On the road with Saffron Sounds

"I loved composing our class song and learning about the echoes on the vibraphone" - Y3 pupil

Local School Workshops

Saffron Sounds is a new project run by Saffron Hall which supports primary schools and teachers in delivering the national curriculum for music at Key Stage 2 (years 3-6, aged 7-11). This year's theme is 'Space' and we have been working hard in collaboration with saxophonist and broadcaster Jess Gillam and her ensemble, along with Essex Music Services and a focus group of primary school teachers to create some amazing free online resources which can be used by anyone.

The latest phase in our project is a set of in-school workshops led by members of the Jess Gillam Ensemble designed to complement online resources by building on students' musical skills i.e. playing, singing, listening, etc. We've now run several workshops in local schools which included warm-ups/games and composition activities where primary school students write their own piece of music.

Students created compositions based on the idea of sending a piece of music to space to help aliens understand earth – like the Voyager Golden Record. Elsa and Sam from the Jess Gillam Ensemble worked with each class to create a piece of music that they felt represented them. Each class wrote lyrics to their piece, some schools involved imagery of space, some wanted to tell more about themselves, and some were inspired to invent 'space worms'! Press the play button below to hear a clip of one school's rocket launch.

Hand drawn musical 'map' for performing the 'rocket launch' composition this class has created

What do the children and teachers have to say?

Year 3-4 pupil feedback"

"I loved the clapping patterns"

"I liked it when we played body percussion as we said the rocket words"

"I learned lots of new things and my favourite thing was learning how you play the double bass"

"I really liked the vibraphone because Elsa could hold two beaters in each hand"

Teacher feedback:

"The children loved the fact that their musical ideas could be instantly made to sound exciting with the addition of backing tracks and accompaniment from Sam and Elsa."

"Pupils have commented that they want to write more songs (we have had song-writing challenges in school before, but I think there may be more pupils who want to take part now)"

"The children enjoyed listening to instruments played by professionals. There were lots of different activities which helped to engage the children."

Year 5 pupil feedback

"I liked how we all got to take part in everything"

"My favourite part was listening to Sam and Elsa play"

"I loved hearing all the sounds from Sam's synthesizer"

Support our work

So far, donations from people like you have brought the power of live music making to over 180 primary school children through in-school workshops led by the fantastic Jess Gillam Ensemble. To help spread the benefits of these workshops to even more local teachers and pupils, please donate now to support this project.

Everyone who donates will be entered into a draw to win one of 15 pairs of tickets to a live Saffron Sounds event for massed primary students on 4 May 2023 to see the project in action AND an invitation to an exclusive recital and reception with Jess Gillam and friends to hear more about the impact of your generosity. Deadline for inclusion in the prize draw is 30 March. Thank you and good luck!

Bring Saffron Sounds to your school

If you're interested in a free Saffron Sounds workshop at your school or you have a school group that would like to attend our interactive concert on 4 May with the Jess Gillam ensemble then please get in touch - we would love to hear from you! Please email Katie on katie.mckinnon@saffronhall.com or give us a call in our office on 01799 588545.

See more from Saffron Sounds

Saffron Sounds

Saffron Sounds is set of online resources for primary schools created by world-class artists and presented by Saffron Hall