How can an arts workshop help children with literacy? To explore information and ideas beyond their personal experience, and contribute to group discussions, so everyone takes part?
One answer: the Songwriting Doctor’s workshop for schools!
We caught up with Larry Williams, the songwriting legend who runs the workshops for children from Yr 3 – Yr 7, and is also a teacher at Rhydypenau Primary in Llanishen.
“In my workshops we spend a day writing lyrics, crafting melodies, singing through ideas, refining and improving as we go until the lyrics and music are ready to be presented to the Headteacher.
I’m passionate about singing songs and I think music is so powerful, and a really effective way to contribute to children’s wellbeing.
Collaboration and literacy can link beautifully with music, and within the session we can tackle all sorts of subjects, for instance: anti-bullying, the environment and healthy eating.
The main outcome of the day is showing children they can create something that gives them a legacy. A good story written in their books might get praise on the day, but if they’ve created a really great song, it has a life of years after. What we create is really special and unique.
What I love is that I can go into a room of children I’ve never met before, make a quick connection and get the task done to a timescale . We all leave full of excitement, skipping out the door! The children can’t believe what they created and teacher feedback is always great.
No music experience is needed, and as I’m a qualified teacher we don’t need to have a teacher present throughout the workshop.”
Thanks Larry, who is also one of our awesome Arts Champions.
Larry also told us about a support group of music co-ordinators in the South Wales area that he’s part of.
“We’d love to invoice new members of the group. We meet once every half-term to work together, share ideas and best practice.”
For more information about the workshop, or the group, get in touch with Larry: details are on his website http://