Top Ideas for Music School Trips

Sometimes, when looking to broaden your students' awareness of music, school trips might have an important part to play.

Cultural links

For example, there is a connection (even if the history is disputed) that links the music of parts of Scotland, to Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany in France. Sometimes called 'Celtic music', perhaps the best-known example is the bagpipes. This instrument and the accompanying music are found in Scotland, Northern England, Ireland, parts of western Normandy and Brittany. In the latter area of France, there are numerous Breton music festivals where the Celtic heritage across Western Europe is explored in music. It's also possible for students on music school trips to put those links into a much broader cultural context including links between art, architecture and linguistic traditions.

Music school trips and more recent links

Of course, musical legacies aren't just about times past. More recently, Liverpool was the centre of a phenomenal explosion of musical talent that was for a time known as the Merseybeat. A decade or so later, the centre of UK musical inspiration moved to London, then again to Manchester. Movement and trends in popular music such as Punk and New Romanticism can be explored in various venues and centres.

The central belt of Scotland has also produced its own superb modern music, often reflecting a blend of traditional and industrial Scottish culture. It's also worth considering trips to the Welsh Valleys, where a legendary choral tradition blends seamlessly with brass orchestral and a proud, if today rapidly receding, memory of a past based around tight communities, mining and heavy industry.

Combining history and music

Some towns, such as Warwick or York, evoke the medieval past through their architecture and ancient remains. Exploring medieval music in great local centres or via local music societies can sometimes make a little more sense if students are close to the buildings and art of the period. Sometimes it's easier to understand the sentiments and motivation behind some earlier music when you have something to provide a broader insight into the minds of those that originally composed and performed it.

London and the great orchestras

The effects of a sense of place upon musical interpretation can't be over-estimated.
The great orchestral works arguably demand epic acoustics and space. London has many venues par excellence where some of these great works can be heard at their very best - perhaps during world-famous events like The Proms.

Some forms of music also reflect the periods, values and aspirations of the times they were written in. For example, some might argue that some of Elgar's works can be best heard in the surroundings of a type that were originally built as part of the same cultural system.

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