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‘Ten Pieces’: Inspiring Creativity Through Classical Music

28 January 2015

The BBC has recently unveiled Ten Pieces, a new initiative to take classical music into primary schools and inspire a generation of children to get creative.

  • Primary students at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi get involved in the BBC's initiative 'Ten Pieces'

These ten pieces have been selected with the intention of exposing younger children to the exciting world of classical music in an engaging, innovative manner. The project is linked with many famous musicians, including Cerys Matthews, Nicola Benedetti and the London Symphony Orchestra. Currently there are over 150 arts organisations across the UK who are involved in this project and here at BISS Puxi, we don’t want to miss out on the action!

As part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, the primary school will be celebrating this project with a ‘Ten Pieces’ week, near the beginning of the Summer Term. During this week the students will use the classical music as a stimulus to produce a variety of creative outputs, including dance, art and literacy. Some year groups have already started to study the music in their music lessons and are thoroughly enjoying the process.

During the next ten weeks, Miss Rakowski, Head of Primary Music , will be sharing the selected pieces of music with you so you can listen to them at home and begin to explore them with your children. If you would like to find out any more information about the project then please visit the BBC website to find out more.

Week 1 – Music for a King

Composer: George Frederic Handel (1685 – 1759)

Title: Zadok The Priest

Genre: Baroque Choral Anthem

Background: George II, King of Great Britain from 1727-60, was not a particularly cheerful chap, and spent much of his life arguing either with his dad, George I, or his son, Frederick. But all kings, even the bad-tempered ones, have to be crowned. When it came to George’s turn, at Westminster Abbey on 11 October 1727, George Frederic Handel, his favourite composer, was chosen to write the music. Handel composed four fine pieces for the choir to sing on George’s big day. One of these was Zadok the Priest, whose words tell the story from the bible about when Solomon was made King of Israel, followed by a huge party.

The Music Today: This piece of music was so popular with the Royal Family that it has been played at every single coronation in Great Britain since then! It has also been used as the UEAFA Champions League Anthem since 1992.

Things to do:

1. Listen carefully to the music. When the choir first sings at around 2:00 minutes, which instruments can we also hear for the first time?

2. Zadok the Priest is officially known as a ‘Coronation Anthem’. Can you find out what an ‘anthem’ is?

3. Count how many times you hear the words ‘Rejoice’ and ‘Amen’. Which is sung the most?

4. The last British coronation was Elizabeth II’s in 1952. Find out the name of another piece of music that was sung then.

5. If you were being crowned as a King or Queen, which piece of music would you choose to be played?

Listen to the music here!