Projects 2017-18

Songs of Courage workshops at High Close School, Wokingham

Our 2017-18 Songs of Courage project is currently taking place at High Close School, a Barnardo’s School for young people with a range of social, emotional & mental health difficulties, along with speech, language & communication needs.

La Folia musicians are working alongside students to creatively explore ‘ordinary’ people’s extraordinary acts of courage, starting with Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on the Alabama bus in 1955. The students have been creating their own Songs of Courage, drawing on inspiration from the stories they hear about in the workshops as well as from their own lives.

I would like to say how utterly AMAZING the ‘Songs of Courage’ project is and what a buzz it is creating. Time after time we are seeing young people touch parts of their innermost selves through music and song in a way that they have never experienced before. Considering how trouble and anxiety ridden so many of these young people are it is extraordinary to watch the process. Howard and the team are doing it all over again…! It’s life changing.

Hilary Craven at High Close School

Feedback from participants:

“I didn’t tell you my real name because I was scared, but now I’m feeling more brave”

“I love songs of courage because we get to make something amazing out of our deepest thoughts.”

“When we first started this I couldn’t believe that we would make our own music. I thought that our song would be rubbish but it is really good.”

“I’m proud of myself because I find doing new things really scary. At first I really didn’t want to do it but the people are really fun and nice and now I look forward to it.”


Sei Solo workshops at Exeter House Special School 

With workshops in June and July 2018 and culminating in the autumn, La Folia artists develop creative ideas with students at Exeter House Special School using Bach’s partitas and sonatas for solo violin as musical inspiration. Howard Moody was joined by project artists Emily Blows, Emma Payne, Adrian Zolotuhin and Jeff Moore. The pilot workshop was facilitated by Emma Payne and Bryony Moody.


Continuing Songs workshops at Salisbury College

7 and 9 June 2017: these workshops mark the beginning of a La Folia and Salisbury College recording project facilitated by Howard Moody, Emily Blows, Adrian Zolotuhin, Jeff Moore and Colin Brown.


Hospital project

June 2017: Howard Moody, Emily Blows and Ken Aiso spent four days working with older adults with dementia in Salisbury District Hospital. Drawing on patients’ memories and current experience, they created music with individuals who were assigned to them by the medical staff, exploring their responses and documenting outcomes. In some cases, patients chose to simply hear the musicians play and sing to them. One patient’s family member described the music as “a real blessing”.


Swan Songs pilot workshops

March 2017: Howard Moody and Emily Blows led sessions with patients, parents and carers at Jacksplace Hospice for young adults, creating words and music for several songs. One young man had a strong alto voice. He had not sung since leaving school and had come to Jacksplace only recently, which he said had changed his life. Within minutes he was singing, composing a song, saying he had been longing to let that out for ten years, and thanked Emily for “giving me back my voice”.