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Pupils are on song thanks to arts grant

PRIMARY pupils in a former Scottish mining village have written and recorded their own songs after their school received an award to establish a cultural club in their community.

CREATIVE: Pupils from Hurlford Primary near Kilmarnock wrote their own songs with the help of a professional musician. Picture: Martin Shields
CREATIVE: Pupils from Hurlford Primary near Kilmarnock wrote their own songs with the help of a professional musician. Picture: Martin Shields

The group of 10 and 11-year-olds composed the lyrics and tunes, which focus on ­children's rights, friendship, ambitions for the future and the ups and downs of their lives.

It was the latest in a series of creative arts programmes being run at Hurlford Primary, near Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. There are few arts amenities in the area and the award from the Big Lottery Fund gives the pupils opportunities to learn new skills.

The songwriting workshops were run by Paul Brunton, a musician and owner of Rock 'n' Role Models. Pupils were also taught about bands and songwriters such as The Beatles, Kate Bush, Rihanna and Kilmarnock's own Biffy Clyro.

Mr Brunton said: "The young songwriters wrote original songs that show real emotional depth. Their enthusiasm and ambition drove their songwriting and it's been amazing to see and hear them grow as individuals and as a group.

"They learnt to express themselves using their own words and ideas and through singing and playing instruments. It's been great fun. The hardest part was getting them to leave when the session was over."

Gillian Campbell, headteacher at Hurlford Primary, added: "The pupils enjoyed working with an experienced songwriter who was able to help them build their ideas and structure their songs."

As part of the same arts programme, which was given a grant of just less than £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund, pupils from primary two and three put on a Sri Lankan dance show inspired by children at a school in Gampola, Sri Lanka with which they have a partnership arrangement.

A spokeswoman for the Big Lottery Fund said: "Awards for All proves that the smallest amounts of funding can make the biggest difference to people's lives. At Hurlford Primary School this arts-based project is helping pupils and their families enjoy a new experience which in turn will help them go on to have better chances in life."

Awards for All is supported by three of the National Lottery good cause distributors in Scotland: Creative Scotland, the Big Lottery Fund and sportscotland and makes awards of between £500 and £10,000.

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