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Musical Monsters and Outdoor Learning at Wallace Hall Primary School

Last week the P3 and P6 children at Wallace Hall Primary School enjoyed working with composer Matilda Brown to create music inspired by monsters. The project came about as part of Matilda's 'Alongside Autumn' project, involving Matilda walking 500 miles over the length of Scotland with her faithful canine companion, Jasper, for company, stopping to perform and compose music with local communities along her route. Wallace Hall Primary School was her first port of call.

The children participated in a whole day music workshop, thinking of plot lines for the monster music and then experimenting with a variety of traditional and electronic musical instruments to compose the piece together.

Following this workshop, the children visited Drumlanrig Castle along with children from Kelloholm Primary where they were met by the Rangers and taken into the woods to begin a morning of monster making. To the obvious delight of the children, they were led to a part of the forest where 30 buckets full of clay and a forest floor covering of moss, sticks, ferns and pine cones were the materials for the day. Monsters slowly began to come to life and adorn the trees and forest floor. After a much needed clean-up and lunch the children returned to the monsters in the woods to hear their compositions emerging, and then booming from the undergrowth.

Some quotes from the P6 children included:

"It was much more realistic to make monsters in the forest instead of in the classroom."

"I felt really proud when I heard our music in the woods."

"I didn't know it was so easy to make music!"

Many thanks to Matilda Brown and Richard Clarke and the Drumlanrig Ranger Team for such a fantastic musical and outdoor experience.

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