In 2020 and 2021, Draíocht developed the hugely successful project PLAY - Music in the Schoolyard, in direct response to schools' Covid-19 restrictions, as we continued to seek meaningful, sustainable, innovative ways of engaging with our local schools. This outdoor schoolyard project saw Draíocht engage with over 4000 primary school children, with an ensemble of 5 musicians, playing a range of music from classical, contemporary to modern, in surprise performances at break times.
Now comes PLAYground Orchestra - An incredible schoolyard experience for Dublin 15 schools, presented by Draíocht in partnership with The Mobile Music School with funding from Fingal County Council and the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
PLAYground Orchestra creates an unexpected, fun and extravagant ‘pop-up’ musical engagement experience for children and young people, through the placement of an impressive 29 piece orchestra right into the spaces where children play. Into their school's playground, their crèche play space and their public parks. This placement allows both children and musicians to play alongside one another.
Over the course of 12 days and in the run up to the Christmas period, this whole-school project will expose approximately 10,000 individual children and young people, ranging in age from 4 to 18 years, along with their teachers, SNAs, support staff, parents, grandparents, and guardians to a wide range of instruments, sounds, genres, tempos and rhythms. All arranged and played by the highest calibre of orchestral musicians in the country.
The repertoire, arranged by composer Paul Frost, will feature a range of Christmas favourites, as well as some traditional and classical pieces. This careful selection of music, supports the ability of the children/audience to connect, sing and respond to the music, while also allowing the introduction of new sounds and musical arrangements.
All performances are “pop-up” in design, occurring during the children's yard/play time, ensuring that the children and young people are not expecting the performances to take place. This element of the project allows the children to engage with a greater autonomy than a traditional auditorium setting may allow - their yard space allowing them the freedom to move, sing and dance in an undirected manner.
Teachers of participating schools will be invited to use specifically designed resource pages that will support them to link the performance with the music element of the curriculum. It will also equip teachers with the vocabulary and knowledge to facilitate classroom discussion/conversation after the performance.
Placing a live orchestra outside its usual spaces, creates an outreach model that allows, for many young people, a very first experience of an orchestra, an exposure to a wide range of instruments, and an incredible experience of live music. It also creates new spaces for music and musical performance. For schools and the community, it feeds into the development of aural literacy, critical thinking and local creative discourse.
A documentary film, photographs, feedback forms and evaluation forms will form part of the project documentation and evaluation.
Numbers at a Glance:
Over 12 days, a 29 strong orchestra will engage with approx. 10,000 children and young people and their guardians, teachers, parents, across schools, crèches and playgrounds in Dublin 15.
Project Performance Days & Times:
29 Nov-03 Dec, 06 Dec-10 Dec, 13-14 Dec 2021
Each participating school gets 2 pop-up orchestral performances of 25 mins on their allocated morning.
How to Apply:
This is a whole-school outdoor concert available to book for FREE by Schools in Dublin 15. Please contact Paula Quinn, Children & Youth Arts Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org / 087-197 5190 to check that you meet the criteria.
The Project has been created by Draíocht in collaboration with Shay Lally of The Mobile Music School with funding from Fingal County Council and the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.