VOCES8: Schools workshop
VOCES8 are very keen to promote music education, and have opened their Gresham Centre in London as an international centre for vocal excellence and outreach, believing in the power of music to change lives. The group has developed a set of vocal exercises to enhance children’s musical and overall academic performance. This method, which is currently being used in several schools in Britain, is based on a 2010 study conducted by Professor Sue Hallam, a researcher at the Institute of Education in London.
As part of their visit to Shaldon to give the first of our 4 concerts, VOCES8 ran a workshop for 50 children from Shaldon Primary School and Teignmouth Community College. The children were hooked from the start! As were their teachers and several members of the committee who were in the church at the time!
The session was based around three aspects of warming up, for the body, the brain and the voice, though all these were intertwined in the exercises the children were asked to do. Paul Smith, baritone and one of the founders of the group, led most of it, but other members were also involved. We all had to make weird sounds, copy what the leader did quickly, whatever it was, stretch, play air guitar, pretend to be robots, and finally sing the chorus of ‘Skyfall’ which the children performed with the group in the evening concert.
It was all fun, and very effective. The children sang with great confidence both in the afternoon and in the evening. They loved the whole experience. One said “It was mega! Everyone should have the chance like I did to learn all those great things.” They all described their learning as fun, and although some of it was challenging (singing high) they enjoyed that too. They found it nerve-wracking singing on the stage in the concert but also loved it, and how VOCES8 included and welcomed them.
All in all it was a great success, and we hope it has produced some enthusiastic singers for the future!
Kate Hill-Art 22/6/15
Pupils participating from Teignmouth Community School:
Kitten Baxter, Ellie Bessell, Mollie Bond, Tilly Brady, Lucy Brooks, Mollie Chapman, Ellice Cole, Paige Connelly, Keeley Cousins, Jessica Edworthy, Harriet Endall, Mary Ford, Emily Gardener, Holly Gartman, Mike Gill, Maisy Harbert, Daisy Mulford, Kelly Rainbow, Aleisha Ray, Charley Roberts, Amy Webber, Lucy Wellsford, Max Woolnough, Daisy Wright.
Pupils participating from Shaldon Primary School:
Yasmin Barnes, Ryan Bouzayen, Ashlie Buchanan, Louis Cook, JD Cook, Rowan Davies-Cox, Bea Endell, Isabella Harman, Albin Irving, Arthur Kerry, Mei-Lin Porter, Josh Powles, Will Powles, Izzy Price, Gracie Quartly, Sam Ridgway, Lauren Rowbury, Imogen Smith, Sophie Stockham, Tess Walsh, Daisy Yeandle.