National Centre for Early Music

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Global Grooves


As part of the Music4U programme, NCEM worked throughout April and May 2016, with Tang Hall SMART, Humber Taiko and the University of York's Gamelan Sekar Petak, on a collaborative project designed to improve young people's ensemble skills and encourage their creativity, through the use of genuine world-percussion instruments and specialist tuition.

Twelve young people, aged 8-11, working across Tang Hall SMART 's musical programmes, came together to explore Japanese Taiko drumming (with Humber Taiko's Lisa Oliver and Emma Middleton) and Javanese bronze gamelan percussion (with community musician Emily Crossland and students from the University of York). Over the six-week course, young people had the opportunity to develop their skills within each ensemble separately, learning about the cultural traditions within each artform and playing existing pieces of music (Lionheart and Gangsaran). Young people also worked to develop their own brand new compositions for the two sets of instruments together.

The project culminated on Wednesday 25 May 2016, as part of the high-profile York Concerts series, at which the newly formed Global Grooves ensemble shared their work to a packed audience.The young musicians also had the chance at this event to experience high-calibre performances from advanced student gamelan groups and professional taiko musicians.

Staff and participants all reported very positive experiences, with comments including:
  • "It was great because we all worked together and it sounded SO good!"
  • "This made me more confident on stage - normally I'm scared but this was fun"
  • "We learnt new music, new words and there were a lot of laughs"
  • "It was super epic!"
  • "At the start I was not confident at all but now I am"
  • "It helped me to enjoy music more and everybody else's kindness had an impact on how I played. When I play music in the future I can remember how well I did this time"
  • "This has been a wonderful project and taken the children way outside their normal range of music, to somewhere very special indeed!"
Global Grooves was generously supported by Youth Music and the University of York.