“I’ve seen Apollo Music Projects up close in the school classroom and on stage in front of hundreds of school kids, and each occasion has brought out extraordinary depths of involvement, attention and enthusiasm from the children involved. The Project seems to draw out the full personality of the kids, and give them confidence to talk and laugh and be moved by music in a really fresh and unpatronising way. It was genuinely inspiring to see how quickly a roomful of eight and nine year olds got excited and energised by what could otherwise have been pretty challenging contemporary music. It was great to see the Project persuade children that classical music needn’t be stuffy, and more importantly it was thrilling to see how captivated and enthused the kids were and how confident they became talking and being creative in front of others. Apollo Music Projects is an inspiring idea in action, and deserves even wider support.”
Apollo offer an experience which is unfamiliar to many children and a valuable opportunity for them to develop creatively, socially and culturally. Through this programme children develop a richer, wider experience of classical music and classical instrumentation. Having ‘real’ musicians in a classroom breaks down the many perceived barriers to accessing classical music and musicians and creates an opportunity for children to engage with different genres of music in a familiar context, gradually building their knowledge and understanding to appreciate a concert at the end of each programme.
Children speak very highly of the sessions they receive and of the experience of seeing a classical concert, which is an entirely new experience for most. It is hard to overestimate the value of enriching children’s experience in this way and opening up other worlds and cultures. The specialism and expertise of ‘real’ musicians in classrooms creates a safe and aspirational setting for pupils to explore and understand the structures and disciplines that underpin music and performance.
David and his team are able to quickly win the respect and trust of the classes that they work with. The carefully structured programme introduces children to each element step by step, building curiosity and developing understanding. They work very effectively within a busy school environment alongside our class teachers and music specialists. They reflect on the impact and effectiveness of each programme, seeking feedback and responsively developing what they do to ensure it meets the key aims. Apollo have offered our pupils an experience that is hard to replicate outside of this programme and it is highly valued by our schools.
Stephen Hall, Executive Headteacher, Orchard, Southwold and Hoxton Garden Schools
1. ‘What was the best thing about Apollo Music Projects this year?’
‘The best thing was listening to the amazing music Apollo Music played.’
‘The best thing about working with Apollo Music was getting to listen to the wonderful pieces of music because they’re just beautiful!!!’
‘It has inspired me to take up music.’
‘The best thing about working with Apollo Music Projects was that you learn something new every time they come here.’
‘When we closed our eyes and listened to the music.’
‘Because it inspired me to get an instrument and start to play and I might be like them one day.’
2. In response to the Mendelssohn Op.44/2 Quartet, slow movement:
‘I was feeling calm and relaxed as a smooth and soft pillow and it made me fall asleep. It even made me have a good dream on a soft bed. And it made me feel like crying.’
‘I felt like I was flying in the sky in heaven and dancing up in Heaven. It also made me feel calm, relaxed, peaceful.’
‘At the start it was a beautiful day as it was turning to night with a beautiful susnset. Then the stars start showing up and glistening, all the way to sunrise.’
‘It makes me feel like I can do anything and it makes me feel calm. And Happy.’
‘This really makes me feel calm. It also makes me feel like I am stranded on an island. I can hear the waves waving to the left and to the right.It makes me want to cry’
3. In response to the Shostakovich String Quartet no. 7, first movement:
‘The music makes me feel like I am so happy. It makes me a little scared but happy. It makes me feel excited and cool. It makes me really really calm. It makes me want to cry.’
‘I feel over the moon because it is like I am playing the instrument with them as well and it is a nice feeling.’
”’Working with Apollo Music Projects brings a new dimension to our pupils’ appreciation of music. For many of the children it is the first time they have experienced musicians playing classical music before their eyes. There is delight as the sound fills their own classroom and excitement when they attend a real concert at the Hackney Empire. The skills of careful listening and differentiating musical sounds transfer to other areas of the curriculum and improve their ability to concentrate and attend to details.”