Students from Walthamstow Academy took a trip to London’s Olympic Park last week to help launch United Learning’s Spirit of Rio festival.
The students took their instruments to the Copper Box Arena to welcome guests with a rousing performance of samba music. With instruments ranging from the tambourim and caixa drums to agogo bells and led by their Head of Music, Mr Axford, the students were an exciting addition to the day and helped bring the Brazilian spirit of the event to life.
The band had been practising for several weeks to prepare for the day, following a three-hour workshop with Beat Goes On last month. During the workshop, which was supported by the United Learning Partnership Fund, students learnt the basics of samba music and how to perform as a group.
Following their Copper Box performance, the samba band will continue to play throughout the summer term and beyond in a series of events themed around the Spirit of Rio, including at Walthamstow Academy’s sports day.
Several other schools across the Group will be next to try the samba workshop. What would Walthamstow Academy students’ advice be to other students trying samba?
“Just have fun and enjoy yourself!”
Ruby, Year 7
“It was my first time playing samba and I really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to set myself free and express myself. It’s fun playing in a group because we’re all quite close now.”
Chloe, Year 7
“I think playing the tambourim is fun because you can express yourself to other people and they understand you. The most difficult thing about learning to play samba is that your fingers can get really numb!”
Sam, Year 7
“Today was really fun because you get to show off your talents in music to the other students.”
Kelly, Year 8
“It’s a fun activity and we were really inspired by our workshop. I like music and my family is from Brazil so it felt like I was exploring my family’s culture.”
Phoebe, Year 7
“I know people who are Brazilian so I liked being able to represent their culture and learn about how their music is produced. I found it’s quite tough playing the drums because they are what keep the whole performance together so we have to try to keep in time with everyone else.”
Paola, Year 8
“The best part is getting to perform to everyone and representing our school.”