Pupils and staff at Morrison’s Academy, Perthshire’s leading independent day school, welcomed internationally renowned Jazz musician, Richard Michael, BME, onto the School’s Crieff campus earlier this month (Monday 6th March).
Mr Michael, who is one of Scotland’s most versatile musicians, has influenced a generation of teachers and students with his innovative methods of teaching improvisation during a long career as a composer, performer and workshop leader.
Funded by Strathearn Music Society, more than 120 youngsters from across the Primary and Secondary Schools took part in a series of inspiring workshops run by the jazz professor, who is well known to audiences through his broadcasts on BBC Radio Scotland.
Director of Music at Morrison’s Academy, Philip Kennedy said: “It was absolutely fantastic to have Richard in school to share the story of his musical journey with our youngsters. As well as holding workshops on ways to develop the skills of improvisation, Richard gave some advice to pupils wanting to pursue musical careers.”
A former teacher himself, Mr Michael said: “From the moment I arrived at the school and was greeted personally by Head Teacher Andrew McGarva, I felt at home in a Music Department with a positive vibe led by Phil Kennedy. Throughout the day I was excited to take pupils out of their comfort zone, and challenge them with taking solos with no music in front of them. For me, music is a language best expressed in improvisation – making music should be like speech and the pupils made excellent progress in beginning to understand that process. I look forward to developing my relationship with Morrison’s
Academy in the coming years.”
Morrison’s Academy Music Department nurtures talent from a young age and provides pupils of all ages with opportunities for performance from Primary orchestras, choirs and musicals to secondary ensembles, chamber choirs, school shows and our fantastic pipe band. Music can be taken to Advanced Higher, instrumental tuition is available from Primary 1 and there
are multiple musical co-curricular clubs.
Mr Michael is an Honorary Professor of Jazz at the University of St Andrews, director of the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (FYJO) and runs his own online Jazz School.
For further information on Morrison’s Academy visit www.morrisonsacademy.org To find out
more about Richard Michael and his work visit www.richardmichaelsjazzschool.com