UNIVERSITY VIEW; Kevin Price.
A fundamental objective for the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is to maximise the education and training in music for all young people, ensuring that moments of inspiration and opportunity are balanced and integrated according to the needs and challenges of our educational partners in Wales and beyond.
In order to achieve long-term benefits, grassroots music services need to be consulted and supported in their essential work. In response, new models are evolving, with a cyclic pattern of workshops and outreach projects which conclude with large-scale performance events.
This year sees the second cycle of the RWCMD Orchestradventure project, which has been conceived to offer young people aged seven to 11 (Key Stage Two) opportunities to enjoy high-quality and inspiring arts and cultural activities made possible by a new partnership with the RWCMD and 20 primary schools (10 in 2017-18 and 10 in 2018-19).
Orchestradventure captures the imaginations of children and teachers through a series of workshops that prepare them for a large-scale "experience the arts" event - a concert with a live symphony orchestra that will takes place in St David's Hall.
Discovery, participation and learning before the performances are at the very heart of the project, with participating schools receiving workshops and supporting material.
While the college has in the past presented occasional concerts suitable for young people, this will represent the first time that it has worked in collaboration with schools to devise a programme of integrated learning experiences, thematically linked in terms of musical repertoire and narrative, maximising the enjoyment and learning they can derive from the final concert.
The concerts are presented by musician and broadcaster Tom Redmond and the RWCMD Symphony Orchestra, featuring music, singing and dancing in order to introduce the instruments and inner workings of an orchestra using interactive presentation and live musical demonstration, so that the concert experience is perceived as a natural outcome of the educational process and journey. Joining the college in 2005 as head of brass and percussion studies, I was proud to build on the rich tradition of high-level performance and oversee the development of vocational activities in brass chamber music, historical performance, educational outreach, brass teaching methods and healthy practice.
Last year I was appointed to head of music performance. This newly created role mediates between the industry-facing training of music students and the diverse, outward-facing arts programme, ensuring that each world-class artist visiting RWCMD brings with them a significant benefit to the student's training experience. While developing and facilitating cross-disciplinary performance opportunities and ongoing enhancements for students, I also support the development of the college's profile as the National Conservatoire of Wales, and its participation within music education in Wales and music industry networks, both nationally and internationally.
Inspiration and opportunity must be balanced and integrated according to the needs and challenges of RWCMD's educational partners in Wales and beyond, in order to safeguard and nurture our musicians of the future and to preserve the precious and essential "soundtrack to our lives" which must never be taken for granted.
| Kevin Price is head of music performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
<B An Orchestradventure! workshop, given by RWCMD music students
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Mar 15, 2018|
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