Creative Learning Award for the Makaton Choir

We were delighted to be invited to the Aberdeen City Council Children and Young People’s Services Awards today which were held at the Beach Ballroom.

Arriving at the Beach Ballroom

The Makaton Choir, led by Emmeline, our Music Therapist, had been nominated for the Creative Learning Award. There was tough competition with two other schools nominated so we were delighted when Orchard Brae were announced as the winners.

Our Makaton Choir delegation with the Lord Provost

Well done to our senior pupils for representing the school today. It was wonderful to be present at the Ceremony, celebrating learning and achievements from across the City. Congratulations to everyone that was nominated!

The obligatory Awards Selfie

Our Certificate and Award

Our Musical Activities Week

At the end of term, we had our annual activities week, which was kindly organised by Emmeline, our Music Therapist.  The week had the focus of exploring our right to access different genres of music, and what an exciting week it was!

On Monday, we were joined by Amy Strachan, a soprano singer and the B Naturals choir.  Both completely captivated us with their amazing vocal talents and many pupils continued to explore the operatic genre throughout the week in their classes.

On Tuesday morning there was lots of fun as we played and danced along with the Aberdeen Strathspey And Reel Society, listening to a range of traditional Scottish tunes and dancing a few reels too!  In the afternoon we were joined by the Confucius Institute who performed some popular Chinese songs as well as one from a Chinese opera as well.  Both of these groups allowed us to investigate and have a go at playing their instruments and well all loved the Chinese harp and flute as well as the fiddle and accordion.  It was a fantastic day allowing us to explore music from two very distinct and different cultures.

On Wednesday, we were entertained by Duncan and Bill who performed a range of folk music for us.  The hall was full to the brim and everyone had a brilliant time listening to Duncan and Bill’s wide variety of music.

On Thursday, we had hoped to have a picnic in the park but unfortunately the Scottish weather had other ideas!  Instead we had an improvised fourth of July picnic in the hall with musical accompaniments from the Fyvie Folk Club.  The Folk Club played a wide variety of music and their leader Bernie had even written us a specific song and poem in the spot!

On Friday we rounded off our musical activities week with a Makaton sing-a-long in the morning and a disco in the afternoon.

It was a truly magical and musical week which gave all the students (and staff!) the opportunity to experience a wide range of music genres and we all discovered something new and exciting.  A huge thank you to all of our special guests and performers and thank you to Emmeline for organising such an amazing experience for us.

Makaton Choir Workshop

On Tuesday, our Makaton Choir hosted some very special guests in school as part of a choir workshop organised by our Emmeline, our music therapist.

The two choirs that visited us were ‘The Kitty Choir’ from Kittybrewster Primary School and ‘Singing Hands’, an Aberdeen based BSL signing (British Sign Language)  choir.  We all had a wonderful afternoon sharing our different approaches to choir.

The Orchard Brae Makaton Choir performed “Happy” and “Summer Holiday”, Singing Hands performed “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” and “Give Me Sunshine” and The Kitty Choir performed “Sing”.

The three choirs then collaborated and sang our Makaton signed version of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” alongside the BSL version.  It was very interesting to see the differences and similarities between Makaton and BSL.  We then rounded of the afternoon by all learning the Makaton signs for “Shotgun!”

Everyone had a wonderful afternoon and Scott, the hearing dog was a big hit with all of the pupils!  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share our learning and learn from others too.

Choir Workshop

We are very excited about the upcoming Choir Workshop afternoon organised by Emmeline, our Music Therapist.  The afternoon will focus on how different groups approach being a choir and will feature:
– Orchard Brae Makaton Choir
– Singing Hands, a local BSL Signing Group and
– The Kitty Choir from Kittybrewster Primary School

**NB – Consent forms will be sent home with the pupils involved in the workshop afternoon**

 

Fun In Music Therapy

One pupil had a lovely time in music therapy with Emmeline this week.  He enjoyed turn-taking and copying on the piano as well as singing well-known nursery rhymes, especially ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’. There was also lots of fun as he started making up his own songs with a lot of “Achoos!” and “Uh-Ohs!”

Thank You Nadine

We would like to say a big thank you to Nadine Allan who finished her placement with us at Orchard Brae last Monday, working alongside our Music Therapist, Emmeline. She is in the first year of her music therapy masters at Queen Margaret University and as you can see we’ve all had great fun working with her.

Good luck with the rest of your course Nadine and we hope to see you again in the future!

Raising Money for Comic Relief

Our amazing Makaton Choir, dancers and drummers  had great fun entertaining the whole school with their favourite songs as a fundraiser for Comic Relief.

We are also raising money through our World Book Day Book and DVD trolley and all the money received will be donated to Comic Relief. Total raised so far is £240.

The students and staff in Howes Hoose have also been busy selling red noses around the school. They have raised an amazing £90 and they have donated a further £50 from their soup making enterprise. A huge well done to everyone in Howes Hoose for their total of £140! (Photos to follow!)