Newham Music partnership with Linden C

Newham Music partnership with Linden C

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As part of the All Roads Lead to Bentley’s project for Newham Heritage Month 2023, we partnered with Newham Music who delivered a project with two schools in the borough to make music inspired by the sounds of Bentley’s.

DJ Linden C (one of the original Bentley’s DJs) and Katherine Green from Rendezvous Projects visited Eastlea Community School and St Helen’s Catholic Primary School, with Emma Scarr from Newham Music. At both schools, the young people were introduced to the history of this Canning Town venue, they listened to soul and hip hop tracks from the 1980s that would have been played there and watched videos of 1980s performers. They heard directly from Linden who talked about what Bentley’s was like at the time and answered questions from the young people. Each school produced their own track based on this heritage (see below). 

A huge thanks to Newham Music, Emma Scarr, Linden C, Allison Venn (St Helen’s) and Rosie Brown (Eastlea). 

Eastlea Community School, Canning Town
Class 7E, 22 students, aged 11/12 

Emma from Newham Music spent six weeks with students at Eastlea. She worked with them closely to help the students decide how they wanted their track to sound and what the lyrics should be about. They decided it would be on the subject of friendship, inspired by the song from called Friends Whodini that they heard on the Inspiration Day.

The students wrote down their ideas and started to give them rhythm and rhyme. Some also gave them a tune.

The students were asked to compose simple riffs on keyboards and guitars using 3 to 5 notes, and then given a chance to refine the rhythms and sounds. Some students composed drum rhythms on the electric kit.

Finally, Emma and Rosie, the school music teacher, recorded the young people singing, rapping and playing their riffs, and it was put together into a recorded song.

The young people were really happy how their simple riffs could sound so effective when put to a drum track and mixed in with their lyrics and voices. They are now practising performing it live for their school music festival in July.

St Helen’s Primary School, Plaistow
Year 6 – 60 students, aged 10/11

At St Helen’s, Emma from Newham Music helped the students decide how they wanted their track to sound and what the lyrics should be about. They decided to produce a hip hop song with rapped lyrics over a strong beat.

The children wrote lyrics on a variety of topics, including their recently taken SATs exams and how it felt too soon be leaving primary school. George from Newham Music came in and showed them how to compose their own Beats on computers, the way it is done in the modern music industry. He recorded their vocal parts in small and large groups, and it was mixed with the Beats they had made. Their song also includes a short sample from Bohemian Rhapsody, sung by them. The children loved how quickly their song could be produced using Music Technology, and how satisfying it was to express themselves in their lyrics.