It’s dark and winter has fallen upon us in Scotland. Shorter days and longer nights. The desire to hibernate always rises up. It’s the Bear in me. Sleep and then sleep some more.
There is a lot going on in the world wherever you sit on the political or environmental spectrum.
In the midst of this I get up in the morning and drive my van loaded with drums Southward to Dumfries and Galloway where I have just completed Phase 1 of a rhythmical project delivered to 16 schools.
4 per day, 4 days per week over 6 weeks.
Chop wood. Carry water.
Drive Van. Play drums.
Each morning I woke in the dark and my instinct was to pull the duvet higher up around my chin and snuggle. Each morning I set the alarm for 30 minutes before I needed to get up just so I could do exactly that.
Then I’m up and ready and on the road.
The schools are rural in the main, one or two more populated exceptions like Gretna and Moffat. I’m traveling to places that are fable names in my mind.
Applegarth, Elmvale, Cummertrees, Hecklegirth, Tundergarth and Brydekirk.
I’m in the middle of another fantastic story, working with children from P1-P6, from 4 years old up to 11 years old. I’m delivering a mixture of West African inspired poly-rhythms and song alongside my Expressive Rhythm Stories program,
It has all gone really well with both staff and children engaged in the process.
I am indeed blessed to be able to do this work. Take a look at the lovely photographs by Clare McIntyre.
Here’s a bit of feedback from a teacher at the end of phase one. Lovely to read.
This project was an incredible opportunity for the children in P4. I felt it was a good age to target and pupils thoroughly enjoyed the sessions each week. It was even described as the “highlight of the week!”. Paul was excellent with the pupils and pupils were fully engaged with the learning at all times. I picked up a few teaching tips myself which was great Professional Learning for me also. I have a lot of boys in my class and to have a drummer come in each week was brilliant for them and they thought he was brilliant. Pupils were even able to use the skills learned in sessions with Paul at the school Christmas Show so pupils had the experience of transferring skills. I really hope Paul will be able to come back next year and do the same with Primary 4’s. A fantastic experience all round. Thank you!
Time off now to celebrate the winter with my family and friends before I step into another 6 weeks of the same in a new block of schools.
Happy Winter Festivities wherever you may be. Here’s to another wonderfully creative 2017.