“We had a fantastic session at Craiglockhart High School. Congratulations to inspiring teacher Stephen McLaren on getting 150 pupils together to have a bash at ‘Bethany Lane’ from scratch in an hour. Hoping to see some Craiglockhart pupils at the Orchestra Sessions on Sundays this term!”– Jed Milroy
Over the autumn term we have been making music at the
Seamab school in Fife. Niki has been drumming with the older groups, while I have been doing a range of instruments with the younger ones
including keyboard, drums, guitar and kazoo! We have been improvising,
jamming and even making up songs with some pupils. The Seamab pupils are always excited for music!
This year we finished off our term at Seamab with a fabulous Christmas concert, with Jed, Niki and Christy from Tinderbox. After a captivating performance from a magician, we followed with magical music. Lots of the young people took the microphone to sing their favourite songs or do a speech, and we all sang and danced along to Christmas tunes!
We’re just finishing up in Studio Ember at North Edinburgh Arts with young composers from Craigroyston High School. The group have taken an elective block this term in music composition and songwriting. It’s been inspiring to work with such a creative and open minded group. At some points it was almost too creative to bring it together into one finished piece! We wrote a song called ‘Starting From The Bottom’ over 4 afternoon sessions and visited Calum at Studio Ember for a recording session to lay the track down. Everyone also did some music production and recording using Launchpad. Look out for the finished track that will be posted soon!
“Niki and KC have really enjoyed working with the children at seamab learning general music skills and beginning to focus on an instrument.
We handed out all these certificates today, (courtesy of our admin queen Anna) and want to say a huge thank you and well done to all the guys and girls and teaching team at seamab for all the fun music times! Thanks for sharing make music day with us and see you after the summer!” – Niki (Tinderbox Tutor and Artist).
Last month, Niki and Anna were at Craigroyston high school for a few weeks helping out with their Mega May expressive arts take over during the exam period!
“We had some brilliant groups creating their own fantasy bands, planning concerts, designing logos, posters, and fliers, and a crash course in songwriting too!”- Anna (Tinderbox Tutor and Artist).
We look forward to more sessions at Craigroyston in the future!
“We had lots of fun with the Tinderbox team at Granton Primary School before the easter break and got a big surprise in the form of lots of thank you cards when we went back in today!
We are excited to be offering a new music hub on Thursdays 5 to 7 p.m. at Granton Youth Club from the 27th April – 27th June!” – Niki.
What a great term we had working with Granton and Ferryhill Primary Schools. They nailed it at the concert. Looking forward to seeing some of the gang back for Tinderbox Sparks starting on Sunday morning!
What a privilege for some of the Tinderbox Community team to be invited to play at the Seamab Christmas party at Airth Castle.
Seamab is a residential primary school in Kinross for children in care. Most of the children at the school have very limited contact with their families, if any at all. Clearly it’s incredibly important at this time of year to help the children feel that Christmas is special for them as well as for everyone who has a family they can spend it with.
The party at Airth Castle really was a special event, we played the usual musical party games and also had performances from the young people of party pieces they have prepared over the term at school.
Such a lot of talent and enthusiasm there!
It was a unique experience all round when 6 of the Tinderbox Collective went to play at Seamab School last week.
Seamab is a residential primary school for children who have suffered trauma and loss. The beautiful rural setting and incredible staff team make it an incredibly healing place to be for everyone involved, but it can be difficult to offer some experiences to the children.
This was the first time many of the children had experienced a live band up close and the first time the band had been to Seamab, so we were all pretty blown away.
The most amazing thing has been that some of the young people who are now making the trip to Edinburgh on a Tuesday evening to join in our Hub at North Edinburgh arts were able to see some of the tutors they know so well from the Hub letting their hair down and jamming in the band.
More of this ahead we hope!
Great to chat with Michael Cunningham, Curriculum Leader of Expressive Arts at Craigroyston Community High School, about our partnership.
We’ve had a lot of fun over the last few weeks visiting High Schools for our orchestra courses. The challenge in these workshops has been to collaboratively compose a piece of music for orchestra in 2 hours. The aim is that the piece will be interesting but also simple enough to be played by beginners. We started with improvising rhythms and used these to develop melodies and then bunged it all together to see what would happen. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and some great musical ideas came out of it.
Here’s Jed interviewing Tessa Martin of Craigroyston High and Maree Anderson at Balerno about the workshops.
Students on our Digital Music course at Craigroyston Community High School continue to nail it this week. We’re now at the point where they are producing their own tracks. Check out this from DJ Brian:
And here’s Craigroyston High School music teacher Rachel Ponte talking about our projects so far:
‘Is it Calvin Harris or is it Callum?’ said Callum as he listened back to his recording project on headphones. He didn’t realise that the rest of us in the classroom could hear him. Obviously we all laughed, but there was something really special that we all shared in his pride about what he has achieved.
In the middle of last term we were invited to build on our partnership with Craigroyston Community High School by delivering a Digital Music course to the S4s. The whole thing has been a reminder that even the most simple creative ideas can build into amazing things.
Working in partnership with Rachel Ponte, one of the music teachers at Craigroyston, we have developed a year long Digital Music course aimed at keeping disengaged students interested and creative in the classroom and it seems to be working!
We had our first workshop back at Kaimes school this week. It was great to get the old Kaimes team back together, as well as welcoming some new faces to the group.
After the Tuesday hubs song choice of ‘One Direction’ getting well and truly rejected by the group, we decided to work on a song from ‘The Greatest Showman’ which resulted in some fantastic energy. There was singing, dancing, drama, laughter!
Lots of great song suggestions and excitement for the rest of the term too!
Our Orchestra Outreach workshops kicked off yesterday with a full on day at Liberton High School. Great enthusiasm and participation from pupils and teachers alike. Even the art teacher joined in, a great sign of a collaborative approach from the creative arts at the school.
Great passion from the young people for music and for creativity and a warm welcome for us. It seems to me that the relaxed and open attitude of the music staff at Liberton leaves so much space for students to take their own initiative to be creative.
James, Viloin: It’s my kind of orchestra. I’ve done classical music, but I’m more into Indie, Alternative, Rock, Heavy Metal, Musicals, Jazz…
Scott, Teacher: Sometimes we can forget how taking things back to basics of composition can really help to inspire the less engaged students. This simple practical workshop really did that.
The Frontiers project has been an amazing multifaceted experience which has now matured into its third full term. Each term is made up of a number of different workshops which work with various partner groups. Every workshop will bring the opportunity to learn music to young people, however they are vastly different in many ways… To try to understand more of what each group has been getting up to we have had a quick chat with the tutor of the Kaimes school workshop Harry Whalley.
Harry is an experienced musician, teacher composer and long-time collaborator and supporter of Tinderbox. As part of Frontiers he has been delivering workshops at Kaimes, a school that caters to children with additional support needs. This is what he had to say about his workshop with Kaimes:
Tell us a little bit about your time spent doing the music workshop at Kaimes School:
Before I came to Kaimes, Jack had done a couple before, so they knew Jack and they had already done Bethany Lane.
One of the really good thing about Kaimes is that we had Angelica the Music teacher and Mary Walters who is the Art Teacher take part. Angelica teaches quite a lot of instrumental lessons and she had different types of colour notation called figure notes for them. She was able to take the music we learnt in the workshops and then teach them in their individual music lessons – this really helped speed things up and make continuity throughout the week. Some of the student are very good players already and some had not played at all. There were a few guitarists and they knew chords. We also had a good Violin player and a student keen to learn the trumpet.
Did you have any particular moments that stood out to you during the workshops?
No, not really, but what I enjoyed was that the rehearsal after time become more and more and more focused. In the first few weeks we were just getting to know each other and used to the routine, but in the second term we learnt loads of material! – it really took off! That was also partly for the concert organised in the school for people that couldn’t make Hidden Door, so we were just rehearsing for that. It was nice that they took it so seriously and would go home and practise too. We had guitars, violins and lots of Boomwhackers and some percussion and Mary (Art Teacher) played the saxophone so it was really good when we all played together. They really liked Siaka’s Song, and some of them really liked Fire, by Jimmy Hendrix. They also wrote a song based on the Sea and it became an intro to Siaka’s song , so we had collected a big cloud of works to do with the Sea and then we wrote out the rhythms and then picked the chords, it was a a fun way to do composition.
And what I liked was that in the end we were rehearsed enough that we could have a good performance even without Tinderbox, we had a really good sound!
Thank you Harry!
Here is what the young musicians from Kaimes had to say!
‘We looked forward to Wednesday afternoons’
‘It made me feel very happy indeed’
**We also want to say a huge thank you to the apprentices, Jenni, Anna and Sam who did a fantastic job throughout all the workshops and also Angelica and Mary who have been a great support in making Frontiers happen.