Schoolchildren have stepped into the recording studio and into history to become part of a North East museum’s latest attraction.
Year Five pupils from Chillingham Road Primary in Newcastle wrote their own lyrics and, with the help of local community interest company Music Wonders, created a tuneful take on Tyneside’s past.
Now their song is set to play as visitors take in the Discovery Museum’s new Destination Tyneside gallery – and help form part of the permanent memorial to the region’s migrant families.
“The children did a brilliant job,” said Susan Hamilton from Music Wonders, a singer and qualified primary school teacher, from High Heaton.
“We approached the school about doing a music workshop, where children would write a song on a theme of history and community. And we’d already been speaking to the museum who said they would love an exhibition song.
“So the pupils had a day looking at the new gallery and the artifacts and about the people whose stories it follows, and wrote the lyrics to the song. Then we took our mobile recording studio – and professional sound engineer Adam Sinclair, who has just been involved in the Ikea dolls house advert – to the school.”
Every pupil involved has received a CD copy of the finished tune – but today they will make their live debut, performing the track to dignitaries and descendants of the families featured in the new exhibition at its official launch. The gallery will then open to the public tomorrow.
“The children are so enthusiastic and can’t wait for today,” said Susan, who along with colleague Hannah Taylor returned to the school earlier this week to see how preparations were going.
“And it’s great because it’s not as if there are a lot of songs out there which have been written by children based on inquisitive learning.
“Adult songwriters would never think to pick up on some of the things that the pupils have – it’s really profound.”
“Apparently the children involved have now got a bit of a confident swagger because they have taken part,” added Hannah, from Dunston in Gateshead.
“And at the end of the day the whole point is that they have enjoyed it, found out something interesting and had fun.”
Year Five class teacher, Laura Taylor, said: “The children have been bubbling with excitement; it’s really sweet to see. I think the whole school now knows the words to the song as all the pupils have been singing it.
“We have a lot of performances at the school and I think this has really helped the pupils prepare for this event. They are brimming with confidence.”
The new Destination Tyneside gallery opens to the public tomorrow with a family fun day from 11am to 3pm. Entrance to the Discovery Museum is free.