OOTS works with local music hubs at each of its residencies to ensure access to and participation in professional high-quality musical and performance experiences for those in Primary, Secondary, SEND Schools and in Universities.
OOTS activities enhance cross-curriculum study whilst supporting and encouraging the holistic development of healthy individuals.
All activity can be tailored towards a school/college’s specific requirements, year groups and abilities, fully supporting the National Plan for Music Education and an organisation’s own Improvement Plan.
To find out how your school, college or university can take part in this or other OOTS projects linked to composition, improvisation and performance skills, or to book a one-off masterclass, please contact our Director of Impact and Learning Sue Pope on: firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC TEN PIECES
OOTS offers masterclasses and/or workshops in schools linked to the BBC Ten Pieces initiative which encourages pupils to develop their playing and improvisatory skills at any level using the resources provided by the BBC. The project could include up to four 90-minute workshops exploring the selected piece and relating the music to other art forms or curriculum subjects, culminating in an in-school performance supported by soloists & players from Orchestra of the Swan.
- Increased music skills including composition, performance, vocabulary
- Understanding of the value of collaboration and co-operation
- Increased levels of confidence and self-esteem
- Increased social skills
In February 2020 5 OOTS players and 112 children from schools working with Forest Arts Music Hub came together to share their interpretations of several works from the BBC Ten Pieces repertoire. Feedback was great and we look forward to the next event in 2022.
Since September 2018, OOTS has worked with over 2,300 children in mainstream schools in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Warwickshire to provide access to fun, engaging and immersive high-quality musical experiences, led by our wonderful team of professional musicians. From delivering whole-school assemblies to bespoke string and wind workshops and masterclasses, OOTS’ player adaptability and enthusiasm for music in education shines through. Feedback includes:
“The music workshops with Year 5 were excellent. They were pitched at the right level… were engaging and got all children involved. It was great to have a workshop that involved a whole class, rather than a select few. The music played was outstanding with a range of instruments to show the children. – brilliant!”
“The staff and children who were in the performance loved it. They listened attentively to the pieces they played but also loved the interactive rhythm work they got to experience. It was an excellent afternoon and we can’t wait for the next.” Abbey Park Middle School
We look forward to returning to schools soon.
HEREFORDSHIRE - Musical Journeys
From January 2019, OOTS players have worked with 50 pupils from 4 Special Education Needs Schools in Herefordshire; Blackmarston, Barrs Court, Westfield and Hampron Dene. At each school, OOTS players have worked with pupils to introduce them to orchestral instruments, work with them to compose new songs and perform with them at sharing events held at Hereford Courtyard Theatre.
The sessions themselves have been extremely rewarding for all participants, with feedback from teaching staff including:
- “These wonderful sessions provided children with the experience of handling and learning about a variety of musical instruments. Many of the children in this groups have problems with processing sensory information and these sessions provided the children with the opportunity to explore a variety of musical compositions at a level which was comfortable for them. They also gained confidence in order to perform in front of others.
- As a teacher I have learnt so much from watching the professionals in action! Music is an area which not explored in great details in my general teaching practice, so it was really valuable for me to see the different ideas and techniques used to deliver good quality music sessions.
- Thank you to all involved for the effort and energy you out into this project. It was an absolute joy to be a part of it and we look forward to further potential opportunities to work together again.”
We look forward to working with everyone again soon.
Bringing the orchestra to Priestley Smith School for Visually Impaired Children, Perry Barr, Birmingham
During September and December 2019 and January-March 2020, 4 OOTS musicians and 2 OOTS staff delivered an exciting and very rewarding project for primary and secondary visually impaired children attending Priestley Smith School in Birmingham. Matthew Forbes (cello), Louise Braithwaite (oboe), Robyn Lund (viola) and Martha-Ann Brookes (trombone/trumpet) offered initial instrumental lessons to all 19 upper primary phase children and this phase of the project culminated in a sharing performance to parents on 16th December 2019. Secondary pupils were working on developing short composition when the COVID-19 outbreak brought our activity in school to a sad end – for now. Instruments were provided on loan to OOTS by Services for Education, the music education hub for Birmingham and our supporting partners in this project.
The project idea was developed from conversations with Lisa Marie Houghton-Reade, a member of the OOTS staff team who herself is living with a visual impairment. Lisa is passionate about her work, raising thousands of pounds each year in support of our Learning and Participation programmes of which this new project is becoming an exciting and popular addition.
Feedback from teaching staff includes:
“Wow. What a wonderful morning we have had here at Priestley Smith exploring a range of instruments. Big thank you to Orchestra of the Swan for applying for a grant… to fund all our Junior pupils in Primary to receive a 6-week program of lessons each with their choice of either a cello, trombone, trumpet, oboe, recorder or a violin”
The impact upon our players has been equally as profound:
“I just wanted to say that the project between us at OOTS and the students at Priestley Smith school stands out as being the most profoundly rewarding work I have done in this calendar year…I am going to miss those children deeply, as I know I have got more from them than they have from me. I hope the relationship between the orchestra and the school is one that continues for a long time”. Matthew Forbes, cellist.
Everyone at OOTS is eager to return to school and work with the pupils again in the very near future.
During the 2019 – 20 season, 4 OOTS players and 10 students from The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire took part in a groundbreaking co-creative project.
The Project, titled Burning Swan, offered improvisatory, compositional workshops that enabled students and professional players to work together on an equal footing. These workshops brought together classical Western orchestral instruments with examples from other cultures’ traditions including tabla and erhu.
The project was warmly received by players and students alike:
“I really enjoyed the Burning Swan sessions and felt that I, personally benefited from them. One thing I learned was to allow time for thoughts/ sounds/ ideas to develop… I enjoyed the interaction with all the players (and) I gained in confidence……. I was really thrilled with the way my own composition developed…” OOTS Principal Flautist – Diane Clark
“I most enjoyed meeting new musicians with different experiences and backgrounds in music, even others from different cultural styles of music. I also loved experimenting with a group that were all good musicians and very open to ideas. I was very much looking forward to the gigs that were to be approaching. I hope the project continues if not I would love to be involved in similar ones. “ Alexander, Student at RBC.
Unfortunately the project was brought to a close by the Covid-19 lock-down, but we hope to continue as soon as we are all able.