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Hackney Scholar of the Month: Shania

This month, we continue with our new feature, Hackney Scholar of the Month, shining a light on some of the amazingly talented young musicians in Hackney. This month we continue with Shania – read her feature and interview below….

Shania first came to HMS’s attention when she joined the Hackney Borough Youth Choir when she was in Year 4.  She was a fantastic singer, and was also we discovered making really good progress as a recorder player in her classroom music lessons at primary school.  She had also started to learn the violin, and by the time she reached Year 6 and was getting ready to move to secondary school, still singing, playing the recorder and also the violin, she was showing all the signs of being a really talented young musician.  She already had a really good basis for learning to play a wind instrument with all her singing and recorder experience, so she tried the oboe out and, as you will see from her interview, the rest is history!

 

(Photo of Shania featured on the front of the ABRSM’s ‘Libretto’ magazine, taken during her time as a London Music Fund scholar)

 

What made you decide to play your instrument?

When I was initially presented with the opportunity to play the oboe by Hackney Music Service, I must admit that I didn’t actually know what it was as I had quite a limited knowledge of music at the time. I had been playing the violin for a few years and although I really enjoyed it, I was excited to try something new. I had a “taster” lesson on the oboe and enjoyed it immensely which prompted me to make the decision to start learning it.

What do you love most about it?

I love the fact that the oboe is quite a rare instrument and it is fun to play. It is always a joy to meet other oboists as well.

How often do you practice?

My practise times vary as I am usually very busy, but on average, I practise about 4-5 hours a week.

Do you play in any ensembles – orchestras, bands, in or out of school, or with HMS?

Yes, I play with the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra and I am in the senior school band at my school.

What has been your most exciting musical experience so far? (any particular performances that you have taken part in that really stand out, or a particular music lesson that really changed things for you)

My most exciting musical experience so far has been the London Symphony Orchestra concert at Trafalgar Square last year. It was a lot of fun to meet other musicians (and oboists) it was also very exciting to play the music with the composer (Kate Whitley) so nearby and invested in the deliverance of the piece. However, I think that my first performance at the Hackney Music Service Gala at the Hackney Empire is what really encouraged me to invest my time in studying music.

What musician would you most like to meet or perform with?

I would love to meet John Clayton.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to listen to / learn more music or even travel back in time to a different musical era, where would you go and why? 

I would travel to New Orleans between 1920-1950’s when Jazz was most popular. Personally, I think that Jazz represents cultural diversity and hope. Despite the stigma surrounding people of colour and the problems happening in the rest of the south during this time period, Jazz continued to develop and change the expectations of what music “has” to be like and who can play it.

How does being a musician / performing music make you feel?

Whenever I finish learning a new piece or whenever I play something well, I feel a sense of accomplishment. With music, you can hear that all of your practice and extra hours are paying off.  When I think back to when I had first started my instrument, and think of the progress that I have made, I feel like I have really achieved something. Music is one of the most liberating forms of expression and it is always interesting to learn about the way that music ties in with the historical context that we are taught at school.

Any words of advice to someone just starting out on their instrument now?

I would advise the person just starting out on their instrument to get involved with as many ensembles and group performances as possible. It is a great opportunity to meet likeminded people, make lasting friendships and learn more about other instruments. I would definitely encourage the individual to continue with their instrument for as long as possible. Music opens so many doorways and it is never boring because there are so many styles, genres and interpretations. Music is freedom, and although it takes a while to master your instrument, it is most definitely worth it.

 

More about Shania’s story...

After making a cracking start with her oboe playing Shania was originally awarded a scholarship from the Mayor of London (now known as the London Music Fund).  She was also given the chance to put her singing to good use during her time as a Mayor’s Scholar as she was invited to Southwark Cathedral to sing a solo for the Mayor’s Carol Service, which she did absolutely beautifully.  Once graduated from the Mayor of London’s award, it was clear that Shania was fast becoming quite a serious player and was about to start her Music GCSE course.  She received further support, this time from the Mayor of Hackney, to continue with her lessons.  Now in the middle of her Music A Level course at a sixth form in a Hackney school, Shania is receiving some assistance from both the National Youth Arts Trust and also from the fantastic singer and songwriter Kwabs HMS is lucky to have a very special relationship with this extraordinarily talented, generous and resilient young man. Shania is one of a number of Hackney young musicians Kwabs has supported over the last few years.  As a result of this generosity from both Kwabs and the NYAT, Shania now has an oboe of her own and continued support with her oboe tuition this year.

 

 

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LSO On Track: Music in the Classroom Programme

LSO On Track 10th Anniversary 05072018
Photo Copyright: Doug Peters
Photographer – Doug Peters
doug@dougpetersphoto.com
m.07778 358182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LSO On Track brings you – Music in the Classroom is a year-long hands-on programme for Primary teachers and pupils in East London, regardless of musical or teaching experience. Primary school teachers and their pupils will have the opportunity to explore classical music in engaging new ways, develop musical skills, learn hands-on games and warm-ups, work collaboratively, and create and perform group compositions.

Music in the Classroom is open to Primary schools in East London (in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest) and is targeted at Key Stage 2 teachers and students. We are unable to offer places to independent schools.

Led by Rachel Leach, LSO Animateur, Julie Sharpe, Teacher trainer, London Symphony Orchestra musicians

For more information please contact Beth Kershaw, LSO On Track Projects Manager, on beth.kershaw@lso.co.uk or 020 7382 2538 or visit the LSO website here.

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Opera in Schools – Laika the Space Dog

Laika The Space Dog – English Touring Opera
Music: Russell Hepplewhite
Design: Jude Munden
Cast includes Abigail Kelly, Emma Watkinson, David de Wynter and Maciek O’Shea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The English Touring Opera (ETO) – Autumn Opera in Schools – Laika the Space Dog

ETO is reviving its award-winning opera for children Laika the Space Dog, which tells the story of the Russian dog that was sent to space as part of the Soviet space programme.

 The opera’s thrilling story is told in many diverse ways by nine professional performers – and also includes archive film, filmed animation (created with children) and puppetry. The characters include the idealistic young student Mikhael, the great scientist Korolev, the dog-hating Valentina, and of course the little dog herself. The piece features also a specially made theremin (the original electronic instrument), along with percussion, clarinet, cello and bassoon.

The action takes us from an apartment in Moscow to Gorky Park, to the Kremlin (where we meet President Khrushchev), and finally to the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, brought to life with stunning design, and from where we launch the famous Sputnik rockets. The piece is highly interactive and includes songs for everyone. A comprehensive teachers’ pack and CD support the project

Location: Each performance will take place in the school who books the show

Cost per production: Cost 290+VAT

Dates: Bookings date depending on the school and ETO availability.

For more information and to book please email: Daniel.coelho@englishtouringopera.org.uk

For more information about ETO visit: http://englishtouringopera.org.uk/

Photo Credit: Robert Workman 

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New Hackney Scholar of the Month – Eleanor

Welcome to our Monthly Spotlight!

Each month we’ll be shining a spotlight on hard-working talented pupils from across the borough in receipt of awards from a range of different funders. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Never give up and keep trying ‘till you achieve.’ Eleanor

Our January Hackney Scholar of the Month is Eleanor.  Eleanor is a recipient of a Pupil Award for Musical Achievement from the Mayor of Hackney.  Now in its 6th year, the Hackney Mayor’s Music Awards (MMA) is a fund, established by the Mayor of Hackney, to help and support aspiring young musicians to develop their musical skills and also to recognise the quality of the music education offer in Hackney’s schools. 

What made you decide to play your instrument?
I had a chance to try out different instruments when I was at my primary school. I knew I didn’t want to learn the violin, I wanted to try something different.  So I tried a flute and a clarinet.  I found I could make a sound on the clarinet the first time I tried to play it. At that time none of my friends were playing this instrument and it made me feel really proud to be the only one learning.  And I’ve been really enjoying it ever since.
What do you love most about it?
I love that it is an instrument that is easy to play and that you can have a chance of many concerts and activities 
How often do practice?
I practise every day for at least an hour
Do you play in any ensembles – orchestras, bands, in or out of school, or with HMS?
Yes. I rehearse with Hackney Training Orchestra every week and I’m also in my school orchestra and big band
What has been your most exciting musical experience so far?         
My first Hackney Music Service Gala Concert at the Hackney Empire, the Federation Music Festival that I performed in with my primary school at the Round Chapel and now my first Christmas concert at my secondary school.
What musician would you most like to meet or perform with?
I would like to meet Anne-Marie and Beethoven
If you could travel anywhere in the world to listen to / learn more music or even travel back in time to a different musical era, where would you go and why?
I would go to Austria to study more of Mozart because he was an amazing composer that composed many famous songs.
How does being a musician / performing music make you feel?
Performing music makes me feel happy and safe
Any words of advice to someone just starting out on their instrument now?
Never give up and keep trying until you achieve.

 
Eleanor started learning the clarinet with a Hackney Music Service tutor when she was in primary school and hasn’t looked back since!  She made exceptionally good progress and as a beginner learner, and at the end of Year 6 she passed her ABRSM Grade 4 exam which is a fantastic achievement, particularly for such a young player.  Eleanor is a member of the Hackney Training Orchestra and regularly takes part in HMS concerts such as the annual Gala at the Hackney Empire, and the Schools Music and Dance Festival at the Round Chapel.  And now she is at secondary school she is fully embracing musical life there also as a member of the school orchestra and big band.  Keep up the good work Eleanor!

 

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London Music Fund: Samuel from Hackney, December Scholar of the Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are extremely delighted to announce that Hackney pupil Samuel has been nominated as Scholar of the Month for December by the London Music Fund (LMF). You can read the full announcement and interview with Samuel on the LMF website here.

Samuel was first identified as being extraordinarily gifted by his primary school music teacher, which led to him being nominated for the LMF award by Hackney Music Service (HMS).  Samuel, now a secondary pupil in Hackney and in his third year of the LMF award, has developed a profound interest in developing his jazz skills, primarily as a pianist, but also as a percussionist.  He now attends HMS network partner organisation HMDT’s Saturday Music Programme, the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy.  As you will see from his interview, this has enabled Samuel to learn and play alongside world class jazz musicians and provides him with an outstanding jazz music education programme.  Samuel is also a long standing member of the Classical Meets Jazz ensemble – a partnership project run by HMS, the London Symphony Orchestra and Serious, bringing together pupils culturally and demographically underrepresented in professional music-making across the genres.

A huge congratulations to Samuel for his success and hard work so far!

If you would like any further information about the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy or any of the other HMDT Saturday programmes you can contact them on 020 8882 8825 or info@hmdt.org.uk 

For more information about other scholar opportunities visit the bursaries page here.

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Classical Road Show – Dreamtime Tales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation to all pupils aged 7-11 years in school groups to join in participatory concert with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ben Glassberg.

A rare musical theatre experience with music written especially for performance by the professional orchestra, narrators and primary school children.

Children work with their teachers in school to learn the music then come along on concert day to perform from their audience seats with the musicians. Everyone in the concert hall takes part and we encourage everyone to come in simple costume.

Dreamtime Tales takes you back in time to 1768 to sail with Captain Cook as he discovers unknown Southern lands where the indigenous people tell their beguiling stories of how the spirits created the earth. Some of the tales are scary; some are amusing; all are fun to sing. The orchestra will be joined by the haunting sound of the didgeridoo…..

Concerts start with a rehearsal of all the audience songs and the conductor will introduce some of the key instruments of the orchestra and the sounds they make.

When?

18th March 2019 – Concerts at 11.15am and 1.30pm (last for 1 hour)

Where?

Cadogan Hall, Chelsea SW1X 9DQ (3 mins walk from Sloane Square tube station)

Further information:

Tickets cost £5 each.  (Financial support is available for ‘pupil premium’ students and others who have difficulty paying for tickets.)

Classical Road Show provides all the learning materials for teachers to work with their students to learn the songs in school including music, learning CD and Australian project. Music is suitable for all musical abilities – some schools come with choirs, others with whole classes.

More information and bookings through Classical Road Show website here

or email concerts@classicalroadshow.org

or call 07827 679115 (Sheila)

Bookings open now – teaching materials will be sent out at the end of Autumn term so that schools have plenty of time to learn the music from January 2019 onwards.

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