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The Great Big Story Adventure
The Jewish Music Institute has commissioned a new program of interactive musical storytelling for 4-8 year olds lead and performed by Saul Eisenberg’s Junk Orchestra and storytellerVanessa Woolf with special guest klezmer musician. Old Jewish stories provide a springboard into other cultures and traditions. Join us as we whirlwind around the world telling enchanting stories of new and old, yesterday and tomorrow. Vanessa Woolf has so many tales up her sleeve that she won’t have time to tell them all… Saul Eisenberg invites participants to join his ever-expanding Junk Orchestra to create a magical soundscape as we embark on our Great Big Story Adventure.
As part of the JMI’s Big Relaunch in October 2012, a young audience of 3 to 8 year olds were treated to the JMI’s Great Big Story Adventure of “Jonah and the Wailers” - a musical magical mystical tour of the story of Jonah and the Whale told through words, music, sounds, textures, lights and movement. With ‘junk musician’ Saul Eisenberg, storyteller Vanessa Woolf and klezmer clarinetist Susi Evans, the story came to life in the children’s eyes and ears as their imaginations were held enthralled in the storyteller’s tale.
Using lights, sounds and found objects Vanessa snaked her way around the space using traditional story telling techniques while Saul, with his fantastic array of foundobjects which made up his innovative junk orchestra added powerful depth to the story. This was a highly innovative and playful learning experience. The children’s imagination was fed with an array of props and everyday objects, creating wind with giant bubble wrap, using tins and cups to conjure wave noises and rustling sweet papers to mimic starfishes on a beach.
Further performances will be announced soon. If you are interested in a performance for your school or shul, please contact JMI.
'Anotimpurile | The Seasons'
An Educational Journey in Romanian and Yiddish storytelling,
Music and Dance.
This new project was created for Harrow Music Service and brought together some of the UK’s best educators in Eastern European music to inspire students with a rich programme of folk tales and song. Students explored the colour and energy of the four seasons through interactive sessions that included instrumental workshops, puppetry and dance. The programme gave the opportunity for each student to learn the accordion, one of the central instruments in both Romanian and Yiddish folk music. Students also learned special songs and dances that represented the different seasons.
Classes were led by Romanian singer, puppeteer and multi-instrumentalist Monooka and Anita Garai, one of Harrow Music Service’s leading music educationalists. They were also supported by three experts in instrumental style, rhythm and dance.
Meg Hamilton, of the award-winning band She’koyokh, is one of the UK’s finest klezmer and Eastern European violinists. She demonstrated musical styles, led instrumental workshops and provided special instruction to students who already play an instrument. Virtuoso Accordion player Stelios Katsatsidis, a master in Rebetiko, Greek and Balkan music led the students in instrumental workshops and provided the essential tutoring needed for the students to gain confidence of the instrument. Guy Schalom, a specialist in Eastern European rhythm and dance, led a percussion and rhythm workshop and taught traditional dance routines.
The project culminated in a final performance of ‘Anotimpurile| The Seasons’ by all the students to their parents and friends. Monooka and the students narrated the story using puppets. The children also sang, showcased their folk-dancing skills and performed as a group on accordion with the three instrumental tutors accompanying them on accordion, violin and percussion.
If you are interested in ’Anotimpurile | The Seasons‘ for your school, shul or community centre, please contact JMI.