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VENUS BLAZING MUSIC AND THEATRE TRUST
'OVER THE SEA' AT THE PARK THEATRE
  • 'OVER THE SEA' AT THE PARK THEATRE
    PHASE TWO OF DEVELOPMENT OF MUSIC AND THEATRE SKILLS WEEK FOR CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME The programme offered in 2017 introduced a number of advanced musical concepts to our participants such as group work on rhythm and ensemble playing. Our cohort of children with Down Syndrome has grown. A number of children reapplied to take part and we also had three new members join the group. We continue to grow as an organization and have increased the diversity of skills on offer from our professional team. In 2017 we worked with musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and with physical theatre practitioners from Chicken Shed Theatre Company. Once again feedback indicates an appreciation and value for the programme on offer. Because of the high level of skill based knowledge and personal experience of the practitioners there is a deep sense of trust in the team from parents and carers.
  • OBJECTIVES & RESEARCH
    2017 pointed to a strategic development in teaching our participants to sing together with an emphasis on pitch and delivery of text. This is traditionally known to be a difficult skill to master for young people with Down Syndrome. VBMT continues to develop team-building strategies for our participants and for the team involved in the delivery of our programme. In 2017 VBMT focused also on mentoring and training volunteers in working specifically with young people with Down Syndrome. Our professional development strand led to connections with music and dance students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Continuing to focus on quantifying and evaluating the impact to approaches in music making, ensemble playing and song development remains key to the research element of our work. Composer Deirdre Gribbin has been writing specific songs that challenge cognitive understanding, developing in an encouraging and nurtured way an understanding of how to learn and memorize songs both through pitch and rhythm. Gribbin is devising strategies to improve and develop ensemble singing through a carefully planned set of strategic musical targets.
  • OUTCOMES
    Starting from a visual cue ‘Over the Sea’ developed as a narrative from a short animation about a volcano finding love and happiness. We explored and developed or own narrative about characterization of emotions in different relationships: love, friendship, sorrow and fear. There was a strong forward development and assimilation of previous work in the use of masks. Our young people’s understanding of the physical embodiment of emotion in character and movement was striking and mature. This programme pushed the boundaries for many of the participants. There was a definite step forward in terms of group understanding, respect and focus. 2017 saw an ever-growing sense of group stability and confidence and a great sense of enthusiasm and commitment form our young people and volunteers.
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