BBC Ten Pieces launches new music initiatives to keep children creative during lockdown

BBC Ten Pieces

BBC Ten Pieces, a long-running school music programme by the BBC that introduces 7-14 year olds to the world of classical music, has launched two new major initiatives ensuring children can continue to get creative with music this summer term.

Drawing on works in the Ten Pieces collection, from Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations to Sibelius’s Finlandia, Ten Pieces at Home will bring children new weekly films and activities. It will initially run for ten weeks throughout lockdown. In Week Three, there’s a particularly notable activity, ‘Music Memories’, which has been created in partnership with the ‘Music & Dementia at the BBC’ initiative from BBC Music.

Inspired by Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations where each variation depicts a friend, children are encouraged to draw a picture of someone they love but can’t see at the moment due to the lockdown. They then come up with a piece of music that reminds them of that person and a description of why (e.g. Yellow Submarine as it’s silly and fun, like you…) Children are then encouraged to post or email their picture and music selection to that person and upload it to the Ten Pieces website. This creative project is designed to connect generations through music, art and memories. It is also aimed to help children whose relatives may be living with dementia, on the basis that music has the unique power to unlock memories.

CBBC presenter Naomi Wilkinson, who will present the project, says‘I am very happy to be working with BBC Ten Pieces on their really wonderful at home initiative. During lock-down, any project that can make our loved ones feel thought about and special has got to be well worth doing. This is such a positive and creative idea that will fill some time of your children’s day and brighten up someone else’s. It’s going to be so heart-warming for young people to share these thoughtful portraits and I imagine the accompanying pieces of music will become even more treasured by those who receive these messages of love.’

In other weeks, children will be encouraged to write a poem inspired by a journey with poet Simon Mole, learn to sing a section of Sibelius’s Finlandia and perform it alongside the BBC Singers in an online choir, and learn from BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra players in interactive musical activities.

Meanwhile, the second BBC initiative - Connecting the Dots - will connect schools to local BBC musicians from across the BBC’s Orchestras and Choirs, who will conduct online workshops. The workshops will include performances, musical activities and Q&As. Schools and those caring for children across the United Kingdom are encouraged to sign up on the Ten Pieces website from Monday.