The Music Workshop Company Coronavirus Home Learning resources 

During this challenging time, the Music Workshop Company will be sharing activities and resources to keep music alive in your homes. 
Feel free to explore the wide range of articles, top tips and other resources, or click on the links to find activities for specific age groups. 
If you would like resources on a specific topic please email Maria AT 

A Musical instrument in your Kitchen - Playing the Spoons 

Is there an instrument you can play at home, without buying special equipment? Can you make music from items already in your house? The answers are yes, and yes. You can make sounds and rhythms with a percussion instrument that you'll find in your kitchen. Spoons have been used to make rhythmic percussion music since ancient times. The Romans, Greeks and ancient Egyptians all played spoons. Read more. 

A World of Music Education at Your Fingertips 

This year, organisations from around the world have been sharing music and arts education resources online. This connects them with people who would normally be able to attend performances and workshops, and it creates a whole new way to learn. The upside of this is that a whole range of creative activities from top arts bodies is now readily available, wherever you are in the world. Read more. 

The Extraordinary Life of Adolph Sax, Inventor of the Saxophone 

Famous for the Saxophone, Sax conceived and patented quite a number of new instruments. His life was difficult and unusual, but his influence, and the thick, singing tones of his instruments or those they inspired, are still heard daily across music genres from pop to jazz and orchestras to regimental brass bands. Read more. 

Body Percussion – You Make the Music 

Explore how you can make music through clapping, stamping and clicking your fingers with our introduction to body percussion. Body percussion is a brilliant way to warm up for a music workshop, and a useful tool for creating music in a group. It is incredibly accessible; the human body is an instrument every participant possesses. It is also valuable for internalising fundamental musical concepts including rhythm, beat and tempo. Read more 

Pass the Spoons 

Did you know you can play the spoons? There are spoon playing traditions in many different countries around the world, including Ireland, America, Turkey and Russia. Spoon playing is fun. There’s no need to go out and buy expensive, large instruments, just head to the cutlery drawer. Spoon playing is brilliant for co-ordination, particularly fine motor skills. Read about this easily accessible instrument on our blog. Read more. 

More Resources for Home Learning 

There are some great resources available online to support teachers and parents with learning both in the classroom and at home. 
These are some of the MWC team's top tips for free resources. Read more. 

Our Favourite Home Learning Resources 

For those continuing with home learning - here are our favourite home learning resources. 

Poetry and the Joy of Human Expression 

World Poetry Day fell on March 21st 2020. This blog explores the links between music and poetry Read more. 

BBC Young Composer 2020 

Do you work with talented young composers? Be inspired by past winners of the BBC Young Composers competition such as Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Tom Harrold, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson, Toby Young, Lloyd Coleman and Duncan Ward. Read more. 

Stravinsky & Diaghilev – Anniversary of a Collaboration 

Interested in ballet? Stravinsky and Diaghilev collaborated a many famous ballets, here is the story of some of their less well known collaborations. Read more 

Wales - Land of Song 

Wales is famous for it's Male Voice Choirs and singing is an important part of Welsh heritage. Read more. 

2020 – the year of Beethoven? 

December 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. This blog explains should we use this as a reason to explore his work or is his work performed enough already? Read more 

Leopold Mozart: Composition and Controversy 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart might be the best well known of the Mozart family, but his father was also a composer and influential violin tutor. Read more. 

The Nutcracker 

Tchaikovsky's ever popular ballet The Nutcracker was first performed on 18th December 1892. Learn about the piece and it's origins. Read more 

Is Grime Dead? 

Grime emerged in the early 2000s in East London. Here's our introduction to Grime and Stormzy. Read more 

50 Years Since Woodstock 

Celebrating Woodstock defined as "the most popular event in music history".Held between August 15 and 19 1969, Woodstock took place at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Read more. 

Clara Schumann – prodigy, performer, proponent and pioneer 

Clara Schumann - pianist and composer, over-shadowed in life by her husband. Read more. 

The Female Trailblazers : Women in Electronic Music 

Explore the work of some of the female pioneers of Electronic Music. Read more. 

Where Is My Money Going? is an interactive resource for music teachers, music services and music students that offers a way for teachers to stay organised, up to date and compliant with European data laws while motivating pupils of all ages. Read more. 

Welsh Dance – A Living Tradition 

Wales is known as the "Land of Song" but there is a vibrant history of folk dance across Wales as well. Read more. 

Dungeons, Detail and Design 

In this guest blog we explore the work of Steven Coltart who composes music for gaming. Read more. 

Nationalism in Music: A Grand Expression of Political Turbulence 

Taking inspiration from the Eduqas A-level music syllabus, this blog explores Nationalism in Classical Music. Read More. 

Richard Rogers’ Oklahoma! The Story of a Game Changing Musical… 

A blog exploring the musical Oklahoma! to link to the Musical Theatre A-Level topics. Read More. 

Melody Amongst the Cacophony 

Celebrating the work of composer Helen Tobias-Duesberg on what would have been her 100th birthday. Read more. 

Kubrick and the Timelessness of Classical Music 

Marking the 50th anniversary of 2001:A Space Odyssey, this blog explores the music used in the Stanley Kubrick's film. Read More. 

Movers and Shakers: Sir Charles Hallé and Sir Henry Wood 

Celebrating the work of Henry Wood and Charles Halle on key anniveraries. Both men left a lasting musical legacy integral to the orchestral world in the UK. Read more. 

Music for Video Games – Exploring A New Classical ‘Access Point’ 

Is Music for Video Games a good way to introduce young people to Classical Music? Read More. 

The Etiquette of Applause 

When should you clap in Classical Music concerts? An opinion piece from our Artistic Director. Read more. 

The Inspirational Aretha Franklin 

Celebrating the life of Aretha Franklin who died in August 2018. Read More. 

Leonard Bernstein: A Musician for all Ages 

Remembering the inspirational Leonard Bernstein on what would have been his 100th birthday. Read more. 

Debussy: Trailblazing Modernity 

Remembering Claude Debussy on the anniversary of his death. Read More. 

How Should we Sing these Songs? 

Words change their meaning through time - does that mean we should not sing certain songs? Read More. 

Celebrating the Centenary of Two Jazz Greats: Thelonious Monk & Dizzy Gillespie 

Honouring the centenary of two jazz greats - Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. Read more. 

The Influence of African Musicians on Classical Music 

This blog celebrates the contribution of African Musicians on Classical Music. Read more. 

Handel’s Water Music – 300 Years in the Charts 

Commemorating the 300th anniversary of the premiere of Handel's Water Music. Read more. 

Claudio Monteverdi: 450 Years of Inspiration 

Celebrating the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi, an influential composer even today. Read More. 

Opera Scotland, the Listings and Archive website 

Interested in Opera? Check out this amazing resource! Read More. 

Is Music Reading outdated? 

In this opinion piece, we explore the question of whether musicians need to read music. Read More. 

Nursery Rhymes – Literacy, Imagination and Identity 

Explore the meanings and history of nursery rhymes on our blog. Read More. 

Myths, Fairytales & Musical Inspiration 

Myths and Fairytales have inspired composers for centuries - explore some of our favourite fairytale inspired pieces! Read More. 

How Music Benefits Children 

We're passionate about music for all ages and abilities - here is the research to back up how important music is for children. Read More. 

Irish Song – A Window on History 

Explore the wonderful traditional music of Ireland on our blog. Read More. 

Sol-Fa – Singing Through the Ages 

Doh, Re. Me - learn about Sol-fa or solfège refined by John Curwen. Read More. 

TV Talent Competitions: A Route to Success? 

This opinion piece discusses whether talent competitions are a good way to launch a career. Read More. 

Get Funky 

Learn about Funk and the Artists who made it popular. Read more. 

The Scare Factor: Musical Inspiration for Halloween or other times! 

Need some inspiration for a scary playlist for Halloween? Read more. 

The Concerto: Developing the Soloist 

Explore the development of the Concerto with this blog. Read more. 

Music in Film: Sound Makes the Story 

Explore how film composers use music to enhance the visuals on screen. Movies often use a mix of pieces, some scored especially for the film and some pre-composed. Read more. 

Music in Shakespeare’s Plays: A Window on Society 

In this guest blog, musician Emily Baines discusses music in Shakespeare's plays. Read more. 

Shakespeare: Inspiration in Music 

Shakespeare's writing has inspired composers for generations - find our about some of our favourite Shakespeare inspired workds. Read more. 

Musical Instrument Care 

Here are MWC’s top tips on looking after your musical instruments. Read More. 

The Piano Music of Chopin – Topping the Charts for 200 Years 

Explore the life, work and influence of Chopin. Read More. 

Concerts for Babies: Music Without Rules 

This guest blog introduces the work of ABC Concerts who make Classical Music accessible to families. Read more. 

Why not explore some new music or the history of music you enjoy listening to? 

Scottish Dance: A Rich Mix of Cultural Influence 

Scotland is famous for dancing - explore the different forms of dance on our blog. Read more 

The Extraordinary History of the Blues 

Explore the history and development of the Blues on our blog. Read more. 

Inspiring with opera 

In this opinion piece, our Artistic Director discusses her love of opera and how young people could be introduced to the Art form. Read More. 

The Legacy of Dr. Ruth Gipps 

20th February 2021 marks the centenary of the birth of composer, conductor, teacher, oboist and pianist, Dr. Ruth Gipps MBE.  
Sadly, Gipps’ music is not very well known today, and this may be due to the challenges she faced as a female musician. It seems fitting that, on her centenary, we should take the opportunity to explore her music, and to celebrate her work.. Read more 

A Focus on Listening 

In this opinion piece we explore how to introduce young people to music, inspired by an article by Nicola Benedetti. Benedetti argued that since, if children were given the option either to play a video game or study mathematics, the majority would choose the video game, deciding against teaching them to listen to classical symphonies because they don’t seem interested or it is considered difficult is a nonsense Read more 

English Folk Dance - Swords, Sticks and Ribbons 

There is a huge variety of dance associated with English folk music, some of it quite alien to modern culture. Folk music was either written as song or for dancing, and the dances have deep roots in the social history of England, as well as offering an insight into agriculture, industry and cultural diversity.. Learn about English folk dance on our blog. Read more 

Cecil Sharp – A Passion for the Revival of Folk Music in Uncertain Times 

Cecil Sharp was born on November 22nd, 1859. Curiously, November 22nd is also Saint Cecilia’s Day the feast day of St. Cecilia who is known as the patron saint of music and musicians. Sharp is known for his extensive collecting and archiving of English folk music and his collection is still kept at Cecil Sharp House in North London. Read more. 

Junk Percussion - recycling, design and music 

Junk percussion isn’t a new idea. Centuries ago, people made drums and other instruments from objects they found, including bones, wood and hard-shelled fruit called gourds. African slaves who weren’t allowed to play their own drums would make instruments in secret from shipping boxes and dresser drawers. Explore how to make instruments out of junk on our blog.. Read more 

Discovering North Africa 

North Africa has always been a region of diverse cultures, ethnicities and religions. Its recorded history stretches back to the Phoenician sea traders, Carthaginians and Greeks, and the area was under Roman control from around 200 BC to 300 AD.Read about the music of North African on our blog . Read more. 

Singing with Confidence 

Need to build your confidence to sing outside the shower? Singing releases feel-good chemicals such as endorphins into the brain, lifting the January blues and relieving stress. It’s great physical exercise, raising oxygen levels in the blood, encouraging deep breathing and giving your lungs and facial muscles a workout. Singing is good for you mentally, giving an increased feeling of self-esteem and wellbeing: It’s very hard not to feel happy when you sing. Check out our blog. Read more. 

All About Samba 

Samba is the most typical, important and recognisable music of Brazil. It is common throughout Brazil, but is most frequently associated with urban Rio de Janeiro, where it developed during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is celebratory music, frequently identified with Carnival and the exotic, feathered dance outfits. Explore the music of Brazil in our article on Samba. Read more 

Drumming is good for you! 

There are many kinds of drum in Africa, made from wood, metal, earthenware or large gourds, which are hard-rinded fruit. Drums fashioned from gourds, or calabash, are most often seen in the Savannah Belt of West Africa. The djembe originates in West Africa. Its early history is associated with the Mandinka caste of blacksmiths, known as Numu. Explore the drums of Africa. Read more 
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