SCHOOL pupils from the East End of Glasgow are gaining international recognition following a "fun" music project. 

Kids from Oakwood Primary School recently took part in a project called the Easterhouse Children’s Manifesto which saw them link up with Red Note Ensemble to create and write their own songs.

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Glasgow Times:

The idea was inspired by Red Note associate composer Brian Irvine after he came across the 1931 publication La Anarquia Explicada a Los Ninos, an instructional manual for children published during the Spanish Civil War that explained the ideas and practices of anarchy.

Louise Martin, director of working with communities, explained: “Brian came across an old pamphlet from the Spanish Civil War. It was called a Children’s Guide to Anarchy and it gave Brian the idea to ask the kids at Oakwood what the world would look like to them if we built it from scratch.

“The kids said things like everyone had to be nice and so forth. 

“Brian spoke to every class in the school and took the words and ideas they said and helped each kid write their own song and tune which Brian scored with the ensemble.”

Glasgow Times:

After working with a vocal coach and perfecting their songs, each class at the school performed their tune which explored key elements of anarchical thinking such as autonomy, kindness and human connectivity from a child’s perspective.

Louise explained that an illustrator attended the performance and made sketches and animations from each song which were then turned into a collection of seven musical animated video posters - one for each class's song. 

The posters were put on display at Platform as part of an installation, which will eventually come to an end on Saturday, April 13.

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Since the installation, the animation and music created has gained the attention of various children's music festivals from around the globe. 

“The posters have been put on display at Platform (in the city centre) and we have had interest from the Belfast Children’s Festival and even the Istanbul Children’s Festival which is just amazing,” Louise said.

She continued: “For us, this project was all about making music and taking these kids' voices around the world.

“We truly believe these children deserve to be heard around the world – the kids at Oakwood are so creative and it was a no-brainer to collaborate with them.” 

Glasgow Times:

Speaking on the experience, headteacher of Oakwood Vanessa Thomson said: “This collaboration has been such a phenomenal opportunity for us.

“The pupils have grown up having the musicians come to school and playing in the corridor as we’re going into class, so we’re used to hearing all of that. 

“It became a very natural process for them to become songwriters. They wrote about making connections, what’s important, identity and love with a sense of happiness and playfulness and humour which you see on the screens.

“The best thing about this project is having the total school involved. It included everybody and everybody felt part of it. It is something as a whole school we were really excited about and anticipated, and the children really enjoyed knowing this was going to be happening and that we were working toward something.

“They felt so proud having their work presented here and knowing that it is travelling abroad."

One Oakwood pupil said: “It was a very fun experience; it did take a long time, but it was worth the wait.

“My best memory of the project is writing the songs.

“It has inspired me to do more music."

While another added: “It was fun, enjoyable and musical.”