Old Park Rocks! Our debut Album
My name is Del and I have the pleasure of coming into Old Park twice a week and teaching music to almost all of the pupils at the school. I have been doing so for the past 8 years and I've enjoyed every minute.
At the start of the year I had an idea to record a school album which would involve all of the pupils at the school. The process would prove to be a long one but I have now finished this project and am reaching out to all of you to support the album and the school. But first I will explain the process and what was involved....To begin with, I spoke to all teachers and pupils and asked what school meant to them. Each class across all 4 phases responded with important aspects of the school day varying between specific academic subjects, social activities, funny and amusing qualities of the children within their classes etc.... I wrote down everything and put aside until later. Next we discussed the style of song which each phase would have... Lower phase chose a nursery rhyme theme, middle phase went for blues, upper phase went for orchestral and post 16s went for good old rock.
With this in mind I spent the next month or so trying to create the songs. I wrote the lyrics and then went about arranging how they would be sung by mostly singing in the car on the way to work, recording melodies on my phone when an idea came to mind, working out chord sequences on the guitar etc... Finally I had the 4 songs written and a basic idea of how the music would accompany.
The next stage was to record some instruments. I spent several sessions at school recording every pupil playing a wide variety of instruments. Some great rhythms were created on the drums and percussion instruments. We used guitar, keyboards, violins, cellos, double bass, chimes, bells, xylophones and basically anything the children wanted to play. Once I had all the recordings I took them into the studio and spent some time chopping up the samples, preparing them to be used in the songs. I was pleased with the results and very proud of the pupils' work.
I was now ready to record some singing. To achieve the effect I was after I needed a lot of children to sing for me so I thought I would expand the project and involve my mainstream schools. I explained the concept and what I had done so far and that I needed their help to make this album. The 2 schools I used were St Joseph's Dudley and Dudley Wood. I was humbled by the response from the children at these schools as they gave it everything and they were very eager to help create this album for Old Park.
Over 4 sessions, I taught the 4 different classes their song and recorded them. I then took the recordings into the studio and prepared them to be used in the songs. I was now at the stage to start putting it all together so over the next few months, I spent many hours creating the 4 songs by piecing together all of the different components. I added some instrumentation to the songs as it was necessary to achieve the finished product. However, all pupils and their playing has been used to create these songs....every little 'ting' or 'bang' or violin scrape or guitar strum or tinkle on the piano keys has been used. Your child's playing will be featured in their verse of their phase's song.
I am now ready to present to you the final product!
If you wish to buy a copy please place an order with the school. The cost is £5.00 per CD and all money raised will go towards purchasing new equipment for Old Park.
I'm sure you will all gladly support this fundraising opportunity as we all know how much hard work goes into ensuring that your child has the best possible school experience and development for the future.
Dudley Performing Arts Music Teacher
All money kindly donated will be used to purchase essential equipment for our very special pupils. Thank you.