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Offbeat education: Pupils receive personal drumsticks for Covid-safe learning
15th September 2020

Strathallan music pupils will march to the beat of their own drumsticks this term thanks to the initiative of their teachers.

Perthshire pupils taking music at Strathallan this year will all receive a pair of personal drumsticks, crafted by the Director of Music and Head of Design Technology.

Director of Music Matt Gooch, who came up with the idea, said, “At the moment making music has been rather tricky due to regulations put in place by Scottish Government, so rather than thinking about what we can’t do, we have been prioritising on what we are able do.

“Whilst we cannot share instruments and even play some, we’ve focused this term on skills around rhythm which every pupil can take part in.

“This has involved us making a pair of drumsticks for every single pupil from Year 4 in Prep School up to Third Form in our Senior School, so that they can continue to learn to read, compose and perform music individually and in small safe groups.”

The drumsticks are made from doweling and are crafted under Covid-safe regulations in our state-of-the-art Design Technology department which during lockdown was used to create over 1,300 pieces of PPE for key workers.

Almost all of Strathallan’s music lessons are taught face-to-face however, Brass, Woodwind and Singing are delivered online following Strathallan’s blended approach to learning. More than 7,000 live lessons taught were taught via the schools online platforms during lockdown.

The distribution of drumsticks to pupils follows the acquisition of Deger electric chanters in the school’s Piping and Drumming department which allows more than 70 pipers to continue practising.

Strathallan is just one of many boarding schools signed up to the BSA’s Covid-safe Charter.

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