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St Oswald's Schools project

Schools Project

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DDOA  ‘CHILDREN and the  ORGAN’  

  visit to HEAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL

September 2009


This was our third show this year, similar in style to previous visits at Matlock All Saints and Longford but with some important modifications. We keep learning all the time. Our activities for children included; ‘Having a go’ on the organ -  ‘Pedal Power’[managing your feet and footwear]  – What it looks like [designing pipe decorations and layout’ – How it works [using Ed Stow’s mini organ] and’ What Organists do’ [a brand new Powerpoint presentation devised by James Muckle]. Ed and Gillian Chatto provided the organ solos with great aplomb and Siann Hurt’s firm control of the timetable made sure all ran smoothly.


Schools clearly find this work particularly appropriate for National Curriculum work on SOUND.


Comment from the school : ‘Thank you and your team for a fantastic day. It was most enjoyable and the children had such a wonderful learning experience’


If you know of any other schools that might be interested contact us.


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On 24th July 2012 some members of our CATO team were involved in an event held at Leicester Cathedral. Here is part of a letter sent to our CATO leader, Stephen Jones by a member of the cathedral’s music staff.

“Just wanted to write and thank you and your team for such a fantastic workshop yesterday. The place had a real buzz to it and there’s been lots of very positive feedback, including the following Facebook exchange

Elizabeth (mother of two of the non-chorister girls there): Lovely musical day in Leicester Cathedral watching kiddies learning & playing the organ.

Sally (who wasn’t there): Wow, they let kids loose on the organ!

Aletta  (mother of three children there, all choristers): They did! And they loved it. They also got to hear a little more and asked to think more about what they were listening to and also to learn about how they work... Excellent Time was had by all!

And the following from the father of an eight-year-old, who also wants to become a chorister:

Thank you again for the workshop yesterday. Peter thoroughly enjoyed it and is now determined to take up the organ. Thank you also for your time, explaining the workings of the choir and showing us the Song School.”

Leicester Cathedral

VICKI BROWN [Children & Younger Adults Derbyshire Local Authority Adviser]

Many thanks for inviting me to observe your work today. It was clear a lot of thought and preparation had been put in and the children responded well. Its success was mainly due to the way you presented the pipe organ as an accessible instrument and that the sessions were so interactive. The children I followed round were totally focused and asked lots of perceptive questions.'

Children at the Organ

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Our Educational Programme   
       ‘GO ORGANIC


            We are now able to offer schools  a lively experience for pupils in which they can;


Hear and see a pipe organ being played by a professional

Have a go themselves

Find out about how sounds are produced

See how the mechanics work

Design your own organ case

Enjoy a live musical experience

Understand how the organ is played.


The project involves a visit to a church  and is aimed primarily at pupils aged 9 –11  and has been carefully developed in consultation with experienced teachers. The  pipe organ is a  rich source of learning  experience for children which is related to the National Curriculum. In particular  our project encompasses  such  aspects as ; music, science, technology, art & design and physical co-ordination.


What do the pupils actually do?

We start by listening to the organ, usually at full blast, which is very exciting and sweeps many children off their feet. We then usually have a brief explanation of how an organ works, using real  pipes and including listening games and other simple activities to engage the pupils.


In the ’follow up’ session pupils split into smaller groups and engage in a variety of activities that deepen their understanding of what they have already experienced. These come under 3 main headings:                        

How it works : looking at and playing the ‘mini organ’ – a specially designed table instrument. viewing a variety of pipes that produce different sounds and discovering why this is.


How it’s played: 1]watching an organist at work and learning about basic vocabulary and learning about the skills needed 2 trying out a specially adjusted pedal board to understand how the feet are used and 3] playing the main organ in the church.


What it looks like: looking at pictures of different instruments, experimenting with different arrangements of pipes and  working on pipe decoration.


We usually finish with a Listening activity involving discussion of music played.


What does it cost ? The DDOA members offer their expertise free but a donation towards travel expenses would be welcome. The church may wish to charge the school  for the cost of using the premises.


How long does it last and how many children can we bring ? our target time is 2 hours to enable us to make the visit really worthwhile. Our optimum number is about 25; 30 is the absolute maximum in order that the children have a worthwhile experience.


Follow up materials for teachers are available at a small charge.


You might like to visit our website to see what a session looks like: www.derbyorganists.co.uk where you can also read comments from pupils and staff we have worked with over the last 6 years.


Who do we contact to set up a visit? The project Co-ordinator: Stephen Johns  annestephen.johns@talktalk.net.  or   01332 - 764792



                                                                                                                                                               How it works : looking at and playing the ‘mini organ’ – a specially designed table instrument. viewing a variety of pipes that produce different sounds and discovering why this is.


How it’s played: 1]watching an organist at work and learning about basic vocabulary and learning about the skills needed 2 trying out a specially adjusted pedal board to understand how the feet are used and 3] playing the main organ in the church.


What it looks like: looking at pictures of different instruments, experimenting with different arrangements of pipes and  working on pipe decoration.


We usually finish with a Listening activity involving discussion of music played.


What does it cost ? The DDOA members offer their expertise free but a donation towards travel expenses would be welcome. The church may wish to charge the school  for the cost of using the premises.


How long does it last and how many children can we bring ? our target time is 2 hours to enable us to make the visit really worthwhile. Our optimum number is about 25; 30 is the absolute maximum in order that the children have a worthwhile experience.


Follow up materials for teachers are available at a small charge.


You might like to visit our website to see what a session looks like: www.derbyorganists.co.uk where you can also read comments from pupils and staff we have worked with over the last 6 years.


Who do we contact to set up a visit? The project Co-ordinator: Stephen Johns  annestephen.johns@talktalk.net.  or   01332 - 764792



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