The London Philharmonic Orchestra's BrightSparks programme offers inspiring live concert experiences for school audiences from Key Stage 1 all the way up to A Level
Each year we perform for around 10,000 students through our BrighSparks concerts at our Southbank Centre home, with the programming and presentation designed in line with National Curriculum objectives. For many in our young audiences these events are the first time they will have heard a live orchestra, so coming to see us live offers an intense and inspiring experience. Concerts include free INSET sessions and resources for teachers, which cover ways to explore the repertoire with their students, both analytically and as a starting point for creative composition.
Coming soon: Elephants in the Custard – a new film for Key Stage 1 and families
What happens when you see elephants in your custard, but everyone else is too busy to notice?
The London Philharmonic Orchestra presents a brand new film of storytelling, music and audience participation based on ‘Elephants in the Custard’, the charming children’s book by Samuel Langley-Swain and Jemma Banks, published by Owlet Press.
Using a play on the ‘elephant in the room’ metaphor, the story explores how it feels to have a worry, and the importance of making time to talk to each other. The film is presented by animateur Rachel Leach, interspersed with music performed by a brass quintet from the LPO, and includes a special song for viewers to sing and lots of other fun ways to join in.
Elephants in the Custard will be available after Easter, and will come with written and video resources for Key Stage 1 teachers. Join us for a special watch party at 2.00pm on Thursday 29 April! For the latest information about Elephants in the Custard, visit lpo.org.uk/elephants
BrightSparks concerts 2020/21
Due to current restrictions, we will not be holding our usual BrightSparks concerts this season. For Key Stage 1, we will be releasing 'Elephants in the Custard' after Easter, with accompanying resources. Further video resources will be released for Key Stage 2 later in the year. In the meantime, we have various online resources that are free to use:
The resources on Creative Classrooms Connect include a range of creative projects inspired by the Orchestra's music as well as broader topics such as the science of sound, singing and musical notation.
New analysis videos of GCSE set works are now available on Repertoire Unlocked. Pieces include Haydn's 'Clock' Symphony (AQA), Mozart's Clarinet Concerto (AQA) and Eine Kleine Nactmusik (WJEC/Eduqas). Videos are presented by Rachel Leach, and feature full performances, with detailed analysis and musical examples on screen. Each film includes accompanying written resources and online quizzes.
We host a range of composition resources for teenage musicians on The Studio, taking inspiration from dance, film and the stage. Resources include insight videos and a range of creative material to inspire composition.
The Teacher Area of The Studio brings together the most directly syllabus-related resources from across The Studio, alongside bespoke curriculum-based material, to support music teaching at Key Stages 3 to 5. Material covers wider background to the use of music in film, video games, dance and theatre, creative ideas to support composition in the classroom and insights into composing as a profession, from leading artists currently working in the field.
We will perform live concerts in front of audiences as soon as it is safe and possible to do so, and we very much look forward to welcoming you back when that day comes.
BrightSparks events in 2020/21 are generously supported by the Candide Trust, Gill & Garf Collins, Dunard Fund, Mr & Mrs Philip Kan, Gill and Julian Simmonds
School discounts for Royal Festival Hall evening concerts
Our London season of evening concerts often features a number of programmes that include music directly relevant to GCSE and A Level Music syllabuses, making them perfect for introducing students to live classical music.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra is a registered Arts Award supporter. This means that young people working towards an Arts Award can use the opportunities we offer in their portfolio. Visit our Arts Award page to find out more.