Lomond Sound School Tours
The Lomond Sound school tours developed out of the Vinland Music Camp, a traditional music and dance workshop held annually in Gros Morne National Park since 2001. Ten of the province’s most experienced musicians, storytellers, dancers and songwriters – collectively known as Lomond Sound – teach at this event. For the School Touring Program, funded by ArtsNL and the Dept of Education, eight members of the Lomond Sound group are employed for two week-long school tours; four artists for each tour. Occasionally we also invite artists from outside the group to join us.
At every school we make an effort to teach instruments, songs, and dances that are culturally relevant to the area we are visiting, as well as a cross section of material and performance styles from around province. We strive to make our presentation both entertaining and educational.
Lomond Sound’s school presentation consists of day-long performances and workshops, beginning with a hour-long concert for all grades. During this period we demonstrate our instruments as well as perform a number of songs and dances, discussing their history and how they relate to our cultural history. Our opening set finishes with a question and answer discussion, followed by a closing set of tunes. During the next two periods the students are divided into four separate groups during which we conduct concurrent instrument, singing, songwriting and dance workshops. Depending on the musical experience of the students, we usually start with basic technique; then move on to teaching a simple tune or dance which they can perform together. During the first period after lunch students return to their workshop classrooms and we rehearse the tunes, songs and dances covered in our workshops, splitting the period into two 30-minute sections corresponding to the morning sessions.
Our presentation concludes with a hour-long performance for the entire school. This concert involves students and instructors – and occasionally musicians and dancers from the community. The final concert is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their newly acquired skills to their classmates. It’s always an exciting and rewarding time for everyone. Reviews and comments from our tours can be found on our website. Curriculum resource links and a sample timetable for the day’s activities can also be viewed online; we can adapt our program to the school’s schedule and individual needs.
At the end of each school visit we often leave copies of sheet music, song lyrics and dances that were taught during the day. We also provide an online Folk Arts Resource Guide so teachers and students can follow up their interest in traditional music and dance. We encourage students and teachers to follow up their musical interests by joining us at the Vinland Music Camp.
Although the format described above is the one we have used for most of our school tours, we can adapt our program to meet the needs of individual schools. For example, if there is a student folk group at a school we can arrange our schedule to spend some time with them.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (ArtsNL) recently featured Soundbone’s 2018 Lomond Sound Music & Dance School Tours on its website. The article describes the history of the tours and gives details on how they are organized.
Please contact us for more information.