Larkmead school asked us if we could help their students prepare for a summer performance on a story they had been working on called The Magic Paintbrush. 


In early 2016 OCM delivered its first project in partnership with Larkmead School called Audio Soapbox which was part of a larger project called Find Your Voice. Since then we have remained in touch with the school who expressed that they would like to continue to work with OCM on further projects in the future.

Following the first project we arranged a meeting with the school to find out what their needs are and how we could work together to fulfil their aims and objects.


The school are interested in providing as much access as possible to music for their students. They have discovered that new pupils  coming in from primary school have little or no experience in the subject and as a result of this less and less students are taking music as a G.C.S.E.   

At the time of writing only 5 students have chosen to select music as a G.C.S.E and the school would like to explore with OCM how we can expose more students to different styles of music making and work together to deliver a programme of activities that could be extra curricular and include the genres of music that the students enjoy listening to but at the same time support the music curriculum.

We are still in discussions with the school as to what this project might be, but we are keen to introduce the school and students to the talented music professionals we work with across all of OCM’s projects.

The story

This project was called the Magic Paintbrush. Students in year 7 had been looking at the story and working toward an end of term performance. The school wanted a workshop that would enable the students to think about what role music could play in the performance.

To deliver this session we hired folk musician and percussionist Jo May to deliver the project sessions. 

Jo began with an introduction to spoon playing which set off the creative energy in the classroom. We then looked at the story and began dividing and allocating parts to the students who each picked an instrument to contribute to the story.

By the end of the day we had delivered 5 workshops across the whole of year 7 and each class of students led by a conductor in their class were able to produce a soundscape to the story with the instruments they chose and put on a small performance. 

Impact on participants

Please see quiotes section.

Next steps

This was a great project to deliver and with the support of the school we were able to reach every student in year 7.

We would like to return to the school for another project day to specifically work with students who are taking on a music role for the final performance and help them to include their ideas and tighten up their rehearsals for the final performance at the end of term.

The school are investing in a radio station and music studio over the next few months and we will incorporate these resources into our planning for further music projects with the school in the new academic year.

Thank you for taking the time to read this project log. Please feel free to download a copy of this projects case study below and share with your colleagues.