So it’s that time of year again, the tree has gone up, we’ve covered the place in tinsel, the Santa hats have been dusted off and we’re starting to get sick of certain songs already… yes, Christmas time is officially upon us.
And it wouldn’t be Christmas without us sharing the many festive musical events we’ve held in Westminster Music Library since the start of December…
Opening proceedings with a cracking selection of winter themed arrangements were the fabulous Opal Flutes flute choir, a bunch of keen amateur musicians of all standards and from many walks of life; as well as the standard flute we’re all familiar with, they also boast players of piccolo, alto flute and bass flute. So popular are they that they even have music specially arranged for them, Jingle Bells never sounded so good.
Having bid them all the very best for the festive season, it was time for the Music Library staff to take over and present the madness and mayhem that is the Under Fives Christmas Party, as ever with the help of the indispensable Georgina from Victoria Children’s Library:
“Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Under Fives Christmas Party in the Music Library, it’s right up there with the Queen’s Speech”
And of course there was a visit from the one and only Father Christmas (we know who you are, and your secret’s safe with us…).
Our musical entertainment managed to conjure up a lot of happy faces although there were a few tears. It’s amazing how competitive parents can be when it comes to the race for getting a Christmas present for being “good all year”…
Once Santa had departed to continue his gift distribution and we’d tidied up the tinsel, our thoughts turned to our grand finale Westminster Music Library Christmas event – a carol evening including mince pies and silly stories, and the amazing musical accompaniment of Knightsbridge Brass, a quintet of brass players from The Band of the Scots Guards.
A little different from Trooping the Colour, they were all game enough to trade in their bearskins for Santa Hats and provide exceptional musical back up for the carolling crowd – which reached a record breaking number this Christmas.
And that’s us done for this year’s Christmas celebrations in the Music Library, although we’re still eating the mince pies…
Posted in Children / Teens, Music, Victoria Library
Tagged brass, carols, children, Christmas, Father Christmas, festive, flute, Knightsbridge Brass, music library, Opal Flutes, party, Santa, singing, under fives, woodwind
To celebrate 100 years of one of the world’s favourite storytellers, Roald Dahl, libraries are running The Big Friendly Read this summer holidays.
The Summer Reading Challenge 2016 will feature some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters and the amazing artwork of his principal illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake. It will encourage reading on a BFG scale!
Aimed at primary school aged children, the Big Friendly Read is happening at libraries across Westminster all summer.
To take part in the Challenge, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library. It’s free! They’ll receive a special collector’s folder and as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer, they can collect six special cards to complete it. The cards all feature original Quentin Blake illustrations and explore some of most popular themes in Roald Dahl’s books such as invention, mischief and friendship. Plus there are other rewards to collect along the way.
There’s a whole programme of events and activities planned in Westminster libraries for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. Have a look at what’s on at your local library.
Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on this week:
Posted in Children / Teens, Maida Vale Library, Marylebone Library, Queen's Park Library
Tagged activities, Big Friendly Read, children, Maida Vale, Marylebone, Queen's Park, reading, Roald Dahl, summer, Summer Reading Challenge, under fives, WAES
Paddington Library receives visitors from all over the world. They come to use the library’s wide range of services, often revisiting on subsequent trips to London. The library also receives visits from overseas librarians and educationalists who have heard about our community outreach, our Summer Reading Challenge, our homework club and how we engage with young people.
Last Friday we had a very special guest in the form of Paddington Bear, all the way from Darkest Peru. We promised to look after him well, and he brought two friends with him…
His Excellency the Peruvian Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Julio Muñoz-Deacon (accompanied by his wife and Embassy officials) and his Excellency the British Ambassador to Peru, Mr Anwar Choudhury visited together to read a Paddington Bear story to the Under 5’s song and rhyme group.
As you can see from the photos Paddington Bear thoroughly enjoyed his visit and the children were delighted with our special guest.
Pictures courtesy of Gavin Conlon Photography Ltd.
Westminster Music Library hates to miss out on the annual Summer Reading Challenge, so a sunny morning with the under 5s was a good opportunity for us to join in the fun.
This year’s Mythical Maze theme challenges children to make their way around a labyrinth full of fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology. Our young participants and their intrigued “minders” made their way to the labyrinth that is Westminster Music Library, into a world full of fantastical creatures also known as “the Music Library staff”. Hopefully this will put paid to the rumours that we are the things of myth and legend (although it’s fair to say that our House Pianist has recently become a bit of legend himself, check out his recent musical escapades in Woolwich with the BBC…)
But even legends have to earn their keep, and entertaining a lively bunch of excited children counts as “all in a days’ work” to the staff in Westminster Music Library. Anyone wishing to join our ranks please take note.
Back to our challenge. Once everyone was settled, it was time to give out some song sheets and get the party started. We had songs about going on summer holidays (written by Cliff Richard), songs about being beside the seaside (written by John A Glover-Kind), poems about frogs and sailors (product of the overactive imaginations of Music Library staff), all accompanied by our very own junior orchestra on a selection of percussion instruments, and sourced from the seemingly inexhaustible Children’s Library Cupboard.
The challenge was to get our participants to come up with as many strange or mythical creatures as they thought might be living in the sea: scary giant squid with their long tentacles, or those weird looking things that lurk about in the murky depths with torches on their heads. Once everyone had invented their mythical marine creature, we had a suitably apt poem about learning to swim:
Last summer I could not swim at all
I couldn’t even float,
I had to use a rubber ring
Or hang on to a boat;
I had to sit beside the sea
When everybody swam;
But now this summer’s come at last
I’ve learnt and now I can!
A head count of the swimmers and non-swimmers amongst us was about fifty-fifty; let’s hope our mythical sea creatures haven’t put the non-swimmers off…
Happy Summer Reading Challenge!
Posted in Children / Teens, Music, Victoria Library
Tagged children, legends, music, music library, Mythical Maze, myths, poetry, sea, seaside, singing, summer, Summer Reading Challenge, under fives
Charing Cross Library was closed for almost the whole of last month for a full redecoration, reopening last Monday 31 March.
Our refurb has given us a fresh new look, with improved lighting and additional shelving, more laptop spaces (with more power points), an increase in seating, a much needed bigger space for the children’s library and display furniture for the front window.
We had a wonderful Under 5s session this week, showing off our new space with new carpets and some new toys – the reaction of the children and their parents & carers was very positive.
Do come in and have a look around!