The core aim of the Wider Opportunities project is to provide a diverse range of learning opportunities for children, through experiencing high quality events and performances. Through this the project is also able to support and develop a vibrant community of music makers across the County. The project is typically targeted at Key Stage 2, however some schools have enjoyed whole school engagement. The assemblies are designed to be in a relaxed atmosphere, allowing children to fully engage with the music and the activities.
If we did not have music the world would be boringPupil, age 10
Taking the Berkeley Ensemble into schools is a thrilling experience as their range of sounds fill the space and captivate children as they file into assembly. The Wider Opportunities project, entitled Stories in Sound, fires their imaginations further as they have to truly listen to the music.
Under the expert facilitation of Music Leader Neil Valentine, the audience gradually and articulately creates a new narrative based on the pieces of classical music that form the Berkeley repertoire. At each stage of the presentation, the children are asked to reveal the setting or describe the characters in conversation, purely based on the piece they have just heard.
Discovering new worlds on icy planets, or thieves stealing exotic picnics the stories are as wild and as unique as the school children sharing the event. By the end of a 45 minute concert, the children leave with the promise they can write their own creative ending to a newly crafted story.
This summer WMC, with support from John Lewis, again toured the acclaimed Berkeley Ensemble with Stories in Sound. School children across the county experienced high quality music and story-telling.