Reflections on Community Music Training with Britten Pears Arts

I wrote a very long, detailed breakdown of the four days here.

Some Reflections:

  • BPA just created a whole network of community musicians that live between Ipswich and Lowestoft which is … and I cannot stress this enough … WHERE I LIVE. Not London or Belfast or Cardiff or Glasgow … RURAL SUFFOLK. Big moves.
  • So many different musical styles and backgrounds represented! Felt super refreshing, diverse, no chance of groupthink, lots of opportunities for adapting and flexing the things we’ve learned to work for our own styles and practices with a bit of thought.
  • Really appreciated having training in how to run and facilitate workshops – having only done it by instinct before, I have definitely sometimes found myself getting flustered and feeling ‘on the back foot’ because I’ve thought a lot about the activity itself and not as much about the soft stuff that goes with it. Great to have had a brain dump of resources and ideas in one go.
  • Things I’ll be using immediately for Atari Punk Girls: phased clapping rhythm exercises; composing short musical gestures on noise instruments, passing them round the room, triggering them by conducting/making shapes of a clock to make a composition; using cut-ups for generating spoken word elements. Having my machines running, already generating music when participants arrive – use them to create a ‘greeting song’ to help us learn each other’s names; calming / centering ‘eyes up, eyes down’ exercise to close sessions.
  • Be great to have more info and perspectives on using experimental music or hardware electronics in long-term community music projects – anyone else doing that? How?