Thomas the Rhymer School project in Hawick

This week sees the culmination of a collaborative project with artist Jane Gaze and the P6 and P7 children and teachers at Trinity Primary School in Hawick and I am enjoying working with them again.

The project, which was praised by HMIE during their inspection last year, sees the classes learn about the Scottish Borders through a number of different activities centred on a Border Ballad and culminates in a dramatisation and performance at the Hawick Reivers Festival.

I am assisting with the composition of the music with the children as we work towards a performance of a dramatised rendition of Thomas the Rhymer. Today’s visit was my second and I will be back again on Friday for the dress rehearsal and on Saturday for the performance.

We’re using graphic scores and improvisation techniques, lots of group work and allowing children with a wide range of musical backgrounds and experiences to participate on an equal footing.

My role is as a facilitator and I also add mandola and guide the overall structure and organisation. Having said that, the children have a strong grasp of what is required and the music has become more complex as their interests find expression.

Photo of school creative music workshop at breaktime (c) Gordon Turnbull

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