ERICA RASMUSSEN | You play, I’ll tango!
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You play, I’ll tango!

Last week we gave our instruments a rest and hit the dance floor!

The Beethovens have been working on a piece called La Festaiola by Niki Billimoria. It is written in the tango style and to feel the beat all through their bodies, Lucy Price, our Beethovens conductor, got the kids on their feet doing the slow-slow-quick-quick-slow. There was much laughter but the students also applied themselves to the task and practised their steps. Then we had half the kids play La Festaiola while the others danced so they could make the direct link between the tango dance and the piece. Then we swapped over.

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A thoroughly enjoyable class!

At Crashendo we are keen to help our students become all-rounded musicians and introduce them to different styles of music and where the origins of pieces may lie. The El Sistema model of learning music is so much more than just the notes on the page. In learning tango steps in groups and pairs we are also building on the skills we have been focussing on this term with circus artist, Ed Boyle. These skills include trust, understanding our bodies and how to use them safely when working with others, and most importantly how to work as a team.

Hitting the dance floor also seemed to bring out some fresh freestyle moves, and of course everyone had to develop their unique tango pose! La Festaiola means “Party Animal” afterall!

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Niki Billimoria is a local composer and Crashendo was lucky enough to enjoy a visit from her a few weeks ago. It was great having the composer work directly with the students to give a detailed insight into her own piece. Guest conductors are not only great for the kids but are also an important way for Crashendo staff to learn through observation. A guest might share some new ideas, approach  speed or dynamics differently or highlight different areas of importance in a piece.

We look forward to welcoming Niki back for another visit later in the year!

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