On Thursday 11 January, I was delighted to go along to Duke’s Aldridge Academy in Tottenham with Annie Cartwright to see one of the London Music Fund’s Partnership projects, Sound Out, in action. This project is a creative collaboration between Haringey and Enfield Music Services and the London Sinfonietta. Sound Out aims to introduce and explore contemporary repertoire and techniques, using them as a springboard to produce brand new pieces. Another great aspect to this project is its focus on upskilling teachers to deliver an instrumentally-based, structured composition task in the classroom. This will be aided by the excellent professional musicians from the London Sinfonietta.

The part of Sound Out that Annie and I visited was the in-school concert by the London Sinfonietta which introduces the project to the children who will be taking part. Annie and I went to the afternoon session where there were six classes from primary schools in Haringey and Enfield. The concert opened with a flute solo which clearly engaged the children and was met with applause, getting the session off to a great start.  Fraser, the animateur of the London Sinfonietta, then talked about how storytelling is a key part of music, with the flautist then playing ‘Syrnix’ by Debussy to illustrate this. The clarinet was then introduced to the children through a beautiful duet with the flute which exemplified how different instruments can contribute to a story in contrasting ways.

Following these performances, the children were then given some body percussion activities to partake in. To get them working together they were challenged to follow Fraser’s lead and all clap once at the same time. As well as body percussion techniques such as stamping, rubbing hands together and clapping the children also used vocal sounds to create rhythms. After the children had finished this activity they were treated to a harp performance and explanation of how the instrument is played. The harpist told the children about different techniques including using a screwdriver to create a specific sound!

To bring the afternoon’s session to a conclusion Fraser and the three musicians asked the children for four things to create their own piece:

  • A mood- for which the children chose ‘gloomy'
  • A time- ‘summer'
  • A time of day- ‘night time’
  • A place- ‘the beach’

The musicians then used these themes to create a bespoke piece of music for children, which it was clear they thoroughly enjoyed.

The next stages of Sound Out will enable the children to have a go at composition and assist teaching staff with leading this kind of musical work. The project will culminate in a Sinfonietta schools concert at the Royal Festival Hall in March, something that we’re very much looking forward to!

Overall Annie and I had a lovely afternoon at the Sound Out project and were delighted to see that it has gotten off to a great start. Many thanks to Duke’s Aldridge Academy, the London Sinfonietta, Peter Desmond from Haringey Music Service and Lindsay Wilson from the London Sinfonietta for a wonderful afternoon!

For more information on the Sound Out project and our other Partnerships click here.


Georgina, Executive Assistant