Inspirational composition workshops

Schools and arts award

Pupils at St Richards, St Mary’s CEP, Lydden Primary and Astor College for the Arts were treated to inspirational workshops delivered by violinist Peter Sheppard-Skareved in June 2014. These workshops were the last to be delivered as part of Nautical Threads and for some of the children, hearing Peter play was the first time they’d heard live music and now want to play an instrument themselves.

The teacher at St Mary’s said:

“Peter was wonderful and inspirational. The children had been working on a ‘water’ topic that they were now composing a short piece of music to go with, based on ‘Fingal’s Cave’. Peter talked with them about their work so far and then began to teach them to use the instruments to make various sounds, and how to layer their instruments for effect. I have to say that the quality of work is amazing. The children are now working on their compositions in small groups. We have rhythm, silences and fantastic team work.”

and for Peter

“The afternoon session was great fun, particularly as the students had produced loads of graphic work from Mendelssohn’s ‘Fingal’s Cave’. They were very animated about what they had done, and a very lively class.”

At Lydden the teacher said

“The children had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the workshop. They had lots of ideas from the music and several decided they wanted to play an instrument!”

Comments from the children:

  • the best bit I enjoyed was the music made me happy, I had a good time.
  • when he played the music he frightened me by saying ‘BOO’ and playing scary music, it was fun.
  • the piece of paper he showed us was the music he was playing, it was funny.
  • when he was playing happy music we were smiling and bouncing, when it was sad we sat still. I loved it!
  • what I liked about the music workshop is how the music made you feel different emotions like happy, excited and frightened. Another thing I enjoyed was when Peter the gentleman who was doing the workshop played a tune on his violin from Theseus and the Minotaur, a Greek myth I have read.
  • I enjoyed the violin and music very much. It was quite loud but amazing and super fun. I like music, even violins and pianos, Peter is a great player of the violin.
  • Dear Peter, thank you for coming to our school. I learnt a lot and I remember a fact, violins were made in Japan. I hope you come again.

and from a  GCSE student

“I thought you were truly inspirational … what you taught and showed us really opened my mind about a lot of things that I wouldn’t previously have thought of.”

Photos: Kate Beaugie and Kati Saqui