Focus on Music, Dance and Drama
When I start looking for content for newsletters, it always surprises me how a link or theme forms all on its own. This month is no different - traditional and modern come together seamlessly crossing what could be a cultural divide allowing an appreciation of an orchestra, a ballet and how drama is so much more than acting.
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This website has some really good games and activity sheets to aid the introduction of classical music to the younger generation.
Way back in the 70’s when I attended secondary school the lessons I remember the most were the ones that took place in the music room.
Our teacher, Mr Grundy took us on a journey through time, introducing us to Mozart, Elgar, Beethoven, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Beatles - yes The Beatles.
We visited the theatre to watch Giselle and The Mikado, we performed Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and I played the Recorder in assembly.
My mother had a huge influence on my interest in music. She loved Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Elvis Presley and to this day, I still remember the words of those songs she loved so much.
If you looked at my son's playlist you would see it includes music that we love, America, Michael Jackson, Queen and Nickelback.
Music is food for the soul - it holds a strong link to our memories and emotions. Music has a huge part to play in spiritual, moral, social and cultural provision and is important for mental health and physical wellbeing.
Imagine my surprise when I heard the Pirates of the Caribbean - (Hans Zimmer) soundtrack being played on Classic FM, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark - (John Williams) all worthy of an airing. No doubt The Avengers Theme - (Alex Silvestri) will soon be aired and what a great way to introduce young people to the power of a full orchestra.
The links are videos of different orchestra’s playing the theme. Whilst John Williams conducts his orchestra with aplomb, Hans Zimmer has a flamboyant 'rock concert' style
21st Century Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake - the most popular ballet of all time. What may seem on the surface to be sacrilege, a modern day choreographer has taken this traditional classical ballet and created something contemporary showcasing equality and diversity whilst retaining the beauty of the story and staying true to the original music
Take a look at one of the most famous scenes in Swan Lake from two different perspectives.
The traditional with ballerinas on point and in unison, graceful and ethereal. Then take a look at the contemporary reworking of the same scene, the little swans are men and Matthew Bourne’s choreography is compelling. Both versions are available in full on YouTube by the way.
You Should Be Dancing
Here’s a couple of dances that can be learned easily and provide a lot of fun.
The Electric Slide is a line dance with simple moves which became popular in 1989 - looks great when done by a whole group of people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv2qKpna3lM&app=desktop
This may be familiar to some - the Wake Up Song (can’t get it out of my head now I’ve heard it) Great start to the school day for the younger ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gUbdNbu6ak
Take a look at this article, written by John Pearce about his take on the new Ofsted Inspection Framework and explore the website while you're there - it has everything you need to know about iAbacus but if you'd like a one to one webinar, click here
A school in Derbyshire have used drama to help boost their reading programme with excellent results.
This little gem has plays for all age groups as well as hints and tips for teachers.
Heat of the Moment!
Improvisation in drama is difficult for some - letting yourself go and feeling a situation in front of others - Eeek! It's surprising just how much of it goes on in film making - iconic lines from movies that were added in the heat of the moment, like this from Avengers Endgame.
This couple blew the judges away and were given a perfect score for this in the World of Dance competition 2018. A perfect mixture of dance and drama and the song they chose was perfect. Well worth a watch.