Education Projects - 'Sounds Exciting'

Launched in 1999, Sounds Exciting is the Aurora Ensemble's own education project. Working in conjunction with the group's recital work, it has already seen the group working closely with school children in Sunderland and Hereford, at the Madeley and Church Stretton Festivals, and presenting children's concerts for various music clubs throughout the UK. The ensemble is also a member of the Live Music Now! scheme.

The Aurora Ensemble are proud to announce that oboist Neil Black OBE (international soloist, orchestral and chamber musician) has agreed to be patron for Sounds Exciting.

Let's Dance!

a concert for young children (part of the Sounds Exciting education project.

This short children's concert (lasting around 50 mins) takes a look at dance music from around the world over the last 250 years. Alongside this, the science behind why the instruments of the quintet are able to make a sound is explored.

As well as many musical examples, the ensemble uses a variety of visual aids, home made instruments and artefacts in explaining the historical, geographic and scientific issues covered in the workshop.

With their reputation for communication skills and ability to quickly build a rapport with their young audiences, the ensemble's education work has proved a success in many schools over the past year, with this being one of their most popular workshops.

Support material is available for Let's Dance!

Music Ho! Support material

Groove Merchants 2

a composition workshop for young children (part of the Sounds Exciting education project)

In September 2000 the Aurora Ensemble gave the UK premiere of Groove Merchants by Irish composer Ronan Guilfoyle.

After a performance of the work, the ensemble will take it apart to examine and explain the ideas it contains (such as syncopation, bass lines, unison writing, melodies and counter melodies) as well as having a brief look at the history of this style of music.

The children will be divided into groups, each with its own musical idea. Based upon the material in Groove Merchants, they will create a new line of music with assistance from a member of the ensemble. At the end of the workshop these five lines will be put together to result in Groove Merchants 2!

The workshop will give its participants direct experience with the understanding and analysis of some of the techniques employed in twentieth century jazz based music, alongside the practice of working in small groups to improve musical communication and creation from inception through to performance.


Aurora Ensemble education projects can be tailored towards particular key stages