Sound Stories with Dave Trouton

Click here for Covid-19 Delivery Arrangements

The project can be offered either indoors or outdoors (weather dependent), and content differs accordingly:

Indoors: Whilst building of a story created by the group, the children explore music and their own emotional responses, through creative and fun activities. Sessions begin with warm-up activities, followed by active listening where the group discusses how a particular piece of music makes them feel. Classroom musical instruments are used to underscore a story which features moral dilemmas and emotional situations that involve making musical choices. The workshops involve concepts such as sharing, turn-taking, collaboration, developing creativity and self-confidence as well as developing other social skills.

Indoor project in action at Macmerry Primary School

Outdoors:  Designed as an outdoors-based audio recording project, this has been hugely successful throughout the pandemic. The weekly sessions take place in the school grounds or a nearby outdoor location. Pupils discuss and select the topic for a radio documentary, using their own field recordings. They are shown how to create narrative voice-overs, interviews and original music along with learning about sound recording and editing techniques, how to present a podcast, and how sound effects and music can influence our perception of a story. The musical backing can involve playing and recording /sampling class instruments outdoors; voice or even short musical ideas recorded on phones or tablets. The finished recording can then be shared with the school or other schools.

Listen to Elphinstone, Pinkie, and Campie recordings here.

Schools Feedback:

Both staff and pupils have commented on the positive impact of the sessions on self-esteem, confidence and emotional well-being. Staff have reported that pupils not normally engaging in collaborative activity were inspired to do so by the type of intuitive music making the group enjoyed each week. In one setting, staff were delighted that a P7 pupil on the autistic spectrum who normally had to learn separately from others was able to join in with the group most weeks and participated in a final performance.

One teacher said that they would now be looking at music more seriously as a long-term strategy to engage pupils in the Nurture Hub, having witnessed its effectiveness to engage her group.

Some schools have subsequently funded the project to extend beyond YMI funded period, and this has provided additional value  and benefits for the pupils taking part.

YMI Outcomes for Sound Stories are:

Young people who would not normally have the chance to participate can take part in music making opportunities.

Young people influence or lead youth music opportunities and have their voice heard in design and delivery.

Covid-19 Delivery Arrangements:
Due to working with a vulnerable group, this project is best suited to face to face interaction.
Sound Stories has been adapted as an outdoor project, and can involve up to 8 children and support staff in creating a sound recording project, with nature recordings, interviews and narratives conducted by the pupils, with their own newly created music.
This outdoor programme is ideal for an East Lothian Primary school, based around a local landmark or outdoor site of significance. As much about process, this project ends with a recorded artefact for sharing.