Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Politics and art are never as far apart as they seem'

In today's Guardian, Polly Toynbee - who is chair of the Brighton Festival - has strong words for those in politics who would like to slash back the arts and the nation's children's education in them to starvation levels. You can't be good at anything, she suggests - including politics - if you have a one-dimensional brain. Please read.

Yesterday along popped a press release from Sistema Scotland, with lots of facts and figures and quotes about Big Noise in  Raploch. You can read the Glasgow Centre for Population Health's findings here.

I was going to add some commentary, but I think these quotes speak for themselves.

I have never seen a piece of work come into an area, target so many people and have such an impact in such a short period of time.”
NHS Manager, Glasgow

“The music, how we hear music, how we get involved, build up your communication, build up your confidence.  Coming to Big Noise, you’ve got people you know and people you don’t know.  You’ve got music behind your back, pushing you.  So it’s like somebody pushing you to do something but its music and it’s pushing you to make good things like building your confidence.  When I started Big Noise I was shy, look at me now.  Anyone can achieve any goals they want”
Participant, Big Noise Raploch

“[Child’s Name} can be hard to manage when he’s in my class.  But the difference when [a Big Noise musician] came in!  Because it was something he could do, you could just see in his eyes.  …Being taught on the violin, he was just so proud of what he could do.  That’s a child that stands out in my head for the impact there can be, on a child who’s very hard to reach, in many ways.”
Primary school teacher, Govanhill

I’ve certainly seen concerts down here, where all the communities are mixing together.  The Arab community, the Eastern Europe community, the indigenous Asian community, the indigenous White community, they’re all mixing together.  The attendance at the concerts is phenomenal.  They’re packed, absolutely packed.  It’s great.  Sometimes the families, when the children are not directly in front, you see them creeping up closer and closer to the stage and just being totally mesmerised.  I think it’s a great unifier.”
          Primary school teacher, Govanhill