First off, the pilot couldn’t have happened without the fantastic support and funding from the Teach First Innovation Series. In particular from the Series lead Lucy Ashman and my mentor Chris Skilton.
It’s been an incredibly useful process, being supported to get insights into the problem before leaping into developing ideas; then going into the ideation phase – particularly the fast pace of it, having to change ideas and think ‘outside the possible’; and then whittling down the ideas to the one idea I’m working on now. The Series has given me a structure to understand innovation, which I had never thought of before. It’s been a really useful way of developing ideas with structured guidance and thoughtful feedback. I found the whole innovation series incredibly inspiring and the resources provided so useful!
So onto the pilot itself.
This was an after school drumming club led by myself and professional musician, Simon Roth. Children and parents were invited to join the sessions where we would develop out musicianship and learn Global Rhythms and Songs. This was hugely popular, and the children were fantastic. As part of the club, we worked to develop elements of self-control including focus and concentration – all children showed improvements in these intended outcomes.
We also saw improved confidence and self-awareness which has informed the development for the next pilots.
The children worked towards a concert to the local community and should be incredibly proud of their efforts.
“It was lovely to see children who would not normally attend a focus club, perform in concerts for the community and school. They showed tremendous discipline in their drumming and joined in the vocal chants; the improvement in their self-esteem and confidence was amazing.” Mrs J Beesley, Head of Music at Cedar Primary School.