INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS

What can we offer?

As well as projects at the Woolpack Music & Arts Studios, which offer their own particular resources and options, we will continue to travel to schools to run projects.

The Big Hoo-Ha Co has worked extensively in primary, secondary and special schools (and out-of-school with young people of all ages), in a variety of art forms: music, drama, film, mosaics (often combining art forms).

We like to work innovatively in ways which encourage creativity and collaboration. Most of our projects involve enabling young people to devise their own art works, with the rewarding sense of ownership and achievement which that brings.

We have described below:

  • General work, with subheadings for Primary, Secondary and Special schools
  • Transition and Social Cohesion work (which applies either to primary or secondary or can combine both)
  • Woolpack Studios resources and possibilities
  • Teacher training

It is perfectly possible to mix and match any of these. Please have a look also at the ‘example project’ pages for each of the art forms.

GENERAL WORK

Primary Schools

Just some examples of previous projects (all of which were related to an aspect of the school curriculum), which span anything from day workshops to year-long projects:

  • Writing a 20 minute ‘rock opera’ with Year 3s on the subject of refugees.
  • Devising a large scale music theatre piece (based on issues around the global dimension) with Year 6s.
  • Samba with KS2.
  • Writing and recording songs, and making film footage with Year 4s for themed pop videos.
  • Stop-motion animation with Year 4s and 5s on the subject of Ancient Egypt.
  • A ‘day in the life’ of a Victorian mill worker drama project (Years 5 and 6).
  • Mosaic projects designing large exterior mosaics, on themes (such as ‘my school’ or healthy eating) with the children designing and helping to make the mosaic (KS2).
  • Bringing set texts and history to life through music and/or drama.
  • Song-writing and music composition on various themes (KS2).
  • Making musical instruments out of vegetables (yes!), and junk, and performing on and recording them (Years 5 and 6).

In essence, we can design any project in any of these art forms as desired, with planning meetings with you to discuss in order to meet your aims and objectives.

Secondary Schools

We have worked in many secondary schools in the Bradford and Leeds areas. Any of the sorts of projects mentioned under the ‘Primary Schools’ heading are adaptable for older students.

We have run numerous music projects for secondary age young people, for a flavour of which please look at the ‘MUSIC’ page.
Example projects we have run in secondary schools, either in school time or after school:

  • Music and music theatre composition
  • Improvisation and general music-making techniques
  • Song-writing
  • Making music from vegetables (see under Primary Schools above)- this transcends all ages!

Special Schools

The ‘example projects’ pages for each art form give some idea of the extensive work we have done with young people with learning disabilities.

These have included:

  • General music-making, writing songs, composing music for live performance and/or for recording onto CD.
  • Shadow puppet plays accompanied by original music
  • Working with music technology
  • VJ-ing (see ‘FILM’ page)

Our work with learning disabled young people has received excellent feedback over the years. Please have a look at our ‘testimonials’ page. Using the arts as a vehicle for the development of a variety of transferable skills is one of the key emphases of our work. Examples include improvement and development of: confidence and self-esteem; social, interactive and collaborative skills; coordination, eye-contact, movement skills; vocalising and speaking (many of the young people with whom we have worked have had speech difficulties); group work and team building; ability to communicate better with adults and peers.

‘TRANSITION’ AND ‘SOCIAL COHESION’ WORK

We have run school-based music projects involving mixed groups of primary and high school pupils, and have trained high school students (year 9 and 10) to lead music-based sessions in primary schools with Year 5s and 6s.

We have worked extensively with young people from, in particular, East European Roma and Asian communities using music as a vehicle for social cohesion and collaboration.

WOOLPACK STUDIOS RESOURCES AND POSSIBILITIES

Whilst we have done much peripatetic work including music/film technology, having our own new studios opens up other possibilities and resources, such as:

Education room

We have 8 laptop work stations equipped with the latest high-quality music and film technology. The education room can cater for up to 16 children (two to a workstation- a good ratio, which is hard to achieve peripatetically). The software allows for:

  • Music (and song) composition and recording (and mixing onto CD). This could be:
    • Entirely electronic, using the software as a tool for composition.
    • Entirely acoustic composition, using the workstations to record the final piece.
    • A combination of the two- combining electronic composition with recording acoustic instruments and vocals
  • Film editing and compositing. Young people can make their own films, load them on to the workstations and learn how to edit and put together their own short films.
  • Stop-motion animation.

Recording studio

This is a high-spec studio which could be used:
•    To record young people’s compositions.
•    To record any school small ensemble (choir, band, small orchestra). For larger ensembles we may need to location record at your school- it entirely depends on whether the ensemble can fit into the education room (we can record direct from any of the rooms).

Art studios

These can cater for small groups of young people (up to 10 at a time) for mosaic-making or other visual art forms, although with this sort of work it would generally be easier for us to run sessions in school.

Music workshops

Whilst there is a lot of technology at the studios (as described above), the space allows for general music composition, experimentation and/or song-writing workshops, for up to 16 young people, working either as a whole group and/or by dividing into smaller groups (each room/lobby can be used as breakout space) for collaborative music-making.

TEACHER TRAINING

In our work with schools over the years we have sought to work in partnership with teaching staff, using our expertise in collaborative ways so that staff can develop ideas to use in their own future teaching or projects.

We will of course continue to work in that way. But the resources at the Woolpack Studios also offer the possibility of training teaching staff on the various music and/or film computer software, as well as advising on the different available software packages and what they are most useful for (there are so many different packages, and it can be confusing working out which is the most appropriate in which to invest your precious school funding). Richard Sabey, founder of the Big Hoo-Ha Co, wrote the ‘Musical Futures’ (non-jargonised) teachers’ resource handbook ‘The Creative Use of Music Technology’, the principal message of which was that technology should be used as your slave and not your master!

Contact details:

PHONE
Richard Sabey 07956 205151
Frances Taylor 07984 424897

EMAIL
            info@bighooha.co.uk

POSTAL ADDRESS
The Woolpack Music & Arts Studios
14 Bondgate
Otley
LS21 3AB

WEBSITE
www.bighooha.co.uk