Postcards from Our World is the latest collaboration between Music in the Community at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and Leith Walk Primary School.

As the project draws to a close, we talk to fourth year Music - BMus student, Kirsty Renton, about what was involved in working with children aged 9-11 on performances featuring songs and music from around the globe…

“I chose the Music in the Community course because I wanted to take my passion into the community and share it with people who may not have had the chance to benefit from experiencing music practically in this way before.

Participating in Postcards from Our World has involved transcribing and arranging an Arabic song for a P5/6 class to sing and working in the primary school to explore the themes of the production, as well as to prepare for two public performances (on 5th and 6th March 2016).

We had lots of rehearsals to get used to the indoor and outdoor performance spaces at the University of Edinburgh’s historical Old College, and we made LOTS of paper flowers and postcards!”

Songs personal to ourselves and our classes

Devised by Dee Isaacs, Postcards from Our World took as its starting point the treacherous journeys families are taking across the seas to find a place of safety. 

Eighty-five children from Leith Walk participated, singing songs from South Africa, Syria and the Balkans, as well as the Arabic song, Tala al Badru Alayna.

Almost half of the children in the school are bilingual, with 20 home languages spoken, and the school’s vision is to create cultural richness out of this diversity. 

Kirsty says…

“Everything about taking part in these productions is rewarding, but for me this year the most enjoyable part has been arranging our own musical material, which makes everything we work on all the more special when it is personal to ourselves and our classes.

The project has given me much more confidence in myself as a performer and a workshop leader, requiring me to push my boundaries and think more creatively when preparing and delivering material, something I think I will be able to apply to whatever the future may hold”.

Music in the Community has previously staged the opera for children, Watching, with Leith Walk Primary School.

Find out more about Watching.