Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Expression Through Music

We recently delivered a project: Expression Through Music, which was the result of a successful project proposal being submitted to the Cultural Hub with us receiving a grant of £2,075 to deliver the project.

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. (The Department for Education, National Curriculum in England: Music Programmes of Study Published 11 September 2013)

The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Pupils should have opportunities to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

To coincide with the project, Expression Through Music, our current exhibition is Polyphonic: music through plastics. The word polyphonic describes music that is created by the coming together of different voices. These voices could be generated by humans, traditional instruments, or electronically. This exhibition explores how music can be played, broadcast, and listened to through plastics.

Musical instruments made of plastics materials are robust, offer excellent sound qualities, and are less sensitive to changes in the environment than their traditional equivalents. Being more financially accessible, these instruments allow the playing of music to be available to a wider variety of people than ever before.

The project took place over two weeks in June and allowed a total of 178 pupils from six different schools to engage with MoDiP and the collection.  It was a great way to engage with schools and pupils who had not visited MoDiP before. The schools that participated were: St Lukes C.E School, Heathlands Primary Academy, Cranford Heath Junior & Haymoor Junior, part of Teach Poole, Bethany C.E Junior School & Linwood Campus, Linwood School. The project allowed pupils and teachers to see the benefits of learning outside the classroom and how object-based learning can inspire and have an impact on the lives of those involved.

Each visit lasted approximately two hours, and consisted of two sessions, which the class took part in throughout the morning or afternoon.

The first session took place in the museum whereby pupils engaged with the exhibition guided by myself and explored instruments made of plastics. Pupils were given the opportunity to draw their favourite instrument and write why they liked it.  This was then shared with the group. The final aspect of this session gave pupils the opportunity to express themselves through music by handling and playing instruments made of plastic. They had the opportunity to play an instrument loud, quiet, and slow or fast.


The second session was led by Nick Crump, Music Educator, who supported pupils in making an instrument out of recycled plastic a ‘membranophone’. Once the instruments were made there was an opportunity to play the instrument and the pupils were asked to suggest a new name for the instrument.



This project forms part of a larger project, w-RAP, which is still ongoing, lead by Karen Wimhurst a Composer / Artistic Director. This project is the result of a successful Arts Council England bid whereby Karen will develop a creative music project exploring the light and dark faces of plastics.

Sarah Jane Stevens AMA (Museum Engagement Officer)

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