Frederick Bird Education Project

This month 90 nine year old children at Frederick Bird Primary School in Coventry embarked on a ten week course of class music lessons learning the pBone and pTrumpet with our Education Ambassador Becca Pope. You can follow their journey here through the weekly blogs written by some of the students as well as their classroom teacher, Mrs Seymour.

 

Xmas music. The children from Frederick Bird Primary school, Coventry, have been learning how to play the P instruments. Pictured, from left, Korey Palmer(8), Christiana Ojo (9), Becca Pope from Warwick Music Group, Lukas Taragos (8), Wonder Ehouman (8)

 

Watch a short film from the Christmas Concert which marked the end of the 10 week course here.

pBone’s blog – Week 10, 16th December 2015

Wow! What an amazing day!! The children, the staff, the parents…… I could go on! At the start of this process I was hoping that I could help to expand the musical experiences of the children, but it became so much more! The children have far exceeded my expectations in achievement, enthusiasm and behaviour. Having spoken to the teachers the experiences from their weekly pBone/pTrumpet session have impacted massively in ways they didn’t expect on the rest of the children’s learning. A very proud day for pBone and pTrumpet!!

By Becca Pope

Xmas music. The children from Frederick Bird Primary school, Coventry, have been learning how to play the P instruments.Xmas music. The children from Frederick Bird Primary school, Coventry, have been learning how to play the P instruments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pBone’s  blog – Week 9, 9th December 2015

How do you fit 90 children and 90 pBones into a school hall??? No, it’s not a joke, but the answer is …… with a lot of patience and wonderful people to help organise!! The children have been fantastic today, there has been a lot of waiting around and shuffling positions. When we finally got everyone in place the sound was amazing!!! I seriously am excited about next week and I think the children are too!!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 9, 9th December 2015

Today, we did our rehearsal for the concert next week. First, we sorted out where we were going to be standing while we are performing to parents, carers and other family and friends. Then, we had to look around us so that we don’t forget where we will be standing on the day. After we had done that, we sang the song we learnt ages ago called ‘Poppa Cata Petal’ we did it as a round in 3 groups (which are our classes). Eventually we got our instruments out so that we could play ‘Happy’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’. We played happy first but had to keep practising because we were doing separate parts which was distracting for others. Finally, we played winter wonderland and after that, we put our instruments away.

Temi and Freya’s favourite part was playing happy because we had a chance to listen to what the other classes have been practising.

By Temi and Freya

Teacher’s blog – Week 9, 9th December 2015

We had our final rehearsal today. The children were able to play in tune and the music sounded amazing. We worked on stage presence and how to follow a conductor. The children are now confident at playing their parts in the different pieces of music.We are all very excited about the final performance next week.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 8, 2nd December 2015

What a fantastic day! It’s all really coming together and everyone is excited. We have been running through the concert programme and everything is sounding fantastic. Today was the last lesson with each individual class. Winter Wonderland is sounding amazing and with the help of a couple of the wonderful teachers to help them remember the new valve combinations and slide positions.

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 8, 2nd December 2015

Today, in our class we practised for the concert. First, we sang a song that we learnt a long time ago called Poppa Cata Petal. We did it as a round of 4. We recapped the tune with our peers. Then, we collected our mouth pieces and did some copying beats. After that, we sang ‘Father Christmas’ which followed on to ‘Christmas pudding’. Eventually, we did the tune to happy (we did it as 2 groups; one group do solos and the others do the chorus) when we had finished our parts we clapped along to the beat and on the day parents will join in. Finally, we went over winter wonderland and Freya helped Mhamadu because he didn’t quite get how to hold his instrument because he was new to our school.

Temi’s favourite part was playing ‘Winter Wonderland’ because she likes the movie and the song. Freya’s favourite part was singing ‘Father Christmas’ following on to ‘Christmas pudding’.

By: Freya and Temi

Teacher’s blog – Week 8, 2nd December 2015

Today was our final individual lesson. We were practising for our performance which is in two weeks. We played our instruments alongside the backing tracks for Happy, Winter Wonderland and we sang our songs in rounds. We are now developing our performance skills, learning how to stand on a stage, how to begin and end at the same time and how to watch the conductor. The music is sounding ace now!

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 7, 25th November 2015

The concert is getting closer and the children are really starting to get excited! We started running some of the items for the concert and I think they are getting a better idea of what is going to happen on the day!!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 7, 25th November 2015

Today, we practised for the concert in our places. First, we did a warm up of Father Christmas but we did it so that as soon as we finished we went straight onto Christmas pudding which had the same tune. We did it as a round of two. Once we’d done that, we got our instrument ready and recapped our compositions in our groups. When we were ready, we played it in tune to the backing track. When the chorus was playing the teacher showed us what the other classes have been learning. Then, we learnt the ‘Winter Wonderland’ piece and practised it till we could remember it. Finally, we put our instruments away and lined up.

My favourite part was learning the winter wonderland piece because it sounded professional. Lukas worked really hard at blowing his mouthpiece in the correct way.

By Freya

Teacher’s blog – Week 7, 25th November 2015

The children are improving their tone and are able to hold notes for different amounts of time. One child, who is rarely enthusiastic got really excited about playing the trumpet today. It’s lovely to see him engage in an activity so well. It will be a shame when sessions end.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 6, 18th November 2015

Today our Father Christmas song got a lot more confident! The children are really enjoying learning a new song and growing in confidence with their playing. Accuracy is also really improving and the children are getting much better at hitting the right note the first time, onwards and upwards!!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 6, 18th November 2015

Today, we practiced for our concert. First we got into lines; trombone and trumpet, so that we knew where we were going to stand on the day. Next, we got into our groups for the performance improvisation. We worked in teams using the rhythms tea and coffee to compose our own tunes. It was really good fun today.

Teacher’s blog – Week 6, 18th November 2015

Today the children sang a song in rounds about Father Christmas. They were then put into the places that they will be performing in. We played a G on the trombone and trumpet, trying to correct our own pitch. Then we played along with Farrell’s song ‘Happy’. The children are starting to really improve with their playing and some of them can hold a really accurate note. I am starting to identify some children that may want to carry on learning these instruments after our sessions have finished.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 5, 4th November 2015

Today we learned a new song for the concert at Christmas, this time it has a Christmas Theme!! I’m sure that is allowed now it is November. We also practised making up our own rhythms using words like ‘tea’ and ‘coffee’. This helps the children to understand the difference between beat and rhythm, we had some very interesting combinations!!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 5, 4th November 2015

Today we carried on from last week, and got into the groups. Then we made a new tune using the sounds of coffee and tea. Then we learnt a new song called Father Christmas. Then learnt how to play it using our mouthpieces and trombone/trumpet.

Temi’s favourite part was playing the beat with the trombone.

By Freya and Temi

Teacher’s blog – Week 5, 4th November 2015

Today’s session was all about Rhythm. We made up our own rhythm using the words coffee and tea. After saying and clapping our own patterns we blew the mouth piece. The children were taught about using their tongue to separate the notes. We then played the instruments using our tongue to blow different patterns. We are starting to be able to get a good sound from our instruments.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 4, 21st October 2015

This week we have taken playing together to a new level. We have started using backing tracks! This means the children not only have to follow the conductor but also they need to be counting the beats in their heads. A lot of multitasking going on! I also revealed to them what one of their pieces for the concert would be, but I can’t tell you…….it’s a surprise!!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 4, 21st October 2015

Today, we learnt to compose a rhythm in groups of 4. First, we listened to a tune. Then, we played a tune with our mouthpieces. After that, we got into groups of 4 and made a group composition to play along with the original tune.

Temi and Freya’s favourite part was making the group compositions. Demi’s favourite part was listening to the tune.

By Freya and Temi

Teacher’s blog – Week 4, 21st October 2015

We did lots of work on holding notes for counts of 4 and 2. We practised our blowing technique and tried to hold a note by breathing steadily into the mouthpiece. We began to play along with a backing track, which the children really enjoyed. It is starting to come together and the children are beginning to see how the performance will sound. We are also getting much quicker at assembling our instruments quickly. Today was a great session.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 3, 14th October 2015

Only my third week at Frederick Bird and the pupils are really impressing me with their hard work and dedication. They all try so hard with their singing and playing, using their listening skills well. This week we were aiming to start and stop together, sounds easy??!! It took a lot of hard work but all of the classes managed it, we’re starting to sound like a band!

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 3, 14th October 2015

Today, we learnt to stop and start together. First, we did a warm up of poppa cata petal in a round of 2. Next, we learnt a song about toboggans it went like:

To begin to toboggan, You need a toboggan, But don’t buy too big a toboggan.

Too big a toboggan, Is not a toboggan, To learn to begin to toboggan.

After that, we got our musical instruments and learnt 2 new rhythm’s with a backing track. Freya’s favourite part was doing the second rhythm because it was a bit trickier.

Temi’s favourite part was doing the first rhythm because she likes the music and she likes keeping in time.

By Freya and Temi

Teacher’s Blog – Week 3, 14th October 2015

Today we did lots of work on rhythm. They have started to know that in a rhythm there are sounds and also rests. We also practised starting and stopping together. The children are really enjoying the songs and tongue twisters. They are very keen to join in during every session and talk about it excitedly throughout the week.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone’s blog – Week 2, 7th October 2015

Today we moved on to playing and singing together, each class learnt a new song and all of them managed to sing it in a round of 4 parts, pretty impressive!! We started to learn about playing together and following a leader, copying rhythms and patterns. The journey begins …..

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 2, 7th October 2015

Our second lesson was today and we did some singing. The song was about a big volcano called “poppa cata petal”. We also did it as rounds of 2 and 4. As well as singing we improved on blowing a beat. When we did the blowing, we used our mouth pieces to make a sound first and then with the instrument. After that, we practised putting our instrument in rest position.

Freya’s favourite part was blowing the trombone on her own. Temi’s favourite part was doing the singing rounds. In conclusion, we learnt a new song and improved on our timing.

By Freya and Temi

Teacher’s blog – Week 2, 7th October 2015

Today was our second session learning the pBones and pTrumpets. We started the lesson learning to sing in rounds. After that we assembled our instruments and practised blowing to the count of 4. We used our thinking voices to count a bar rest and then played another 4 beats. One of the children, who struggles academically, was finding it difficult to make a sound with her trumpet. Mrs Pope worked with her to show her how to blow it and a very clear note came out of her trumpet. She was so pleased and proud of herself.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher

 

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pBone blog – Week 1, 30th September 2015

Wow! What a fantastic first day at Frederick Bird School in Coventry. The children were so enthusiastic to receive their pBones and pTrumpets. We had fun learning about beat and rhythm, not only that but I had fun trying to learn 90 new names!!! I think I might manage it by Christmas…. Really excited for next week when we’ll start our journey as a class band.

By Becca Pope

Student’s blog – Week 1, 30th September 2015

On Wednesday 30th September 2015, 3 classes of year 4 children started learning to play either the trumpet or the trombone. There are 90 children learning to play a wind instrument; 45 children are learning to play trumpet and 45 children are learning to play trombone. First, we chose whether we wanted to learn trumpet or trombone. Then, the teacher gave out mouthpieces. The people who wanted to play trumpet had a smaller mouthpiece then the people that wanted to play a trombone. In our first lesson, we all learnt how to blow and hold our instrument.

Freya and Emma-Leigh’s favourite part was blowing the instrument, whereas Temi’s favourite part was listening to everyone blow their instrument. In conclusion, everyone had a brilliant time and learnt new things as well!

By Freya, Temi and Emma-Leigh

Teacher’s blog – Week 1, 30th September 2015

Today we started our music sessions with Becca Pope. She began by stamping out a beat with the children and explaining that all music has a beat. She then gave out the mouthpieces and we all had a go at blowing them. Becca then demonstrated the correct blowing technique. Once we were able to blow correctly we were given an instrument, either a trombone or a trumpet. We found out how to assemble and hold the instruments correctly and then blew notes repeating different rhythms with her. The children were very excited to be able to hold and blow the instruments and are all looking forward to our next session. One child said “This is amazing!” when she first picked up her pBone.

By Mrs Seymour, classroom teacher