A guest post from Amy, our Primary Learning Coordinator
One element of the Courtyard Project that we are particularly excited about is the creation of a performance space in the new South Asia gallery. Building on the rich tradition of performance and storytelling, this space will provide a platform for sharing and celebrating South Asia’s diverse cultural heritage.
We recently had a bit of a ‘preview’ of the potential for this space, thanks to the New North and South programme and funding from the Arts Council. In collaboration with Band on the Wall and Milapfest, Manchester Museum hosted a ‘Discover India’ music event for pupils from three of our local schools. Over the course of a day, children aged 3-10 learnt new skills in drumming, traditional dance (Kathak and Bharatanatyam), and storytelling.
Pupils spent the morning with Milapfest’s fantastic tutors, learning the basics and practicing a piece of either music, story or dance. After just 2 hours, the talented (and very enthusiastic) kids performed for each other and the general public on our Living Worlds gallery.
As well as testing out the suitability of Museum spaces for this type of activity (basements are good for drumming it turns out!) and trialling a one-day ‘learn-perform’ model of programming, this event has been really valuable in connecting us with some really talented musicians and performers.
A great time was had by all, and the day has given us lots of food for thought as to what a performance offer might look like as part of our future learning programme. If you’re interested in hearing about future opportunities like this for your school, please sign up to the Early Years & Primary or Secondary & Post-16 E-newsletters.