PyramiDeal - Deal Festival's education outreach programme
Working and performing alongside professional artists gives young people an experience that cannot be provided in other settings. The Deal Festival of Music and Arts has a very special role to play in encouraging and nurturing young people to engage with the Arts. Feedback from participating youngsters tells us that the thrilling experiences they encounter inspire them to make the most of their talents.
PyramiDeal, developed by our Education team of experienced and highly respected musicians and music teachers, is designed to support the government’s National Plan for Music and we work closely with local schools, creative organisations and others to deliver a variety of projects which aim to include as many children as possible in the early years and progress towards offering exciting performance experiences within the Festival itself.
We start young - in Years 3 and 4 - by organising singing festivals, providing teachers support meetings, resources, and a live band to accompany the singing; on one special day in March 2012 for example, 400 pupils came to St Edmunds School, Dover to discover the power of the voice. In years 5 and 6, we continue to support singing; in 2012, 800 pupils in East Kent are to give the English premiere of A Little Book of Monsters in Thanet and Dover in a project that brings together Primary and Secondary pupils performing with professional musicians.
Beginner instrumentalists in years 5 and 6 are supported by “Play Days” where members of our Education Team play alongside the “Wider Opportunities” classes performing in their first huge orchestra.
Working with Leading Music Teachers, our special project in Aspen 2 School, Dover for students with profound, severe or complex needs or with severe communication & interaction difficulties (with Autism), will allow these students to perform a specially commissioned piece, The Power of Words by John Harle who will be performing alongside the students in Dover Town Hall during the Festival.
Secondary pupils are encouraged to compose and perform music in education workshops linked to Festival concerts. For example, the latest of these - Love Music Intimate - led by leading animateur, Dominic Harlan, composer Emily Hall and Artistic Director Matthew Sharp resulted in a concert performance of student compositions programmed alongside Schumann’s Dichterliebe. The seamless weaving of the brand new student compositions into Dichterliebe and the performance as a whole was thrilling for the audience and the young performers.
At the top of the pyramid is the young performer’s platform during the Festival week and the newly formed The Caliband. This new string ensemble, designed for able young players, allows them to perform alongside adults and professional musicians. The inaugural concert featured music by Coldplay, Sting, Elgar and Shostakovich.
Our plans for the future include an exciting project for young people with a love of the Arts. Pier Pleasures will allow participating youngsters to pursue and improve their own arts practice while learning to produce their own Festival. This new Youth Wing of the Deal Festival will ensure that new, vibrant performances and audiences keep the Festival young at heart.