Youth Music Week 2009 - Scrumptious Sounds
Young people in North Lincolnshire made instruments out of a variety of vegetables as the culmination of a music and healthy eating project run by Music4U the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone.
This project, known as "Scrumptious Sounds" was run by community musician Carol Dawson at the Vale of Ancholme Technology and Music College in Brigg as a series of after-school music making workshops to celebrate National Youth Music Week (7 to 14 November).
The young people, aged between 10 and 12 years who were in Year 5 & Year 6 at Broughton, Scawby, Wrawby, Brigg feeder primary schools gathered at the College along with a few Year 7 students and worked with Carol and Food Tech Assistant, Val Bonnett, in this innovative project to help them gain a greater understanding about what they eat and at the same time make music.
Inspired by the wheel of good health, which promotes a balanced diet by eating the right amounts from each food group, each week the sessions explored a different food group and Carol helped them write lyrics and create songs with food related themes and produce food related raps. They also learnt rhythms and percussion to accompany their songs.
Carol commented: "Some of the food discoveries were a revelation to the young people - for instance they had no idea that a 9" pizza contained 50gms of fat so needed to be a real treat, a carton of Ribena contained 10 sugar cubes and two jaffa biscuits contained four cubes of sugar! They really enjoyed writing raps about food and using food names to create different rhythms on instruments. The lyrics they wrote demonstrated to us they understood the message and acknowledged the foods that are good and bad for you. It's a great way of learning about healthy eating and the message really does sink in.
"Not all the young people played musical instruments but this was had not been a disadvantage as they were able to create songs and play percussion instruments. They used drumsticks, boomwakers and djembes to make music."
"Projects of this nature are really important as you are giving young people information that they would not normally find out about. Having a nutritionist on board has really helped as she has been able to make important food links."
For the last session (Saturday 14 November), the young people were joined by the Yorkshire based Big Hoo-Ha Company who helped them to make instruments out of a variety of different vegetables. They created carrot recorders, butternut bongos, parsnip ocarinas, aubergine castanets, pumpkin drums and cabbage scratch decks. The group named themselves The Vegetable People and with their new instruments played rhythmic percussive pieces and also used new technology equipment to record and sample their freshly prepared instruments! At the end of the day they performed for family and friends showing off their vegetable instruments in an orchestra setting and all the musical food songs created as part of the Scrumptious Sounds project.
Director of Music, Jayne Keeler for the Vale of Ancholme Technology and Music College, was delighted with the project and felt that what the children had learnt would be really useful when they moved up to secondary school. She added: "It is a really great opportunity to see the young people working with professional musicians to develop musical skills. Projects like these really enhance the music curriculum, we do a lot of rhythm work in Year 7 and these young people will really benefit from this opportunity. We might use this vegetable orchestra concept in the future and make musical instruments with young people as part of an after school activity.
Director and musician Richard Sabey from the Big Hoo-Ha Company said projects of this nature were a fantastic way to naturally link music and food. The idea had come originally from a commission from the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival three years ago and had grown from there. He commented: "Projects of this nature are extremely funny and a great way to instantly engage young people and all the musical principals apply to the instruments they make out of vegetables.