Blog of Julian West

Open Academy goes off with a Bang

Julian West - Posted on 09.11.2016

A guest blog written by Open Academy Intern - Martha Lloyd

Open Academy

Four weeks into my internship working in the Open Academy and this year’s Creative Music Leadership (CML) students are ready for their first experience with a year four class. Collaborative creativity is at the centre of the course and the students, led by Julian West, will be introducing the year 4 class to Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks and helping them create their own pieces inspired by it.  
It’s not just the workshops that require a bit of ingenious creativity and this year’s CML group bring a wide variety of instruments. There are -  4 pianists, 2 saxophonists, 2 violinists, a French horn player, a soprano singer, a guitarist and a percussionist, not Handel’s original line up – that’s for sure. With a pair of saxophones and a pair of violins, the arrangement of instruments actually lends itself well to Handel’s score and after adding some stab chords from the guitar, (so it could be heard over the saxophones…) the group was ready to perform for the class.

Open Academy eventYear 4 from St Mary and St Pancras are no strangers to music - at their school everyone plays an instrument. Having experience of playing instruments themselves makes it a little easier for the children to relate to the students’ performance, and it can also help inspire what they can achieve on their own instruments. After beginning with a warm up game, the class, led by Julian West, James Moriarty and Tim Keasley (previous and current Open Academy Fellows), split into three groups to write their own pieces based on The Fireworks. The session ended with a Q and A – (Year 4 to Julian West) and I thought it would be nice to include some of these here – it will help you get to know Julian West just a little better –

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

JW: Some sort of scientist – maybe a researcher into health, or a dancer!

What is your favourite piece of music?

JW: St John Passion – J S Bach

Your favourite song?

JW: Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush

Favourite Instrument?

JW: The oboe (Of course!)


Open Academy event

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