Talented classical musicians inspire West Norfolk pupils

Joo Yeon Sir
Joo Yeon Sir

Classical Music Rocks, the initiative to make classical music accessible for primary school children in West Norfolk has made an impressive start.

Children at Lynn schools Greyfriars and St Martha’s, and also Snettisham Primary had the chance to watch, listen and learn from professional musicians Joo Yeon Sir (violinist) and Laura Snowden (guitarist).

Laura Snowden

Laura Snowden

At Greyfriars, Joo Yeon presented alone to 200 children as Laura was delayed in London.

The occasion was observed by Mike Hankinson, composer and director of King’s Lynn Sinfonia who noted that the children were remarkably attentive. There was a lively question and answer session with the children learning about different aspects of the violin. Joo Yeon played extracts from Bach and Paganini.

In the afternoon at Snettisham, Joo Yeon was joined by Laura. Staff later commented that “it was inspiring for the children to be able to hear real musicians in their own school hall . . . they were enthralled”. Comments from the children included: “I had never seen a violin played before … I liked it because they used a variety of methods, plucking and strumming and even drumming on the guitar.” At the end a small group of parents were able to share this experience.

In an event facilitated by King’s Lynn Festival and jointly funded by the Arts Council and Classical Music Rocks, Joo Yeon and Laura led a workshop for a large group of children at St Martha’s Primary over two days. The children also performed their work based on a composition of Joo Yeon to great acclaim from a sold out concert at Lynn Town Hall, where 20 children from Greyfriars were in the audience. Joo Yeon and Laura performed the rest of the concert.

Joo Yeon and Laura have since written to say how much they enjoyed their time in west Norfolk and the creative process preparing for the Town Hall concert.

Looking ahead to 2017, Joo Yeon and Laura will perform on Saturday, July 22, at Snettisham Parish Church; a free event, sponsored by CMR, with donations to the church maintenance fund. Membership of CMR is available at £1pcm.