LPO Education & Community: Sound Journeys

Find out more about Sound Journeys, our ongoing Education & Community project working with students from Alternative Edcuational, and Special Educational Needs Schools...

'If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.’ (David Thoreau)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the partners that make up the South Riverside Music Partnership – a vital part of the music education ecology in south London. Along with Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music & Dance, we work with the boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark and, in particular, children and young people in schools. Some of the most stimulating, challenging and joyous work we do is with schools whose focus is away from the mainstream. In two schools in particular we are working across the whole school year, bringing our world-class players into their classrooms and introducing music in a practical and creative way. Because we believe that both the schools and the LPO are embarking on a wonderful voyage, we have called this project Sound Journeys.

Drumbeat is a brand new Special Educational Needs school in Lewisham for children and young people with autism. Already this year our team, led by Tina Pinder and including LPO members George Peniston (double bass, above) and Dave Whitehouse (trombone), have led a series of workshops with children and teachers exploring and responding to musical stimuli, improvising, composing and encouraging language and co-ordination development. This closely aligns with the school’s aims of helping pupils build upon their individual strengths and interests and, vitally, respecting and listening to their voices, however subtle or loud. Park Campus in Lambeth is an Alternative Educational School for 11–16 year olds, many of whom have been excluded from other schools, and is the home of Lambeth’s Behaviour
Partnership team. The school has no music provision, so we are working with a Year 9 group to develop their musical understanding, nurture their musical talent, and help support the school in working to improve the students’ confidence, communication and social skills. We are all learning to step to our own music in some way. It’s quite a journey for us all.

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Sound Journeys is generously supported by The Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust, Help A Capital Child, The Kirby Laing Foundation, The David Solomons Charitable Trust, The Coutts Charitable Trust and Education Partner Faraday.