Blast Off – “If one person takes up a brass instrument in the future we have done our job”
On Friday morning, the children were filled with anticipation as ‘Blast Off’ was launched at Holbrook. Blast Off was initially designed to introduce primary school aged children to the wonderful world of brass and percussion playing. Recently, there has been a significant drop in youngsters taking up a brass instrument so to encourage children to pick up a brass instrument, Blast Off was designed to offer huge amounts of fun whilst teaching children the art of improvising and experimenting with different brass instruments.
As we welcomed Rich Harvey, the bandmaster of the Royal Hospital School to Holbrook, the children were immediately hooked by the beautiful sights of the brass instruments that were laid out for them to admire. In assembly, the children were introduced to the brass family and amongst gasps of excitement from the children, Rich demonstrated the bass notes of the tuba, the lyrical melody of the baritone and French horn, the melodic capability of the trumpet and the sweet notes of the King of brass instruments; the trombone. Which is personally my favourite!
After assembly, the children took part in an interactive workshop, which allowed the children to experiment with the revolutionary pBuzz. During the workshop, the children were first taught how to make a sound through the instrument (it was at this point, the children enjoyed blowing raspberries at each other.) From the minute the workshop started, Rich, made sure every child was involved and made to feel part of the pBuzz orchestra. To make the experience interactive and fun, Rich held competitions to see who could hold a note for the longest. Congratulations must go to Lee Wright and Katie Pullan for showing the school that they’ve got the most puff and possibly the biggest lungs. As well as this, Rich taught the children how to listen to the music and as the 40-minute workshop came to an end the children enjoyed rehearsing ‘I Feel Good’ complete with dancing. The school hall at this point felt alive and there was a buzz in the atmosphere as the children perfected their performance. I now know that Holbrook has talented singers, (from Holbrook’s Got Talent) dancers and prospective musicians. The future is looking good for Music!
Following a day of workshops and interactive activities, the children came together under one roof to deliver a one off performance of “I Feel Good.” The hall was filled with laughter, dancing and joy as the children came together to celebrate their achievements of what they had learnt in a day. They should be incredibly proud of what they achieved in such a short period of time. But more importantly I hope they left school on Friday thinking, “I would love to do that again.” Please do take the time to talk to your children about this event as the excitement that oozed out of the children all day was infectious. There was not a single person in the room that did not have a beaming smile on their face. And I suspect many parents were asking the question that evening ‘Why are you humming ‘I Feel Good’?’
First, a huge thank you must go to Rich Harvey, who has without a doubt, inspired our youngsters. His wicked sense of humour, love of music and generous nature made the day enjoyable for all 253 children in the school. His energy and passion for music was outstanding throughout the day and the children learnt from the very best. We hope in the future, the children at Holbrook have more opportunities to extend their love of music. As well as thanking Rich, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Royal Hospital School for allowing Rich to bring Blast Off to Gosport and for their generosity and support in organising and planning this magnificent event.
Finally, Warwick Music Group, must be thanked for their generous contribution towards the event. Without their support the event could not have taken place. On a personal level, I would like to thank Warwick Music Group for designing the revolutionary pBuzz and allowing more doors to open for children across the county. With their brightly coloured design, the pBone and pBuzz offered the children an opportunity to experience live music and most importantly have fun, whilst getting a chance to discover a brass instrument for themselves. I hope this opportunity stays with the children for a long time to come and as Rich and I said together, “If one person takes up a brass instrument in the future we have done our job”