Image: photo of Gary Day smiling, in front of musical score graphicVideo from DM Associate Musician Gary Day showing a group of young musicians performing two songs as part of an ensemble day at Belvue School.

In this video there are a group of young musicians playing/working as an ensemble in a session that Ben Sellers, Steven Lee and I ran in Belvue School at the end of year one (July 2015).

The group spent a full school day working with us and reworked a version of the jazz standard, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ and they also composed their own song ‘We Will Win!’, finishing off the day with a performance in the music room.

Belvue 1

One thing that I took from this session, was a reminder of how the power of doing a performance can sometimes ignite more music, within a musician in this case, seeing the young musicians taking musical risks and going for it!

For example, the young musician playing drums in the video was trying hard during rehearsals to keep a steady beat/pattern for ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ and during the performance he was playing rolls and other rhythms that were not rehearsed – fantastic! Also, how the singer/rapper was improvising and expressing himself ‘in the moment’.

There will be more ensemble opportunities throughout year 2 for the young musicians at Belvue as well as an R&D project which we are all looking forward to!

Read some of Gary’s other posts from Exchanging Notes here, here and here.