to the school before the residency began in order to offer training and guidance to the teachers. They taught them they skills that they would be sharing with the pupils so that after the end of the project the workshops and activities could be reused again with new classes.
There were 2 different types of workshops covered within the residency; song-writing sessions where each class chose the theme for a song and then worked together to create lyrics and a melody and iPad and Music Technology based workshops, with soundLINCS Music Facilitator’s helping the pupils with recording and production of samples which they then used to create a final track of their own.
Sam, our Communications Officer, visited the final sharing session of Music of Diversity and has written a blog about his experience which you can read here.
Music of Diversity was part of our soundINCLUSION programme, funded by National Foundation for Youth Music’s Musical Inclusion module with additional funding and support from the Music Education Hubs in Lincolnshire, Leicester/shire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.