LSO On Track
A programme of inspiring musical opportunities for young people in East London.
LSO On Track is a partnership with ten East London Music Services, in collaboration with the Barbican and Guildhall School, and aims to reflect the variety of individuals who make up the communities we work with in East London. The partnership offers a programme of opportunities for young people from any musical, social, economic or cultural background to progress in music.
Together with our Music Service partners, we work with Special Schools and specialist departments of mainstream schools in East London to deliver participation and performance activities designed specifically for young people with learning disabilities and autism, and their families. We encourage creative music-making in schools, providing the time, specialist skills and resources that everyone needs to succeed. Visits led by animateur Mark Withers and with LSO musicians meet young people where they are, and focus on performing and composing together.
Bespoke small-scale projects are tailored to local needs. We work collaboratively with Music Hub partners to create imaginative grassroots projects, from working with school groups to delivering professional development for instrumental tutors, and even establishing new ensembles. The aim is to reach young people who are not otherwise engaged with local music education provision, or to enhance the experience of those young people who are. Through working together with a flexible approach, we have created new models for projects that can be shared widely, providing a learning experience not just for the participants, but for the partners and professionals involved too.
Music in the Classroom
Music in the Classroom tackles the challenge of introducing classical music to primary school-age children in an engaging and accessible way, and supports the music curriculum by building teachers’ skills and confidence. Practical training for teachers includes a year-long programme focused on helping teachers decode orchestral music into simple musical ideas, which is supported by school visits from LSO musicians, allowing pupils to gain a more personal understanding of classical music and to deepen their interest in music-making at an early stage. Each school taking part in the year-long programme can also attend a specially tailored Key Stage Schools concert at the Barbican, which introduces pupils to a full orchestra. Built into the programme are day-long training workshops for those schools that are unable to commit a teacher to a year’s worth of work.
Next Generation is a creative ensemble that gives young musicians from East London the opportunity to work with LSO musicians to develop new music, led by composer Howard Moody. Beginning by learning fragments of existing musical material by ear, young musicians improvise new musical ideas using their instruments and, with the guidance of LSO musicians, negotiate and make compositional decisions about what material to keep and how to develop it. The open approach offers a flexible style of music making. The project combines fluid exchange of ideas, technical guidance and focused workshops, creating an environment where it is safe to take risks, and which enables young musicians to thrive and excel in ways they did not expect.
LSO East London Academy
The LSO East London Academy aims to identify and develop the potential of young East Londoners between the ages of 11 and 18. A free programme of inspirational coaching and sessions, delivered by LSO musicians, offers high level training for young musicians who show exceptional promise, accelerating their instrumental learning, confidence and aspirations. The LSO East London Academy aims to represent the diversity of East London, particularly encouraging young musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional orchestras to take part and continue their instrumental learning.
The young people we work with through On Track often go on to participate in other projects offered by LSO Discovery, encouraging their further musical development and learning.
The LSO On Track partner boroughs are Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest. LSO On Track is generously supported by the Irving Memorial Trust and the Aldgate and Allhallows Foundation.
Header image © Kevin Leighton