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Wednesday 29th Jun 2022

Creative Music Making with Sinfonia Viva

Location: Ivy House, Royal School for the Deaf, St Andrew’s, St Clare’s, St Giles, St Martins

Sinfonia Viva have had the total pleasure of working creatively with groups of young people from the six SEN schools involved in the SEND Hub for This is Derby.  During the sessions which have taken place across the year, young people have written new songs and instrumental pieces inspired by the theme of kindness.

The sessions have involved a team of workshop leaders and musicians from the orchestra including Raph Clarkson (leader), Jessie Grimes (leader), Jack Ross (leader), Isobel Adams (viola), Dave Ayre (double bass), Deirdre Bencsik (cello), Helen Blamey (clarinet), Janina Kopinska (viola), Anthony Thompson (trumpet) and Gordon Truman (trumpet)

This process started by thinking about what kindness meant to each of them – whether that was kindness to others, kindness to themselves or kindness to the planet – and from this starting point, the groups worked in small teams to create new lyrics.  Once the lyrics were set, the groups worked together to create melodies and instrumental parts.  They edited these as they went and made choices as a group, meaning that all members of the groups had ownership of their new pieces.  They added signs to the songs as they went.

The workshop team from Sinfonia Viva then orchestrated the songs written by the young people, so that the orchestra could accompany them in performance, with them performing side by side on an equal footing.  The first stage came in April, at a wonderful event that brought together groups from each of the schools, with Hubbub Theatre company, QUAD and Sinfonia Viva, including a 14-piece orchestra.

In the next stage, the different groups will share the songs that they have made with the other groups from the SEND hub, before coming together to perform the collection of Kindness-inspired ‘Sing & Sign’ songs as part of two celebration events in July 2019.

“A has grown in confidence and shown improved self-esteem and belief in herself. A felt special and talented and thus gained a sense of pride from working with Sinfonia Viva that she will carry forward throughout the remaining part of her school experience.” St Clare’s Teacher reflecting on experience of one of her students