Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Whitley's Got the Blues!

Written By Duncan Van Den Top and Ciaran Wyllie

“All’s black now, but you’re in a better place.
When I walk down the street, I can still see your face.”
(Lyrics from a song written by some students)

Friday July 1st - A day with a difference.

A group of musically minded students from Whitley Academy got the chance to learn some songs and techniques from professional musicians last week, as visitors from the Upton Blues Music Festival dropped in.

It seemed like a great experience and real good fun. For your information, this is the second time the Upton Blues Festival has been involved in music projects with the RSA Schools.

Nearly 30 students across Years 7, 8 and 9 started the day attending different workshops to practice their musical skills. There were three different workshops working on three different themes; happiness, sadness and reflection.

Then the entire team agreed on the lyrics and the tunes so that they could practice them after lunch break.


Everyone had the normal lunch break and rested their vocal cords and hands.

After lunch, the student performers continued practicing and polishing the final performance. It was interesting to see the students from different year groups collaborate with each other.  Two students swapped their roles within the group; it was very fascinating to see another student agree to jump in at the last minute and her teammates supported her to play the musical instrument smoothly. This was a great example to show team building skills.

Melissa and Gemma – the Year 7 trumpeters - went outside the Auditorium to practice. A teacher who happened to walk by was surprised with the sound, as she assumed the sound came from out of the lavatory!

The performance was astounding after less than a day’s worth of preparation and practice. It seemed that Mr Steinhaus, the Vice Principal of Whitley Academy, enjoyed himself with a bit of singing. You’d be surprised how good his voice is.

After the fun day of singing and playing, we interviewed some of the performers. One of them was Olly - our fellow Student Reporter. He told us he enjoyed himself and wished he could do it again.

We also interviewed his sister – Eleana of Year 9. She said: “It was nice having a day where we can be taught by the professionals. It was very much appreciated as quite a number of us are very much into music and we do not have a full Music Department in the school yet.”

Student Reporters - Duncan and Ciaran