An inspiring music making programme for Key Stage 2 classes, using opera and animation as a creative springboard for collaborative composition work in the classroom.
In 2021, we piloted this exciting new programme of work in partnership with six schools across London and Luton. Over 600 children from Key Stage 2 became ENO Composers for a term and created their own musical colour worlds in response to our specially commissioned piece, ‘Blue, Red, Yellow…’ by Omar Shahryar.
Some key statistics from our evaluation...
Of 17 teachers and 251 pupils who responded to our evaluation survey…
- 100% of teachers on the pilot programme reported a positive and enjoyable experience, not only for their students but for themselves
- 88% of teachers said that they would run the project in their school again, and the same proportion said they would definitely recommend it to another school.
- The remaining 12% indicated that they would probably repeat or recommend the project.
On average, pupils rated their enjoyment of the programme as 8 out of 10, with 48% rating it 10 out of 10.
Feedback from pupils and teachers who participated in the pilot of Finish This… has shown that the programme affords KS2 pupils and teachers a unique and engaging music education experience:
“Fun, interesting, challenging and noisy! It is out of the norm and allows the children to be creative, express themselves and try new things”
We heard from teachers on the pilot programme that time to experiment with instruments, body percussion and vocals allowed the pupils the space to be creative and imaginative. Using our specially commissioned piece of opera as a stimulus, teachers are supported to explore with their class how different colours and their associated words, feeling and objects might sound in a music piece.
“It gave them the opportunity to be part of something that was meaningful and had an end product”
Teachers also told us about the sense of pride and achievement that Finish This… afforded the young composers. By inviting pupils to become ENO Composers for a term, the programme opens a dialogue between the ENO and the school, which enables young musicians to feel a sense of importance over their finished compositions.
“They enjoyed the freedom to experiment instead of being told what to do: there was no right or wrong”
Teachers on the pilot programme highlighted the child-led approach as an extremely important aspect. Our evaluation found that Finish This… affords young musicians a sense of autonomy and ownership over their work, enabling them to make decisions and create something that belonged to them as opposed to being told what to do.
“It put them all on an even footing which is a great starting place”
Our pilot evaluation found that, not only did Finish This… make opera more accessible to students and teachers alike, but the same was true in reverse: opera being a largely new genre to the vast majority of students meant enabled a “level playing field” in the classroom from which to begin learning as a group.
If you would like more information on how to book your school in for Finish This… in Autumn Term 2022, please visit this page.
Photo credit Karla Gowlett, taken with participants of the pilot programme at Bushmead Primary.