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BREMF Schools Workshops in Brighton!

One of the core elements of the BREMF Live! scheme is outreach: it is incredibly important for musicians of all kinds, and particularly Early musicians, to challenge our boundaries, and to find new audiences so that our music can be enjoyed for generations to come! Sadly, with recent budget cuts to the arts, funding for music education in state schools is scarce in the UK, and it is impossible for some schools to provide specialist music education, especially whole class music tuition. Unfortunately, this means that classical music in particular is often simply not heard by young people - and therefore they often can see it as something they can't access, that's 'not for me'. And, of course, it's not just the experience of Western classical music which is lost - we have a whole world of wonderful musical traditions which provide endless joy, sorrow, and solace in a world which is so turbulent and challenging.

Tom and I believe strongly that our music can appeal to anyone, young, old, rich, poor - if we can only present it in a way which is exciting and new. For many people today, the typical 'evening concert with interval in a concert hall' is simply not attractive: even I sometimes find myself drifting off to sleep when I've paid for a ticket! Over the last few years, period ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment have had substantial success with new concert formats to attract new audiences - and we hope to follow in their footsteps in the future! And of course Brighton Early Music Festival is the best place to start...!

In our 2 schools workshops last week we had great fun teaching Year 5s and Year 6s all about Scottish Baroque music. Highlights included learning about the 'Scotch snap' rhythm, the life of the composer Barsanti through music and ornamentation, a Scottish song 'Three Craws', and ' an instrument fair... Check out our slideshow to see what we got up to!

One of the best parts of the day was showing the harpsichord to the children. It was, of course, a little bit more effort to drive it down to Brighton and back (a lot of M25...!) but incredibly rewarding to see the excitement on their faces when we unpacked such a mysterious piano-like instrument! So many questions!

Over the next few months, we hope to give several more workshops - if you are interested in what we have to offer, please visit our 'Education' page, and we would be very happy to discuss ideas!

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