Hello everyone of the CEN8 community,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself here: I am Gwen and am currently studying towards a BA in Social & Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. In the course of my second year at University I realised that I have a passion for writing and would like to get a bit more experienced in that. So you will probably read a bit more by me in the next couple of weeks.
Two weeks ago I was invited to attend a session at Studio8 with the children. My hands were shaking with excitement when I arrived on campus. Gill, Ken, and Alexandra were already busy preparing for the day. Quickly I was welcomed by the group and told which challenge the kids and us were facing for the next couple of weeks. Studio8’s spring showcase is coming up and we need to produce a show. In the last sessions the children were working on their own stories and now we need to bring them together. The core story will evolve around the question: ‘You are stranded on an island? What do you do?’ Most of the children were writing about a volcano, birds and food all along the way. Ken tells us volunteers that we should encourage the children to follow up with a concrete story for the show. When the clock hit 11am the first children were storming in and starting to draw and write their story.
While they were busy with the story, I tagged along at a piano lesson with Jasmine, a MSc graduate in Music, Mind and Brain, and Rihanna, a passionate singer, dancer and overall superstar. They started off with a warm-up and some singing exercises, then it was Rihanna’s turn to play the piano to us. Jasmine explained her patiently what she was doing great and how she could improve.
As they continued to practise, I had to set off to hear about the story the other kids were developing: While we were sat around a circle, we were showing each other drawings of the story and gave each other feedback. The very talented writer, Avigail who only just turned 8, was compiling all the stories into one.
After the lunch break, we continued with a drama rehearsal with Gur. I was stunned by the humorous and intriguing impersonations of the fire king and the volcano. The spring showcase is slowly taking shape and I can’t wait to see the end result. Elisha, Avigail and Rihanna left the rehearsing room to meet with Simona, a first year Media & Communications student and enthusiastic dancer. Aisha warned me and Abigail that it was going to be tough. Street dance is very quick, but Simona was happy to explain the steps as often as we needed it.
For the end of the day, all of the groups came together to listen to a flute solo by music student Rachel. It was a great first day at Studio8 and to meet with everyone! Thank you for welcoming so well and see you soon!