This week I have been involved in ‘Watching’ a very special Music in the Community project in which Higher Arts Education students studying on the University of Edinburgh’s Music in the Community course are performing with Primary 7 children from Leith Walk Primary School in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.
I have been involved in this project in several ways, supporting the HAE students and children during the weekly school workshops throughout the preparational stage of the project, and as a musician playing violin and singing in the performances. The four performances are set within the Royal Botanical Gardens and within the Glass Houses, truly magical places to perform.
It is a very special experience to be a part of this project. The energy and commitment from everyone has been really inspiring. The children are so engaged in the work and are performing with confidence and passion and the HAE students are extremely professional and mature in their approach. The HAE students have established a very strong rapport with the children and their teachers and a way of working in which they are attentively supporting the children as they perform and constantly refining their own performance as performing artists. This is a unique balance and the preparation for this has been guided with great care, consideration and sensitivity.
There are many people involved in this project and everyone has an important role to the success of this work. The Music in the Community course director Dee Isaacs is at the very heart of this project. As a teacher, composer, cellist, creative director and collaborator, Dee’s creative practice provides highly unique and unforgettable musical experiences for everyone involved. The vision needed for work of this nature is truly inspiring. This project is nurturing several multi-disciplinary and creative skills through meaningful active engagement. For the HAE students involved it is teaching artistry within a performing arts context which is a very special opportunity.