Green Beat

Forty pupils from six schools across Peterborough are making music from rubbish as part of a project which aims to show that, with a little imagination, things we throw away can be re-used.
Students from participating schools took part in a workshop at the launch of the Green Festival 2009 where they picked up top tips from professional junk band Big Beat.

Big Beat are usually found entertaining the crowds at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Students learnt about percussion, playing music in a band, performance techniques and how to get the best sounds out of old dustbins, trolleys hauled out of rivers, old pipes rescued from landfill, and even a broken Henry Hoover!
In the weeks following the workshop students took their new found skills back to school and founded their own junk bands. Help in sourcing the junk required came from our Eastex Materials Exchange project.

Janine Starling is organising the project, she explains, “The aim of the project was to get young people excited about the environment and thinking about how we could reuse our waste rather than just throwing things away.
“We’ve helped each school source junk materials for their band through our Eastex Materials Exchange project. Lloyds TSB in Peterborough donated a perfect stock of rubbish including wooden cable drums, plastic water drums and unwanted metal cases."

The project is being funded by the Arts Council and Peterborough College of Adult Education.

Jackie Hall from Peterborough College of Adult Education, sponsors of the Green Beat initiative, said “We are delighted to have been part of this initiative. Everyone has worked together to create the instruments out of everyday, recycled items and use them to create music. We are looking forward to the performance when all the hard work and creativity will be on show for everyone to enjoy.”

Cathy Marsh from Leighton Primary School is one of the teachers helping her students set up their junk band. She said: “The kids really enjoyed the workshop in town at the beginning of Peterborough Green Festival. It inspired them to have a go.

“The thing that has taken the longest has been collecting the junk!! Parents and staff have donated unwanted Hoover pipes, paint pots, wooden CD racks, watering cans, bike wheels, water pipes, book shelves, and empty oil containers.
“It has been a great project for boosting confidence, building team, recycling message, having fun, working together, learning new sounds and rhythms, performing in front of people. The whole school can hear us practising.”
Schools taking part in the project are: William Law Primary School, Welbourne Primary School, Leighton Primary School, Orton Wistow Primary School, Orton Longueville Secondary School, The Voyager School, Bushfield community College and Phoenix Special School.