School trips can be a great way to increase your students’ knowledge of music.
There is, for example, a connection, even if it is not clear what the history of the connection is, that connects the music from parts of Scotland to Ireland, Wales and Cornwall, as well as Brittany in France. The bagpipes are often called Celtic music. The bagpipes and accompanying music can be found in Scotland and Northern England, Ireland, Brittany, and parts of western Normandy. Breton music festivals are held in the latter part of France where you can explore the Celtic heritage from Western Europe through music. Students on music school trips can also use these links to create a wider cultural context, including connections between architecture, art, and linguistic traditions.
Music school trips and other recent links
Musical legacies don’t have to be about the past. Liverpool was once again the center of a remarkable explosion in musical talent, which was known for its Merseybeat nickname. A decade later, London and Manchester became the centres of musical inspiration in the UK. You can explore the movements and trends in popular music, such as Punk or New Romanticism in a variety of venues and centres.
It has produced some of the most outstanding modern music in Scotland, often blending traditional and industrial Scottish culture. You might also consider a trip to the Welsh Valleys. Here, a legendary choral tradition blends effortlessly with brass orchestral, and a proud, but rapidly receding memory of a past that was based on tight communities, heavy industry, and mining.
Mixing music and history
Warwick and York are two examples of towns that evoke the medieval past with their architecture and old remains. It can be easier to explore medieval music in local centres or through local music societies if students live near the buildings and art from that period. It can be easier to understand the motivations behind earlier music if you have more information about the minds and compositions of the original performers.
London and the great orchestras
It is impossible to overestimate the impact of a sense or place on musical interpretation.
Epic acoustics are essential for orchestral music. London is home to many excellent venues where these great works can best be heard, perhaps at world-famous events such as The Proms.
Certain forms of music reflect the values, times and aspirations of their time. Some might argue that Elgar’s music is best heard in the context of works that were built originally as part of the same culture system.
Music is best when it is not in your ears
It is possible to simply experience music, and some may argue that this is the best way. However, students often find it extremely helpful to link music to a wider environment. Music school trips to the destinations listed above might help.