top of page

My Happy Place

You know how people talk about their 'happy place' and perhaps imagine sitting on an empty beach gazing out to the ocean?

Well, a beach doesn't work for me ... sand between my toes annoys me and I do worry about getting sunburnt! No ... my 'happy place has always been musical' ... playing Bach on the piano or cello, playing piano duets, string quartets or in an orchestra, and of course, singing in choirs.

So it won't surprise anyone to know that I am feeling on top of the world after an amazing week of music making and learning at the BKA summer school in Nottingham. BKA, to those who don't know, is the British Kodály Academy - and Kodály, to those that don't know, was a 20th century Hungarian composer and music educator who, with colleagues, developed an inspiring approach to teaching music. Whilst this approach isn't the answer for everyone, it works a treat for me and my musical brain - all those things I didn't quite understand or couldn't quite do at school or college became clear and possible with Kodály! And I love using the playful Kodály approach in my primary teaching.

Thanks to the BKA summer school, I was in my happy place all of last week, surrounded by fellow musicians and teachers, singing and learning and singing and dancing (and drinking) and singing a bit more - my musical batteries have been thoroughly recharged!

Here's a few pictures, videos and links to videos to give you a flavour ...

Musicianship with the wonderful Esther Hargittai - music theory brought to life through practical music making!

You listen and you write it down in solfa... you might transpose / transform it and do all sorts of clever stuff including learning it by heart .... and, with Esther, you also dance!!

Challenging clapping games taught by the very inventive Lucinda Geoghegan. It's amazing just how brilliantly those complex clapping patterns work when you and your partner sing in canon with the other couple!

In choir everything is learnt and sung in solfa (do-re-mi etc) first and the words are added later. But in this particular piece (Canon to the Rising Sun by László Sáry) there were no words ... just solfa ... this is just one little section of this six-part canon!

Click and have a listen ... the amazing Pete Churchill leading our Jazz Choir singing Dreams will Shine on the first day of the course. All teaching and learning happens through solfa with no printed music!

And later in the week... People Get Ready. Incredible and an amazingly joyful experience to be part of that awsome sound!

And along the way I met so many wonderful friends and colleagues...

If you would like to learn more or see more videos from my week please have a look at the BKA blog by clicking here .


bottom of page