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- The Charitable Offspring of Graffiti Classics.
Playground Proms was initially set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing regulations which saw access to live music and other events cease. Even when schools and venues re-opened, the effect of social distancing and isolation can still be seen, particularly in the mental and emotional health and well-being of children. The combination of COVID (followed now by the current cost of living crisis), has left many communities, children and their families even more isolated. Playground Proms are trying to respond to those needs and can offer workshops and concerts inside or outside schools, dependent on their facilities and preferences.
- Mission Statement
Playground Proms aims to deliver world-class music workshops to all children but many communities and schools in rural, isolated or deprived areas simply don't have the access, financial means or opportunity to experience live music. Playground Proms wants to address this inequality by taking workshops and concerts into those communities, thereby making classical music more inclusive. This quartet of highly talented musicians provides performances of short classical works, including some from the BBC Ten Pieces. The workshops also include a newly commissioned anthem composed by Emily Leather that has been put together with input from participating schoolchildren. Interactive comedy is used to make classical music fun and accessible for all.
- Resources for Schools, Teachers and Children
As well as the performances themselves, Playground Proms projects will include teachers’ and students’ resource packs, CPD video sessions for teachers and legacy provision through our dedicated website. By making classical music fun, informal and accessible for all, we hope to inspire a new generation of musicians.
- Origin Story
Playground Proms was piloted by Graffiti Classics in May 2021, in partnership with Cumbria Music Hub, in Barrow-in-Furness. A second project, a two-week tour (one week in Carlisle, the other in West Cumbria) took place in June 2022. This small tour reached 20 schools in deprived and rural communities in just two weeks, with each week culminating in two free community performances in venues in Carlisle and Whitehaven. The collaborative element of the project brought lots of the community together and had a huge positive impact on those involved.
- Feedback from Pupils
"It really felt like the audience was actually part of the show".
"I love how they made classical music dead good and dead funny".
"It made me want to practice my violin more".
- Feedback from Teachers
"It was so nice to see the children sharing this fun experience together".
"It was just so fun and uplifting and lively".
"It was fantastic to see live music...many children in our community just don't get that opportunity".
- The Future
Playground Proms will be heading to schools in Dublin in November 2022 and we have more schools, communities and counties interested. As part of our outreach work we hope to include free concerts to communities in rural and coastal regions. We also intend to take our fun and educational workshops to those with disabilities or SEND groups, bringing the thrill of live music and joyous comedy to those children and young people who are particularly marginalised or isolated.
- Your Support
By supporting Playground Proms, you'll enable us to fund this innovative project across the country over the next few years so that we can extend our outreach work to as many schools and communities as possible. Your donations will help us to reach more schools and venues, especially those in deprived areas, allowing us to bring music and laughter to children who wouldn't normally have access to the arts or live music. As well as helping to subsidise these events in schools and in those communities who can't make a full contribution, your donation will help pay for travel costs, our educational packs, the musicians, any necessary publicity and for on-going support to the schools through the resources we'll provide. Any donation, however small, is much appreciated and will make a difference.