Summative reflection and statement

Planning for the workshop

Throughout the planning of the workshop the ideas kept changing but stayed based around the same idea; Our idea was to hold the aim that music can be made from anything, you don’t need a musical instrument to create music.

Through many conversations with the group and with Simon we all agreed that introducing a task would mean the workshop had an outcome. This story introducing the idea of the workshop working towards something was what it needed. We had something to strive for during the workshop and it gave the kids an education based workshop which would appeal to schools.

We drew upon ideas from what is key in primary education, and settled on colours and stories being a main memory from our primary school times.

The story idea was finalized after Christmas as we came up with ideas over the festive break so this meant we were slightly unprepared when we came together the Friday before the workshop.

This last minute adaptation really brought on the stress for me as it created more prep for us to do.

During this time, it really started to show the cracks when working in a group, with slight tension here and there. I found it really difficult as I usually work on my own so going from that to working with 3 more people proved difficult. I wasn’t able to steam ahead getting everything sorted and having control of it, I had to rely on other people which really stressed me out.

This module has definitely tested me, mostly with group working!


Prep for the workshop

All of the instruments were handmade, based upon real instruments. I had the task of creating rattle drums…

Expansion on the instrument making-

When you initially think about making instrument you don’t think that it would be time consuming but it most certainly is! Even the thinking behind it, like ‘is this safe’, so cutting away sharp edges or covering bits that could be dangerous…

We distributed the instrument making over the four of us. I also had to write out all the words for the story board, which ended up taking hours! Now thinking about it, I think we should have shared the work load out. Ophelia wrote out que cards for us all, this was just so we had a safety net while the workshop was going on to make sure we kept on track and didn’t mess up. (this took a little bit of stress away)

We had to bring everything together on the morning of the workshop day which piled on a lot more stress than if we had of tried to sort it out beforehand. I think with prepping for a workshop you just need to make sure everything is sorted well in advance or else it just causes way more stress than necessary on the day.


Workshop assessment day

As I mentioned above the stress on the day really was at a peak for me and I carried this through into my workshop.

The workshop I think ran smoother than I anticipated, and we kept to schedule and reached our outcome. All the ideas were there and I feel we had a solid base for the workshop but the lack of rehearsing and stress dragged the overall workshop down for me.

I think the time constraint really impacted us in many ways; We seemed to rush through the introduction and explanation of the task as we didn’t want to hang around too much and waste time. We could of spent an extra 2 minutes at a push making sure everyone knew what they were doing as at some points it seemed like a slight mess.

This rushing seeped into the setting up as, I noticed half way through when I was explaining about the instrument groups that two instruments were assigned to the wrong group which could’ve thrown the ‘kids’ off. (our fellow students)

This rushing again caused problems again when the girls were assigning the colour to the words that the students chose the colour to; We ended up with 3 words on the wrong coloured paper so the wrong instrument group were playing on the wrong word. I decided to go and change it as soon as I noticed so I drew attention to it but part of me now wishes I ignored it and I feel like they wouldn’t have known any different. Obviously I did it because if It was a real workshop situation we would have been teaching kids the wrong thing.

Our main aim was to teach kids that you can make music from anything you can find. I feel that we achieved this aim however the focus was taken away from this with the story. There was a lot of attention based on the story during the workshop and it took from the novelty of having instruments that are homemade and quirky.

Saying this our aims that coincided with our main aim was to introduce kids to the idea of a score, dynamics and overall to create a soundtrack to go alongside a story; These aims I felt that we definitely achieved. Having more than one aim gave us the opportunity to expand what we got out of the workshop.

The workshop went well but I think no matter how many practices or how prepared you think you are there is always going to be something that’s not quite right or completely wrong.

Feedback from the class

We had some really good feedback when we asked what they thought at the end of our workshop. With comments about how they enjoyed using instruments that were homemade and how they created funny and weird sounds. Leah made a interesting point that because the instruments were funny it could’ve totally taken the workshop in a messy direction but the story kept them focused as they had something to follow.


Contextual statement

The module overall opened my eyes to what community music really is. It also led me to explore different paths for me personally to take in my music career; Music therapy is something I shall definitely be considering at some point, there is still so much I want to explore as it is such a broad topic.

I didn’t realize how much community music helps people, I thought it was just about spreading music to people in the community but it is so much more than that. There are workshops set up to help younger people cope with mental health, which currently is a growing issue, more workshops need to be recognized as helping as I think this could be a great way to combat issues behind this.

The module has completely educated me in more way than I thought, community music was a module at my college which involved us going into primary schools and teaching year 5s songs; My preconception of community music came from this experience so this is why I was so shocked when I started to explore the branches that come of this subject.

The whole backing that music in the community is about helping people is something that draws me into wanting to get involved. Using music to help others is something I strive to do with my song writing so knowing this is an option when looking at a career in music has opened a new idea door for me.

The impact it has had on my own practice is how it has made me notice how important early preparation is. When working in a group the prep is crucial for it to run smooth and avoid tension. I wish I knew this beforehand!

Working in a group impacted me hugely, this dynamic change wasn’t something I expected to affect me as much as it did. Working with groups is something I need to work on more as this was the first proper graded task I’ve done in a group and I must admit it’s scared me off doing it again. Having more experience with group work may help towards a smoother running of workshops in the future.