For those who followed our Creative Writing Challenges over the summer, you may have noticed the very impressive descriptive writing of one pupil who wowed us every time. We would like to give a special mention to Alicia in Year 6 at St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School, Homerton for taking part in all three challenges and writing so beautifully each time.
Alicia will soon be continuing to take part in the Apollo schools’ programme along with the rest of her year group, who didn’t get to finish the programme in Year 5 due to the pandemic. We look forward to seeing all our budding writers and poets when we return to schools soon!
Here is Alicia’s response to Sean Shibe’s performance of Bach’s Sarabande in E minor, for our Creative Writing Challenge #3:
A tale of many emotions
As my cunning ears sensed this solemn, and tragic piece , my senses were set alight as I pictured myself in a dark setting and as I looked up I saw the pitch black, long, endless sky crying, letting out perpetual rain and the cacophony was shocking . I felt like I was not alone and imagined multiple figures approaching.
As I delved deeper into the music my blood froze and the hairs on my back rose and I was too scared to move an inch but in my minds eye I saw familiar faces like my family through the sounds. I imagined myself plunging into my dads arms and kissing my mum gently on her cheek.
On the other hand, It also made me picture myself crying bitterly and as I imagined a gush of tears running down my face, I realised how this powerful piece has awoken so many emotions in me.
Alicia, Age 10, St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School
We were absolutely blown away by the submissions to the first challenge, so we decided to share a few of the pieces, along with the video. Challenge #2 is now open – click here to watch the video and take part!
Elena Urioste, the violinist in the video, read your submissions and said:
“Oh my goodness, how beautiful! I find the melding of music and other art forms — visual, written, movement-based — so powerful, and I just love to see what young minds are capable of creating when experiencing the power of music.”
We are so grateful to Elena for providing the music for the first challenge. You can watch her other lockdown videos (including the Baby Shark Medley) here.
We made this word cloud to show just how many amazing words children used to describe this piece of music!
The music that warmed my heart
As I heard the melodious, harmonious , angelic music, my senses were restored back to life. I felt like I was in a lavished park with the luminous, vibrant sun shone and I felt millions of shards of light and heat resting on my forehead , penetrating my eyes in the act. It also made me feel like I was in a fantasy that somewhat captivated my mind.It also gave me mixtures of emotions while I was listening.
It also reminded me about Paris , where relationships are rekindled and brought to life. When the music was high in pitch , the serenade was like a beautiful bosom cradling my ear. The music rekindles my long lasting dream, world peace. It makes me think about love for each other.
When the music was low in pitch, it made me feel like the only thing we know is vengeance , war and inequality . It also made me feel like if we do not act fast the world will be a vicious and horrible place. Personally, what I got out of this piece is that it is never to late to fight for what’s right.
Alicia, Year 5, St Dominic’s Catholic Primary School
Poem by Xiaoxi
Sad and solemn,
Calm and nice.
Small and gentle,
As quiet as mice.
It takes you off to
a lonely hill.
In a lonely place,
with a lonely chill.
or even dream,
Whatever you do,
Its a glorious gleam.
It rests your head
and leaves you alone.
Meanwhile, it changes,
Its glorious tone.
Dark like thunder,
Bright like sunlight.
Small and dainty,
On a practical night.
This music is calming,
Casual and soothing.
All of these features,
Make it so moving.
Dilan (10), Year 5, Muswell Hill Primary School
Story and picture by Georgie
My Apollo Music Writing Challenge
The sun was shining with pride in the clear, blue sky. The trees were swaying in the breeze as the birds chirped in unison. Suddenly, the sky got dark and the wind blew furiously as the animals which were grazing on the grass retreated to safety. Then, the sky rumbled as thunder came striking down the sky and roaring with rage. Flashes of thunder brightened the sky as the trees shook violently. Slowly, the thunder disappeared and drops of rain started to appear. While the rain dropped, the sun appeared brightening the sky. The animals slowly came out to see a rainbow glinting in the sunshine. The rain disappeared as the animals jumped about in the field and some were grazing on the grass. The birds flew around chirping with happiness. The animals headed to the lake to have a nice, refreshing drink. The sun was shining as the trees were swaying in the calm, cool breeze.
Nick (10), Year 5, Ambler Primary School
Poem by Arin, Ambler Primary School
By Muhoummad, Year 3, London Fields Primary School
smell of the blooming flowers
rays of the sky
birds stop singing
bees have disappeared
lightning, noise, thunder
flooding the whole world
with his tears
giving life and destructive
at the same time
I am waiting …
I know it will come
after each storm
the sun comes out
and it is again
peace and quiet
Maksymilian (8), Year 4, Eldon Primary School
Picture by Iona
By Mina, Year 1, London Fields Primary School
Violins make such a lovely sound,
Which rises your feet off the ground,
When you listen to it, you feel great,
And it reminds you it’s never too late,
When you sing with a beautiful voice,
All you hear is the relaxing noise,
Music always does a favour, it will lift,
Because it’s the most wonderful gift.
Amisha, Year 4, Eldon Primary School
Anonymous, Year 1, London Fields Primary School
Picture by Silvi
After the success of our first Creative Writing Challenge (view some of the submissions here), we are delighted to set the second challenge!
This time the music is this performance of Deep River by Braimah, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason. Braimah is one of our Associate Artists, and we are very grateful to him for sharing this video with us for the Challenge. If you enjoy it, you can find other performances by the Kanneh-Masons on Sheku’s Facebook Page.
How to take the challenge (Challenge 2):
The challenge is free and open to all, but specifically designed for all children aged 4-11.
All you have to do is listen to this piece of music.
What does it make you feel? What does it make you imagine? Where does it take you – to another landscape, another time, another body?
Now, either while you’re listening to the music or immediately afterwards, create a poem, story or any other response to the music.
You don’t have to know anything about the music to take the challenge. Just think about how it makes you feel and get writing!
Send your finished work to email@example.com by Monday 13 July.
Please include your name and your age. If you have worked with Apollo musicians in school, please also include your school and year group.
It’s not a competition, but writers will receive a certificate and the musicians will select their favourite pieces of writing for display on the Apollo Music Projects website.
We can’t wait to see your creations!
For more information or our press release, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries for this and for past challenges are still welcomed after the deadline!
Here is the second video in our Apollo At Home series, featuring Diana on the viola. This piece was written specially for Diana by her friend the American composer Michael Alec Rose. As Diana explains, it is inspired by a specific animal… the goat!