In recent years we’ve expanded outreach provision considerably by taking our music making into the community; fostering new creative partnerships with local schools; and inviting schools to engage with our busy schedule of performances here at the University. Our work is underpinned by a framework of engaging and immersive learning activities targeted at all key stages, using the full scope of our musical genres and our many in-house ensembles. For our Department of Music it brings together various strands of work: learning and teaching through musical performance and composition; practice-led research; public engagement work by creating new partnerships with schools; and career development by providing opportunities for our students to work in schools.
Recent projects include:
Sheffield High School - Arts Award Gold
We are currently working with 5 students at Sheffield High School For Girls who are undertaking their Gold Arts Award. Staff and students from the Department of Music are mentoring these students on their individual projects which develop their skills as musicians. We will be providing you with updates of the students and their projects so watch this space!
As part of a second unit of the award, the students will be putting on a concert at Firth Hall as part of our rush hour concert series. This concert will take place on Monday 24th April so come along to support the students in putting on their very own arts event! Details of what will feature in the concert will be posted when confirmed, so keep an eye on the event page for further information.
Sound Laboratory - Computer Music
Our biggest project this semester is in collaboration with Sheffield High School and University of Sheffield Sound Studios (USSS). We are working with four Sheffield primary schools who are learning all about contemporary electronic music. They are learning how to record and manipulate their sounds, to form compositions for our end-of-project concert on Friday 17th March.
Students from the Department of Music are currently visiting schools with Sheffield High School workshop leaders, introducing them to electronic music and helping them record sounds to use in their pieces. The primary schools will then be visiting the department, using our facilities at USSS edit their sounds and form their pieces, under the supervision of one of our PhD electroacoustic composers.
You can see the result of their work in a concert on Friday 17th March, 13:30, at Firth Hall; part of our Sound Laboratory series and Classical Sheffield Weekend. The schools’ compositions will be performed, as well as the results of some exciting activities the children will be joining in with the morning before the concert. This is shaping up to be an electrifying concert for adults and children alike! Details about the concert, including how to buy tickets, can be found on our event page.
Pop Music project
We are developing a project with staff and students at Parkwood Academy where students from the Department of Music will be visiting Parkwood to workshop their GCSE pop music compositions. Our students will be offering advice and allowing the Parkwood students to hear their pieces played by live musicians!
The Parkwood students will be coming to the university at the end of March to have a tour of our studios and have their compositions recorded by the band they will be working with in workshops. Workshops take place in mid-March and you can follow progress here and on our YouTube account.
Sheffield Carol Countdown
We worked with 150 children from Firs Hill, Hucklow, Fir Vale and Bradfield Dungworth Primary Schools on our Sheffield Carol Countdown project. The project explored the Christmas carolling tradition unique to Sheffield across, and culminated in a performance and social media video series. Check out the series of videos on our YouTube channel.
The civil rights movement without its music would have been like a bird without its wings...
The role of music in the American Civil Rights Movement was an important one. Songs helped lift spirits and tell the story of the most powerful movement for social justice. Music kept the movement moving!
We teamed up with our School of English, Sheffield High School Junior Department, Prince Edward Primary School and Norfolk Community Primary School to explore resiliance, resistance, and song. The culmination of this project was a performance at Firth Hall. 150 children came to the University for the day to perform their new compositions alongside our Jazz Band.
The origins of Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 7 ‘Sinfonia Antartica’ can be traced back to the music Vaughan Williams wrote for the film ‘Scott of Antarctic’, the story of Captain Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole in 1912. We used the Symphony to develop an outreach project aimed at Year 5 Children (Aged 9-10) that was delivered in partnership with Sheffield High School and worked with four additional local primary schools. The project aligned with the Key Stage 2 music curriculum and participants were encouraged to use both musical and visual themes from the Symphony to create their own improvisations and compositions. The project aimed to develop a broad range of musical skills: applying new knowledge and understanding; performing, controlling sounds through singing and playing; composing, creating and developing new musical ideas; and appraising, responding and reviewing components of the symphony.
The culmination of this project was a performance at Firth Hall. 150 children came to the University for the day to perform their new compositions alongside our orchestra. The children used a number of visual themes from the symphony as a basis for their compositions. Their pieces conjured up images of man in his quest to explore and conquer nature, featured vivid musical depictions of the freezing cold and extreme conditions of Antarctica, and focused on emotional responses to conditions, isolation and loneliness.