Open Academy: School Visits

During their stay in London, some of our violinists took part in the Open Academy outreach programme. Open Academy is the Learning and Participation programme of the Royal Academy of Music, and our competitors had the opportunity to visit schools around London and share their music with the pupils.

Our violinists managed to engage with their young audiences successfully – here is how US Senior competitor Ariel Horowitz introduced her performance to the pupils at St Mary and St Pancras school:

“Not all music is beautiful in the way we are taught to think of beauty – some music is messy – imagine that you are given paints and a canvas and you smush and spatter and throw the paints together so that they sometimes collide and sometimes are even gross – and that’s how to listen to the Bartok piece I will now play.”

Needless to say, this explanation worked very well:

“Thank you so much for arranging for the violinists to come and perform for us. Such a great experience for the children. They loved it and had really great feedback. The children at St Mary and St Pancras had most to say about the Bartok interestingly enough. I think it was the comments that Ariel gave before she played that really helped.” (St Mary and St Pancras/Emmanuel Schools)

Feedback from competitors was enthusiastic:

“The students’ curious eyes and genuine questions were really refreshing and helped us back to the basic of enjoying playing the music.”

“The pupils we played for (King Solomon school) were quite nice, interested and it was a pleasure to play for them and answer their questions. The organization was very good as well.”

“Really good experience and great reaction from audience! Really good fun!”

“The visit to the Kingsgate School was truly inspiring – the two attendants (James and Patrick) were not only amazing musicians and but also wonderful people and it gave us a great opportunity to remind ourselves the joy of sharing music. Playing in a pair with another participant was also a great opportunity to get to know each other well and make friends through music.”

Feedback from schools was very positive as well:

“Thank you so much for that fantastic assembly. It was really inspiring and moving. Kevin’s playing and words were incredible!” (Argyle School)

Just wanted to say thank you so much for giving us the chance to have Takumi and Mahiru visit and hear them perform. They were brilliant!! Such wonderful performers! Our children really enjoyed the session with them. (Kingsgate School)

Many many thanks. I thought the event was absolutely fantastic. The students have really benefitted from this. There has been lots of interesting feedback from them. Today, we had every practise room filled with violinists during the morning break time. I am really hoping that we can develop the string players and this type of event is very inspiring for the students. (Pimlico Academy)