Wednesday 17 May 2017

Edinburgh International Festival's Art of Listening goes global

Pupils at an Art of Listening workshop
Pupils at an Art of Listening workshop
The Art of Listening, an arts eduction programme developed for the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has gone global as it was showcased at the inaugural Arts Learning Festival in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month (3-7 May 2017).

The Art of Listening was founded in 2000 to engage the imagination of primary school children in Edinburgh and develop their listening skills through ‘focused listening’ exercises. The project has worked with thousands of Primary 7 pupils (aged between 10 and 12) in Edinburgh since the project began 17 years ago. It is working with over 1,500 pupils this year to bring EIF one step closer to fulfilling its ambition to engage all primary schools in Edinburgh through its creative learning projects.

Emma Hay, Creative Learning Officer with EIF explains: 'In two short hours, we take the pupils from boredom and age-old preconceptions about classical music, through a history of the piano (featuring excerpts from The Simpsons and Pharrell Williams) to Mendelssohn and Britten amongst others and a visual art exercise that allows the pupils to express their experience of listening to classical musical.'

Following an invitation last year from Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) to showcase the project to teachers, students and other music professionals in Melbourne (you can read about the showcase here), the EIF’s Creative Learning team was invited back to bring the Art of Listening to a brand new festival of arts learning in the city, the Arts Learning Festival. This was intended celebrate the central role of the arts in education and is believed to be the most ambitious festival of its type in Australia.

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