Kosmos has a wealth of experience and enthusiasm in musical outreach and educational work, interactive concerts and workshops. As part of Yehudi Menuhin's 'Live Music Now!' Scheme Kosmos has toured the whole of Great Britain performing and giving workshops to older people, mainstream school children, children with special needs, children with learning difficulties, adults with brain injuries and at prisons, hospices and care homes. They were also invited to the 'Musique et Adventure' residential music course in Jersey to work with talented children and recently, Kosmos has also been working with victims of human trafficking, torture and human rights abuses with the Helen Bamber Foundation.
"I have never seen a concert quite so engaging and active for children"
Gemma Aston, Director, Riverhouse Arts Centre, 2011
“Kosmos are extremely accomplished and sensitive musicians.
During their time on the scheme they have performed extensively,
giving participatory performances and workshops all over the UK.
The audiences and participants with whom they have worked are
very wide ranging, including children with special needs, elderly
people in residential care and hospital patients They are professional
in approach matching their skills and repertoire to each individual
group. They really do bring joy wherever they perform and we are
inundated with requests for them to return.” Trudy White, London
Director Live Music Now!
“I know that you have talented musicians on your books, but there
can be none more talented than the extraordinary musicians that came
to Deal this year.......Kosmos were brilliant! Such a talented and engaging group. We were all completely enthralled and it was great to see them perform to about 250 kids in Dover. Those kids clearly had a wow of a time and it must have inspired them to listen to more string music.”
Paul Edlin, director of Deal Festival
“On behalf of the children, staff, parents and governors it was an absolute pleasure having you in school and the experience was absolutely marvellous for us all. What a very special day we shared together! The atmosphere you created with your vivid rhythms, great enthusiasm and total professionalism was outstanding. You created a brilliant atmosphere in the hall and your music, dance and knowledge brought excitement, breadth and depth to our curriculum opportunities.”Mr. John Moore, head-teacher Newbrough C of E First School“There was a excellent response from a very varied and demanding range of children. Pupil responses were positive, rewarding and fascinating.” Heart of the Forest Community Special School
The musicians in Kosmos have a good knowledge of Makaton sign language and are happy to incorporate this when appropriate. Each workshop or participatory concert is tailored to individual needs and promises to be creative and unique, building up confidence in music making using musical games.
Ages 1 – 5
Kosmos have developed an interactive, musical version of the famous book 'Giraffes Can't Dance!’ by Giles Andreae. Join bandy-legged Gerald in the jungle and all the other animals as they tango and, waltz and rock and roll! This imaginative book helps children with self-esteem and Gerald finds out that "sometimes when you're different you just need a different song." The instruments are introduced in a fun and imaginative way. It includes dancing and as much interaction as possible and can also include Makaton signing.
A standard hour long workshop by Kosmos promises to entertain both pupil and teacher alike. Each instrument is introduced in turn and the children take part in a variety of games and activities concentrating on developing their listening skills and their sense of rhythm and ensemble. They are asked for their thoughts, reactions and questions throughout. Kosmos also teach various songs with either the sol fa system, or with actions or Makaton which can be performed at the end of the session. Other possibilities include acting out a Jewish wedding with the appropriate music and with the children acting and taking part in dancing.
For secondary school children, the emphasis is on the exploration of different sound worlds and encouraging them to respond both emotionally and intellectually to what they hear. Seeing and interacting with real musicians helps to develop an appreciation of the power of music. Kosmos has worked with A-level and GCSE students on compositional workshops.
With a class of instrumentalists Kosmos can also teach about the Klezmer Style and teach a Klezmer melody complete with accompaniment and room for improvisation. Workshop on Klezmer, one hour (any instrument, ages 7+, grade 3+)
Klezmer is the Eastern European Jewish music. The word Klezmer comes from two Hebrew words, clay and zimmer, meaning vessel of music or song. The idea is that the instrument e.g. the violin, clarinet, takes on human characteristics like laughing and crying. With a joyous exuberance or a soulful wailing. Several techniques are used to accomplish this. There are krechts - 'sobs', and dreydlekh which are a form of trill. With a class of instrumentalists Kosmos can teach about the Klezmer Style and teach a Klezmer melody complete with accompaniment and room for improvisation. By the end of the session, the participants should be able to perform the melody and have a real feel for the Klezmer style.
Singing workshop (one hour ages 6+)
Kosmos start the workshop with various 'warm up' exercises for the voice and the brain and to get to know the group. They will then teach simple songs using actions, Makaton sign language and sol fa system which can be sung with rounds, harmonised going at the pace of the class. The class will be able to perform the songs at the end of the session.