Current Open Academy projects

Open Academy with Spitalfields Music – 2017 

Open Academy Fellows Tim Keasley, Hannah Morgan, Alicia Gurney and Matyas Csiba worked with creative music leader and Academy alumnus Jessie Maryon-Davies to create a performance piece for primary school children. The story focuses on themes of bullying and exclusion, with friendships formed at the end. Its aim was to present music in an innovative way and featured music by John Cage, Gilles Silverstini, and JS Bach amongst others. The Fellows then worked with two East London primary schools to write their own songs in response to the different characters in the piece. Both schools visited the Royal Academy of Music to share the songs they had written in school. The group is now taking the performance piece to local primary schools in Camden. 

Orpheus and the Underworld with the Cardinal Hume Centre – Spring 2017

Inspired by the Royal Academy Opera's production of Orpheus in the Underworld, workshop leader Jackie Walduck and Open Academy students led a music project at the Cardinal Hume Centre. The participants composed their own song and performed it to the rest of the centre. The Cardinal Hume Centre is based in Westminster and provides support and training for vulnerably housed or homeless adults. We were happy to invite the project participants to watch the production of the opera at the Hackney Empire.  

Camden Percussion Composition Project – Spring 2017 

Open Academy works extensively in the Borough of Camden and we have a strong partnership with the Camden Music Service. Academy students, Rachel Lee and Tegan LeBrun made a video demonstrating a range of orchestral percussion instruments which was shown to primary school children across Camden. Using technology at the local City Learning Centre, the pupils composed music for the instruments. They were then invited to come to the Academy to hear their pieces performed by members of the percussion department.  

Music for Thought with Wigmore Hall and Westminster Arts – Spring 2017 

Music for Thought is a project for people living with dementia, their friends and families. This project was inspired by the Academy’s Menuhin Collection. Joanna Tapp and Katherine Hay, from the Academy Museum, brought Menuhin’s violin case for the group to see, together with all his keepsakes, souvenirs and letters. This inspired the group to bring their own significant objects to the group. Julian West and a group of Academy students worked with the group to compose short pieces based on the themes that arose from the objects that the group had shared with each other. The Academy worked in partnership on this project, and thanks Westminster Arts and Wigmore Hall for this collaboration.