Strings ‘n’ Things

Pupils from St. Mary's First in BMS 2021's reMixed project

Strings ‘n’ Things is an educational project which will form part of the Berwick Music Series 2022.

The purpose of the project is to excite and enthuse schoolchildren about music. We will do this, inter alia, by having the artists who are performing in concert at the Berwick Music Series work with the children on the project, and perform the pieces and use the instruments created by the children.

Our project will involve 300 schoolchildren over eleven schools in Berwick and include children of all ages. The plan is to do a full day at each of the First and Junior schools, and to do four one-hour sessions at each of the five Middle and Upper Schools. We have received fantastic co-operation from the Berwick schools, and the sessions have already been scheduled.

For the First and Junior schools, the project will focus on the violin: the history of the violin, the science behind the sound of the violin, composing for the violin. One of the sessions with these children will involve the celebrated violinist Darragh Morgan, who is performing at one of our concerts. The final outcome will be a composition for violin from the children of each school, each lasting about five minutes and Darragh  will perform each of the pieces for the schoolchildren. We believe that meeting and interacting with outstanding performers can inspire children by giving them a potential role model.

The Middle Schools will experiment with making stringed instruments and learning how the length, gauge and tension of a string, and different playing techniques contribute to different sounds – this will culminate with an exhibition of the instruments created and a performance by one of our artists on some of the instruments.

The High Schools will experiment with existing stringed instruments to produce different methods of playing, timbres or other sonic outputs (a la John Cage’s prepared piano, though not necessarily using piano). They will also be involved in a Sound Installation of Alvin Lucier’s Music on a Long Thin Wire.

Middle and High Schools

Professionals Involved in Delivery: Dr Martin Parker (Head of the Reid School of Music, Edinburgh University), Graham Kelly.

Schools: Eyemouth High School, Berwick Academy, Longridge Towers, Berwick Middle School, Tweedmouth Middle School

First and Junior Schools

Professionals Involved in Delivery: Sam Lord, Andrew Brook, Cath Cormie

Schools: Tweedmouth Middle School Year Five, Longridge Juniors Year Four, St Mary’s C of E First School, St Cuthbert’s RC First School, Spittal County First School, Prior Park County First School.