We were amazingly privileged here at the Museum to play host to the fantastic ‘School Network Choir’ today. In the glorious Manchester sun, pupils from Oswald Road, Crab Lane, Birchfields and Barlow Hall schools sang a series of songs from around the world in the galleries and the Museum allotment, inspired by the collections in the Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery. They sang beautifully, with passion and clear enjoyment. It was a wonderful sight to see and attracted staff, visitors and passers by alike. As described by their conductor, the actual performance is just the ‘tip of the educational iceberg’ – to prepare for this the pupils spent months researching Victorian and modern day Manchester, the Museum and its collection and learning about the history of the songs they were singing – and you could tell that they understood and had learnt so much more than just the words.
Here at the Museum we are always passionate about the collection and how inspiring it can be for creative work but it is always good to be reminded by brilliant projects and groups what wonderful and unexpected learning journeys objects can take you on. The performance today was an excellent reminder as to how great creativity can stem from experiences and sources outside the classroom and be used to stimulate classroom learning and enthusiasm for a subject.
Thank you to all schools involved today – we very much appreciated your efforts and the hard work you put it to your performances! And we very much hope to welcome you back in the future.