One Arm Point school workshops and concert

At One Arm Point school we worked with a specially-chosen group of 10 young participants – the teachers nominated people they thought would benefit from taking part in the project (or invited students to nominate themselves), and so we had a group of participants whose ages ranged from 7 to 14.

As at Djarindjin-Lombadina, the focus was on creating original music, and we started work on these originals right from the first day. However, we also knew that we wanted to work with every child in the school in some way, so we decided to involve them in a body-percussion dance, that could be performed as part of the Drum Groove we’d composed with the core group of participants. The core group of children invented some steps and moves and helped us sequence these into an 8-beat routine, then went with Tony and I to each of the classes in turn to teach them the dance, in preparation for Wednesday’s concert.

Body percussion learning 1 (G. Howell, One Arm Point)Body percussion learning 2 (One Arm Point, G. Howell)Body percussion learning 3 (One Arm Point, G. Howell)By the end of Tuesday afternoon we had created a song about culture and country (with recorder interlude in the middle of it), a funky Drum Groove, and a song in 3-part harmony.

Recorder group, One Arm Point (G. Howell)We spent the last session of Tuesday making posters for the concert to put up in the local community shop and office. Making concert posters (One Arm Point, G. Howell)    School concert poster, One Arm Point (G. Howell)At the concert on the Wednesday, everyone joined in with the body percussion dance – even the teachers, and some of the audience members, who just learned it on the spot!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABody percussion dance (G. Howell)We felt so proud of the students – it was a lot of musical material to invent in just three days! They looked like they felt proud of themselves too. And there is no doubt that others – their friends, teachers, parents, and other community elders – were impressed by their achievement and the musicianship shown in the concert. It was sad to say good-bye, but the plan is to bring us back in 2014 – which means it is not good-bye for long, only until we meet again and get to make some more music together. I for one can’t wait! It’s been an amazing few weeks. Thanks Tura!

As ever, thanks to the sponsors of Tura New Music’s Remote Residency – Healthway Smoke Free WA, and Horizon Power.