Don’t Stop the Music

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After last week’s failed attempt to recapture my youth, playing football, it was off to Hackney Marshes on Sunday for Day 2 of the Radio 1 Big Weekend. Normally, the site is occupied by 82 football pitches and over the years has witnessed players such as Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce and David Beckham demonstrate their talents on its ‘turf’ as well as the classic 90’s Nike Blur advert.

However, this weekend Hackney Marshes played host to talents of a different nature…music.

Following tweeted advice and updates from @rogermosey, @PhilipGlanville and @HackneyAbbott, I arrived at the muddy festival site in my newly purchased wellies and a youthful outlook rather than look.

The free event was really well organised, with an eclectic mix of acts, admittedly some more appealing than others. Credit and many thanks to the organisers from the BBC and the London Borough of Hackney for putting together a truly memorable event.

Camera Creativity

During the wait for Jessie-J on the main stage, I noticed a family group stood beside me. The children were in the process of applying day-glo face paints while balancing precariously in the mud on small buffet stools. They then proceeded to take photographs of themselves using smart phones, before editing them quickly and efficiently and then sending them off into the ether. Their use of technology was intuitive and it was great to witness not just their creativity, but their confidence too.

Personally, I prefer taking photographs to being photographed, but these children were in their element doing both. Their posing implied a distinct lack of fear of losing their souls!

Witnessing this scene made me wonder about children and photography projects. Subsequent online research has led me to Photo Voice and the One Shot Project, which I highly recommend.

If you know of more, please point me in their direction.

Back to the Music…

The acts following Jessie-J came and went, some with more memorable performances than others. Tinie Tempah certainly made an impression on the crowd, as did Ben Howard, Enter Shikari, Taio Cruz and Rihanna, especially her duet with Jay-Z on ‘Run This Town’. However, Dizzee Rascal, to me, remains an acquired taste.

Music was again a prominent feature in my Monday meeting with Geoff Barton (@therealgeoffbarton) at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds. Following a presentation of 360 People to the leadership team, Geoff proudly showed me around his school, during which we eavesdropped on an extra-curricular choir rehearsal. The sounds created by the students and their teacher literally made the hairs on my neck stand up. Geoff explained to me the importance of music in helping set the ethos of the school, and we then discussed the ways in which music can both humble and inspire.

The outstanding work in other areas of the arts and sport at King Edward VI School jump out at you, as does the commitment to opening the students’ eyes to other cultures and experiences.  During my visit, I was introduced to one student who had visited Shanghai. I was further amazed to discover that  a group of students had visited Iraq earlier in the year and that a delegation of students had been invited to meet Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

While there I came across the question, ‘Why do I need a teacher when I have Google?’ which had been posed by Ian Gilbert. However, having met Geoff and listening to him talk passionately about learning, the answer is obvious…we can not rely entirely upon technology; we need the Geoff Bartons of this world  to inspire learners and educators alike.

For further information, view the websites:

Images courtesy of:


Bryn Llewellyn
27 June 2012.


One thought on “Don’t Stop the Music

  1. As usual sounds like you’ve been involved in some fab creative thinking. The google question really struck a chord with me as ive got a real focus at the moment on why we (UK) seem to drop the free flow approach to learning instead of integrating that creativity and merge with moving to optimising structured facilitation of learning.Food for thought and another coffee chat…..

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