Shaping PIER:ONE inclusive ensemble

On the 27th September, East Sussex Music’s PIER:One (Progressive, Inclusive, Ensemble Revolution) team took part in a training day with Artistic Directors for the project; Sigrun Saevarsdottir-Griffiths and Paul Griffiths. The aim of the day was to build a framework for this term’s sessions and to build working relationships within the team.

The team is made up of East Sussex Music instrumental teachers and ensemble leaders. Most have experience working with children with SEN/D and all have a passion for this area of work. However, the team have little experience working together on this kind of project. Some worked together at the taster sessions delivered last year, some work together in mainstream ensembles, and some have worked closely with Sigrun in other ESM projects, so one of our aims was to use this training day as a team-building session, allowing us to start feeling confident and comfortable with each other.

Sigrun and Paul are internationally renowned workshop leaders with a wealth of experience in leading workshops in SEN/D settings, and we are really excited that they have come on board for this second year of the project. They went through the different activities we would use in sessions, teaching them as they would in the setting, so the team could witness Sigrun and Paul’s leadership style and see how the activities would work. These activities included singing, body percussion, and improvisation tasks on instruments.

All the activities were led with minimal verbal communication. We went through how they could be used with groups that were less able, and developed with groups that included students who were more advanced in their musical skill. It was an amazing day learning new leadership techniques, new workshop activities, and the team came away with a strong bond, excited for the next stages of the project!

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