Suffolk FolkPromoting Traditional Music, song and dance in East Anglia
Schools: Mini Melodeons at Benhall
Benhall St Mary's Primary School
Most schools teach a musical instrument, usually the recorder in the primary phase and later a whole orchestra of sounds! However at Benhall we have, thanks to Suffolk Folk, a class set of C tuned mini-melodeons! The children love them and the day after they had been delivered I brought the huge brown cardboard boxes into our music lesson in the school hall and the children gasped as the first melodeon emerged from the bubble wrap!
The year four children learnt "Stormy Weather Boys" last summer with Katie Howson, and soon remembered how to push and pull the tune. I got them to teach the year 3 who are determined to conquer the tune. In fact, so much so, that in their "Golden Choice Time" at the end of the week, the majority of the class chose to mini-melodeon their way to the end of the day!
Hopefully for the next issue of Mardles there will be a photo of Benhall at play in unison and who knows, when technology allows, an accompanying CD!
Thank you Suffolk Folk for your ongoing vision to keep the folk tradition not only alive but a constant inspiration to future generations.
Mini-Melodeon Workshop at Benhall Primary School
Monday 25th September 2006
Following the presentation by Suffolk Folk of 20 mini-melodeons to the school, as reported in the last issue of Mardles, Stan and Maggie went off to Benhall again. This time it was to do a workshop on how to play the instrument, and they went armed with all sorts of paraphernalia!
The morning started with the school assembly, and the music for the month was Rolf Harris singing "Tie me Kangaroo Down". The children are really enthusiastic singers - so are the teachers for that matter - and it made such a good start.
We had two different halves to our workshop : the first one was led by Stan, talking about how sound is made by various different instruments, and Stan had brought along a dismantled piano accordion to demonstrate this, so everyone could see valves opening and shutting as the bellows moved in and out.
The other half of the workshop involved getting all the mini-melodeons out and having a good go at playing a scale, and even a look at a first tune. All the teachers joined in and had a play as well, and we left the school with a specially developed "Mini-Melodeon Tutor" which, hopefully, will mean that they can go from strength to strength with their playing.
Music is such a brilliant subject for a primary school, as it can incorporate Science (sound) and Maths (counting the rhythm and the bars of music), as well as playing the actual notes themselves.
As we left the school all the children were lining up to have their dinner and were waving their goodbyes and telling us what fun it had been, as well as asking us when we'd be coming back again.
This was another case of Suffolk Folk helping to promote music in schools, and was definitely worthwhile for all the children we saw.
Maggie Moore 25.09.2006