One down, three more to go

First it was the end of term one, now suddenly it is the end of the Easter break and the start of Term 2. Life has been busy for this freelance musician, workshop leader and teaching artist – it’s time for a quick ‘stock take’. This term, in addition to my regular school teaching, I’ve:

  • led a big jam (participatory music event) at the Myer Music Bowl for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO),
  • spent a weekend at ArtPlay leading 6 x 1-hour free composing workshops for children,
  • got the City Beats project off the ground for 2012,
  • written and presented two different professional development sessions for teaching artists,
  • recorded a one-hour radio interview (to be broadcast on ABC Classic FM soon!),
  • got some preliminary planning underway for two of 2012’s big creative projects – the Music & Mandarin composer residency, and the ‘Reef Residency’ community project for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and
  • scripted and shot 2 videos (me in front of camera, not behind)!

The latter project was a new departure – the videos are short teaching resources, one for students, one for teachers – on the Alphabet Dance. I had to memorise my scripts. I am pretty comfortable speaking off the cuff in my various presentations, so memorising brought me a new challenge. I don’t think I’ve had to memorise this many words since I had a lead role in the primary school drama production in Grade 4!

The jam at the Myer Bowl for the MSO was also a new project model (you can read a description from my planning for the event here), especially as we knew that the great majority of people who would be gathered near the jam performance site would be older (elderly?) die-hard, classical music fans, ready with their picnics and not necessarily looking to join in a participatory activity. But it seemed to go down pretty well, and quite a few of the oldies joined in with the singing and ‘picnic percussion’. It was a jam on a Mexican theme, so it was important to dress the part (ole!):

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