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Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold

Primary School Music: Flute specialists lead STA children

The Primary Music Department at St Andrews International School Bangkok welcomed Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold, two flautists from the UK who worked with children across the Primary School. Primary Busking Week is this week and was launched with a great assembly last Friday.

Visiting Flute Players

Last week we welcomed two visiting flute players from the UK, Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold. They spent 2 busy days meeting and working with our young musicians in school. Thursday was a flute day and our Year 5 flute players had a really informative day exploring different aspects of flute playing: breathing, posture, expression and more. They developed ensemble skills of communication, listening and preparation through their work on Abeeyo and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The children composed their own creative pieces using their flutes, body percussion and classroom percussion instruments. This also allowed them to make decisions about the form and structure of their performance. They impressed us all with their wonderful memory in their performance during the Busking Week assembly on Friday.

On Friday it was the turn of the Year 5 saxophones and clarineo players. They each had a session exploring the different ways their instruments can communicate expression in music and learnt how to control and match their sounds to create different effects. They enjoyed some wonderful performances from our visiting professionals.

Reception children also came to have some special music sessions with Elisabeth Dooner who worked with the Dalcroze eurhythmics method to develop their sense of the beat, rhythm and listening skills. They also got to know the flute and use paint brushes to ‘paint’ the sound as Lis improvised.

Our instrumental teachers had the opportunity to meet with Sarah Newbold for some professional development. They spent some time discussing different ways of teaching posture and balance, and the effect of getting this right at a young age. Sarah very much enjoyed meeting with the teachers and was impressed by their commitment, skills and enthusiasm in teaching our students.

Lis and Sarah finished the day with a sharing session with Year 2. The Year 2 children have been learning about rhythm and timbre in the context of trains in their music lessons. They sang “To Stop The Train” in canon to our visitors and then had the chance to see and listen to the flute, alto flute and piccolo. The children described the timbre of each and tried to mimic it in their voices. Sarah performed some parts of “The Great Train Race” by Ian Clarke and the children attempted to guess the story the music was telling them!

Thank you to Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold for a wonderful 2 days of music making. They are looking forward to two days at the High School this week.

Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold

Busking Week

Primary Busking Week was launched at a great assembly on Friday and a whole range of teachers performed a wide variety of activities for children to enjoy watching as they came to the assembly. There was a fantastic performance by our Year 5 flautists who had been working with our visiting flute players from the UK, Elisabeth Dooner and Sarah Newbold, who accompanied them during the assembly. It was a great start for this week's Busking week where lots of Primary children have signed up to show off their talents at break time and lunch time. There will be magic shows, singing, dancing and many more performers to watch around the school. By busking, which means performing in public, it is hoped that others will put money into the performers’ hats so they can make a collection for showing off their talents. This money will be collected throughout the week and then donated to the Bangkok Refugee Centre to support their work with families who are fleeing often very dangerous situations in their home countries.

Upcoming Concerts and Events

  • Busking Week - 11-15 February
  • Year 4 Concerts - 13 March (Y4J, K and R); 14th March (Y4D, G, P and S)
  • Fobisia Primary Music Festival - 21 - 25 March
  • Musical Instrument ECA Concert - Date TBC
  • Rescheduled Talent Showcase - watch this space