On Campus: Outreach

Newcastle University's MUSSOC have been out in the community putting smiles on childrens' faces. Here's how...

Glenn Bruinewoud
23rd November 2017

At Newcastle University, we are privileged to have outstanding musical provision and excellent musicianship, found both within the Music faculty and across Campus. The Newcastle University Music Society, as well as providing opportunities to meet up socially, have fun and perform informally, also runs several musical groups covering a range of styles, from Big Band to Chamber Choir, and beyond. These groups are open to all society members, and many musicians studying other disciplines have found their home here.

For the first time this year, the Music Society has taken on the running of the social outreach programme, building upon the sterling work of Tom Edney last year. The bulk of our work lies within schools outreach, in which groups of musicians are invited to help with providing workshops in primary schools across the borough.

Newcastle University's MUSSOC in action in the community. Photo: MUSSOC

Led by the fabulous Glenn Bruinewoud this year, these workshops work alongside the Key Stage 2 curriculum to introduce children (and teachers!) to music and ideas that they may not normally come across. As well as providing live music, we also talk about the concept of ‘Working Songs’, tying regional music into themes of history and how music doesn’t exist in a bubble, but reaches out into almost every aspect of our lives.

Children have the chance to sing, pull silly faces, laugh and clap and try their hand at something new - all in a supportive atmosphere.

Whilst this sounds serious, it really is an excuse to have an awful lot of fun. Children have the chance to sing, pull silly faces, laugh and clap and try their hand at something new - all in a supportive atmosphere.

These workshops culminate in two large concerts held at the end of each semester where every class is invited to an exciting, action-packed concert involving a full sized orchestra.

Having an abundance of musical riches within Newcastle University, we are enthused to take part in our outreach programme, whether it is in schools, the local hospital, or further afield and we are so pleased to be able to share our passions with others.

In the current climate, where music budgets are being cut and emphasis is being taken away from the arts in many schools, there is a need for work like this. Having the chance to be able to inspire children, helping them to learn about music in a hands-on way, may plant the seed for the future. Who knows?

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