Hello Team Seagrass!
I am Rufus, a volunteer with Project Seagrass and a marine biology graduate from the University of St Andrews. Since graduating in June 2017, I have begun working for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Connect team and the University of St Andrews’ Music Centre. In this split position, I get to enjoy the benefits of working with extraordinary artists and musicians across the country to inspire babies, toddlers, children, students and adults to get more involved with the music in the community around them.
There are so many educational opportunities provided by both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the University of St Andrews. Through its Connect programme, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra interacts with over 10,000 people each year through a vast array of activities. Both the staff and the musicians of the orchestra are extremely driven to reach new audiences all the time, not only to encourage interaction with music in the future but also, in some cases, to improve quality of life.
There are so many educational opportunities that can be provided through music. Photo Credit – Fraser Band
The Music Centre at the University St Andrews has also led some fantastic workshops throughout local schools in Fife with some of the excellent artists that come to the town to perform. One of the University’s initiatives that I have been involved in is Music Planet. This is a platform that promotes the combination of the arts with global environmental issues to enhance the power of the message that is conveyed, and also to engage new audiences.
Music is a fundamental part of human culture, irrespective of where you come from or what your background is. There aren’t many people who don’t enjoy listening to some form of music, either when they are travelling, working, cooking, cleaning or as any other part of their day. I believe that because of this, music has the most potential in interdisciplinary education. Using music, and getting an audience to be involved with music and music making, will help to engage them with any subject.
Music making can help children and adults to engage with any subject. Photo Credit – Fraser Band
One of the easiest combinations that can be made is music and nature because, in nature, music is all around anyway. The natural soundscape has endless capabilities that can be tapped into to expand the possibilities of what you are teaching. In March, I will be co-leading a SCO workshop, with SCO violin Aisling O’Dea, for primary schools in Fife in conjunction with Project Seagrass and Music Planet from the University of St Andrews. A team of musicians from the orchestra and volunteers from Project Seagrass will provide a day workshop for pupils at primary schools centered around the children’s story, “The Snail and the Whale” by Julia Donaldson. This excellent book tells the story of a snail that seeks to see the world and journeys across the oceans on the tail of a humpback whale. In the end, it is an endearing story of community and self-worth.
In March, I will be co-leading a SCO workshop, with SCO violin Aisling O’Dea, for primary schools in Fife in conjunction with Project Seagrass and Music Planet from the University of St Andrews. Photo Credit – Fraser Band
The day will be centered around this story’s characters and the music that was written to accompany the story. Various activities throughout the day will involve the children in the scientific background behind important environmental issues whilst providing them the opportunity to get involved with the music making themselves.
At this important tipping point, the future of the planet as we know it relies on the engagement of the public all over the world. Music can help to broaden the prospects of domestic and international education campaigns to make that change.
If you would like to follow more of my activity, I have recently started a personal challenge and campaign to reduce my impact on the environment – #Green18. In my attempt to complete this challenge, I will write regular blog posts to document my success and any obstacles I have encountered along the way.
Follow online @ www.green18.org
Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GreenEighteen/
Instagram @ www.instagram.com/_green_18/
Twitter @ www.twitter.com/_Green_18
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