Children enjoying Beat Lab at E-ACT Academy, Bristol (LR) (1)A partnership between music and arts venue Colston Hall and global engineering firm Renishaw has been inspiring Bristol school children into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) via its innovative Beat Lab workshops.

“We’ve delivered a programme that brings together science, technology and music education”

 

Launched as a trial in September 2015, the workshops, which combine tech and music in creative ways (including turning fruit into musical electric circuits!), have been such a success that the project has been extended for another 4 years, opening up the Beat Lab to a further 800 children each year.

Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of the Bristol Music Trust which runs Colston Hall, says: “The trial scheme has proved a real success with excellent feedback from both teachers and pupils. We’ve delivered a programme that brings together science, technology and music education, taking STEM subjects one step closer to STEAM, including the arts.”

“It has been wonderful to see so many young people gain an understanding of different engineering skills and how they can combine in a creative way”

 

SBeat-Lab-Renishaw-Colston-Hall-Chris_Pockett,_Julie_Colins_and_Phil_Castangir David McMurtry, Chairman and Chief Executive of Renishaw, which is funding the programme, adds: “It has been wonderful to see so many young people gain an understanding of different engineering skills and how they can combine in a creative way.

“Delivering scientific innovation is one of Renishaw’s core values and the Beat Lab programme contains elements of both. We understand the value of supporting young people as they take their next steps towards a rounded education, where science and the arts play active roles in their early development. We look forward to working with Bristol Plays Music, Colston Hall and Conductive Music over the next few years.”

International aspirations

As well as a partnership between Bristol companies, the Beat Lab music-education scheme is part of the huge £45m expansion of the Colston Hall into an international standard concert hall. The expansion will include remodelling the main auditorium, redeveloping the second hall into a versatile venue, opening up the cellars for educational and workshop space and restoring the frontage to its Victorian magnificence.

“We look forward to the next few years as we continue to develop music participation in creative ways”

 

Colston Hall’s transformation plans will enable Bristol Plays Music, who are running the Beat Lab workshops, to expand its current music education offering in the future, reaching more young people and introducing further programmes.

Excited for the future of the partnership and the development of these workshops, Louise tells us: “We look forward to the next few years as we continue to develop music participation in creative ways.”

To find out more about Beat Lab, check out the Bristol Plays Music website. You can also follow them on Twitter: @bpmbristol. To stay tuned to Colston Hall’s expansion, follow them: @Colston_Hall.

Alice Whale