During the week of 22nd May, the Prep School played host to Filipe Sousa as he visited MCM again, for another week of inspiring and engaging creative workshops and masterclasses for our Year 5 and 7 pupils. In addition, Filipe gave our higher ability pianists from Year 5 to Year 8 a masterclass in keyboard improvisation, utilising the pentatonic and mixolydian scale.
Our Upper Prep choristers also enjoyed a workshop with Filipe, exploring soundscapes and close harmonies sung in acappella. The workshops themselves were an eye-opening experience, where we delved into close harmony singing, layering and soundscaping, inspired by the work of renowned American choral composer, Eric Whitacre.
Similarly, members of the Orchestra were given a workshop on structured improvisation, providing our younger musicians a chance to perform solo parts and riffs which they have written themselves. It was a very useful lesson for our string players in playing out, making firm and direct contact on the strings with their bow.
Our Year 5 and 7 classes worked around a few common themes when it came to their workshops sessions, such as food, the good things in life, and Ancient Egypt. From these, they came up with lyrics, music, and even some choreography whilst being led by Filipe. All of these then culminated in a large-scale showcase involving every single workshop participant – a rousing performance of song, music and dance which embodied the spirit of inclusivity for all in the performing arts.
This workshop series was part of the inaugural Prep School Arts Festival, a week-long celebration of the performing arts.
Head of Prep School Music