EARLY Years students at Warren Primary School were transported to the colourful world of Caribbean culture when story teller Olusola Oyeleye, from Kent based Lyrici Arts, visited the school to share traditional tales as part of the school’s Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer programme.
Olusola led a work shop for 40 nursery pupils, telling tales of Anansi the Spiderman, Brer Rabbit and Tortoise. The children had the chance to dress up in traditional African clothes, learn some traditional dancing and movement.
All the stories were told with music and dance and Olusola played the African drums introducing the children to songs, local greetings and the stories. Music is an integral part of the traditional storytelling experience, creating a connection to the dramatic written world. Rhythms tell stories with sounds, unlocking history, culture and tradition.
Lyrici Arts specialise in African and Caribbean storytelling, creating a theatrical experience of words, music, costumes and movement for primary school pupils. Workshop leader Olusola Oyeleye, is an award winning writer, director and producer working in opera, music theatre, visual arts and dance.
Founder of Lyrici Arts, Keely Augustus, said; ‘Our partnership with the Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer programme is a wonderful way for our organisation to provide specialised culturally diverse information outside of Black History Month for schools and young minds. The programme succeeds in increasing interest, respect and recognition for work by artists and organisations from the African and Caribbean sector and explores and celebrates diverse and rich cultural heritages. The arts are a powerful tool to share knowledge and it’s a delight to work with Royal Opera House and Thurrock Council on these shared aims.’
Karen Disley, a Nursery Teacher at Warren Primary said: “Wow! What an amazing experience for the youngest pupils at our school. The children thoroughly enjoyed Sola’s stories which were pitched at exactly the right level for full participation”
Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer provides pupils with access to high quality arts and culture activities provided by Royal Opera House and other cultural organizations. Working with the ROH Learning and Participation team each school creates a yearlong calendar of cross-curricular creative activities that is tailored to their school’s needs. The programme can include any art form such as: creative writing, visual arts and design, drama, dance, music, singing, film and photography.
To find out more about ROH Thurrock Trailblazer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.roh.org.uk/trailblazer