Opera North Education – Octave Project

Opera North Education tailored a four week project of singing, song writing and movement work for a class of KS2 children with ASC (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in Leeds. The theme of the delivery focused on the Aesop’s Fable of the Crow and the Jug to link with cross-curricular work.

Each session led by a professional director and composer, took the same shape, starting and ending with familiar material to bookend more challenging creative activities. Whilst building the story incrementally, activity also used a visual sequence – adding an event each week. The project encouraged confidence in physical movement, listening and responding to musical stimuli and learning and remembering text and melody. In addition, the participants created material – drama scenes and song which used writing and inventing skills, as well as the empathetic imagination when working on character and point of view.

This video documents the informal sharing of the work for an audience of mainstream KS2 children which included a workshop element – asking the audience to join in with group singing. The song featured in the video, both text and melody, was composed by the class in response to the crow’s character feeling parched, desperately looking for water. The pupils devised actions to accompany the lyrics as an additional tool for story telling as well as a helpful reminder of lyrics.