Westminster Music Library recently brought together students from Westminster Academy School, members of Westminster’s Open Age community group and staff from Protégé for a fun packed music workshop.
Protégé is a national initiative in which talented young people – who might not have the opportunity within the school system – work with artists, musicians and experts to design their own education.
The afternoon was spent exploring the collection in the Music Library, listening to each other’s favourite music and discovering that even across several generations they had an awful lot in common.
Had our young students heard of The Who? Mick Jagger perhaps? One of our ladies had even seen The Rolling Stones performing live. But had our senior citizens heard of Rihanna? What did they think about rap? Did they like to go dancing? Had they worn clothes their parents hadn’t approved of?
It seems that whether you’re sixteen or sixty, growing up has the same highs and lows. Surprisingly it was our senior citizens – not the teenagers – who could name the Queen of Soul: “Is it Mariah Carey?” “No lad, Aretha Franklin!”
They were redeemed by being able to identify James Brown – “that little guy who shouted a lot” as The Godfather of Soul, but did they recognise Lulu with her famous rendition of the song ‘Shout’? Not a chance, although they all agreed she was “amazing”, and the clothes looked so cool you could wear those styles today.
Ending with an impressive display of break dancing and a lively discussion, everyone agreed that no matter what your age, music brings people together in the most surprising and entertaining ways.
“An education – but great fun too”
“Fantastic, I learnt a lot”
“Brought back some great memories”
“It’s been a privilege talking to these lovely people”