The Sky’s the limit at Dunottar School!

Dunottar School in Reigate has kicked off a Musikscool event with some exciting changes of approach.

Dunottar-33 (2)We are working with a small group of 12 girls to “set up” the main event which will run on June 18th for the whole of Years 11 and 12.  Today they are writing the “school anthem” which we will dry run at 3pm with as many humans as we can muster on site (builders and carpet fitters included).

This will be the lead track on the album, which the girls have decided will be called “Dunottar’s Voice”.

They are also initiating the corporate fundraising effort and working out the marketing strategy (as well as making a video advert, taking photos and producing press releases, website content and the usual social media campaign.  Phew!)

The overall aim of the project is to raise at least £5,000 to enable a community facility to be built on site which they have called “High Trees”.  This is how the girls describe it:

This is the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens.  Ours will be along similar lines if we raise enough money!

This is the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens. Ours will be along similar lines if we raise enough money!

“The project involves the formation of an aerial walkway, which using the natural geography of the school grounds will provide an elevated insight in the canopy of the trees. Supported by wooden columns that blend in with the natural environment, it provides opportunities for inspecting birds, insects, lichen and fungi at close quarters, as well as seeing blossom emerging and seed pods bursting open. The site will be fully accessible to wheelchairs and buggies, and will comply fully with current safety legislations. This new facility will be available for the local community and primary schools. The aerial walkway aims to give children and the public a new experience towards nature and wildlife.  The walkway is aiming to establish something new and different to the community as well as opportunities to promote the school and companies involved in the project.”

If you would like to support the project, and particularly if you’d be interested in a corporate donation in return for a permanent feature at the walkway, please contact the Bursar’s Office on 01737 761945.

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Kingsley School takes up the Musikscool challenge

We are delighted to be working with Kingsley School in Bideford, North Devon.  Once again our sponsored charity is DEBRA, to whom we are grateful for organising the event.

Kingsley School Bideford UK Main BuildingSimon Robilliard, Director of Music at the school, is co-ordinating the plan for the day.  We can’t wait to work with him and the pupils, not least because he is a “big thinker”.  We can’t say too much because we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but suffice to say that there are some new twists to the event which will take to new heights if they come off.

The theme for this event is Leadership, and we also want to generate feedback for the Lower 6th pupils on what a future employer might notice in them when they are working in a team.  To help us to give personal feedback we are working with a team of school prefects, who will be making detailed individual observations during the day and giving personal feedback during the debrief.  This is a new idea, and we love it!  Why not use the resources within the school to help with the event, and at the same time develop some important skills with the people who give the feedback?

The event is on 21st January.  Another first this time:  we are inviting parents and anyone else who is interested to attend the debrief at 5.15 pm in the theatre.  During this the pupils will report back on their achievements, we will watch a video documentary of the event made by the pupils,  hear the major themes of the day and the Musikscool team’s impressions of how the pupils have performed, and then listen to the album itself along with a slide show from the day.

DEBRALogo_colour (3)The school is aiming to raise £5,000 for DEBRA from the event itself.  If we achieve the target, this will make a huge difference for DEBRA, allowing them to carry out further research into the condition  and to offer much needed support to both those living with EB and their carers.

If you would like to donate, please go to the school’s Just Giving page, where you can donate online.  Or you can text a donation using code BIDE99 to 70070.

Thank you for your support!

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Musikscool breaks some more records!

Musikscool has just facilitated its biggest gig yet!  For the fourth time is has run an event at Wellington College on behalf of the charity DEBRA, working with the whole of the Lower 6th year (200 pupils).

The album cover (designed by students, naturally!)

The album cover (designed by students, naturally!)

“This was a very challenging event to pull off” says the event leader, Mike Ponting.  “Keeping everyone engaged throughout the whole day, and co-ordinating all the activity between the groups when the campus itself is so large, was quite a task.  I’ve never walked (or should I say run) so far in a day’s work!  And that’s coming from someone who goes trekking in the Himalayas on Leadership training events!”

This year we were asked to focus on Leadership and to give feedback and suggestions on how the pupils responded to the daunting task of raising £10,000 and creating a five track music album in one day.  Katy Granville-Chapman, who heads Wellington’s leadership curriculum, feels the day delivered what she had hoped it would.

“At Wellington, we find that learning leadership through real experiences is highly effective and has much more impact than just discussing leadership in a classroom. Musikscool was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience a real-world problem – how to make as much money as possible for an incredible charity given the many constraints of achieving this in 24hours and within a school environment. Huge thanks to all of the Musikscool team for such a fun and rewarding day.”

Ruth McBain, Regional Fundraiser for DEBRA, supported us with a team from the charity.

Video documentary in progress

Video documentary in progress

“Most impressive was the professional input of the young people.  They were excellent ambassadors for DEBRA, quickly grasping the key focus of the work of the charity and what it means for those living with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Equally impressive was the motivational drive, enthusiasm and flair of the Musikscool team – as always a pleasure to work with both Wellington College and Musikscool!”

Here’s what we think is one of the best tracks we have heard (actually, we think it’s sensational!), with a video made by the pupils during the day.  It gives a real sense of what the day was about, as well as how much can be achieved when teams are so committed.

If you would like to donate and to hear the whole album, please visit this Just Giving page.  Once you’ve donated you will be sent the link so that you can download the whole album.  Or you can buy it on iTunes.  Thank you.

DEBRALogo_colour (3)

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Wellington College does it again for DEBRA

We are thrilled, and slightly apprehensive, about our biggest ever Musikscool event on Monday 10th June.  Once again we are working with Wellington College and the charity DEBRA.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis time we have been given the whole of the Lower 6th year at the College, some 220 pupils in all.  We will be mustering 11 Musikscool facilitators, and aiming to break all records (pun intended).  With nearly 2000 man hours of effort available to us, we see no reason why we should not be able to beat the incredible £20,000 which was raised in just one day last year by Roedean school.  They did it with 60 pupils, so in theory we could be looking at £40,000 plus!  Why not?

Katy Granville-Chapman heads Wellington’s leadership development curriculum, and has sponsored the event.  She sees the event as a chance to examine Leadership and Teamwork under pressure.  “Setting the challenge of creating a music album from scratch and using it as a the basis for setting up what is a new business, and then saying we want you to turn that into £20,000 plus of hard cash, all within one day, is quite a big ask of anyone, let alone a 16 year old.  We hope that our students will learn about themselves and how they respond under pressure, as well as what can happen when a team comes together with a common purpose for a cause they believe in.  It promises to be a memorable and uplifting experience for all of us.”

DEBRALogo_colour (3)Musikscool has raised over £100,000 for charity over the years.  If you would like to support DEBRA from this event, please donate online through our Just Giving page.  It is particularly fitting to be working with DEBRA at this event, as the charity is based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, home to the school itself.

If we achieve the target, this will make a huge difference for DEBRA, allowing them to carry out further research into the condition  and to offer much needed support to both those living with EB and their carers.

We’ll add photos, music and film from the event as the day unfolds, but here’s one which we thinks captures the spirit of the event taken this time last year.

Recording in progress

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Musikscool breaks the £100,000 barrier!

Musikscool is proud to announce that as a result of the sterling efforts of two groups of 16 year olds in the last week, we have broken through the £100,000 charity donation barrier!

Musikscoolers at the entrance of the Music School (for all you Latin Scholars)

One day at Roedean School, Brighton,  produced a 4 track album written and recorded from scratch, available to donors via their Just Giving page, which is currently nudging an amazing £20,000, and our day at Eton College on Monday saw amongst other things one of the best tracks we have heard in over 10 years of these events, a feature in the Evening Standard, and £10,000 in the bag and still counting (they are chasing Roedean hard!).  If you want to help, here’s their donations page.

It seems like a good moment to review our progress.  From its early days as ‘Face the Music’, it has evolved from a music-based team challenge into what it is now:  a real opportunity for people to do something worthwhile and permanent for a great cause, whilst learning about themselves.  We have continued to raise the bar based on previous results:  £1,000 target quickly became £5,000, which became £10,000 minimum.  And now we have to ask ourselves whether we should set it at £20,000 IN ONE DAY.  Mind boggling.

We’ve worked with Cisco in Cannes, John Lewis in a remote country house in Dartmoor, Rolls Royce in a conference centre in Birmingham, Sweatbox  Young Peoples’ Centre in Wantage, and schools across the country.  It’s been a blast:  every event an uplifting and memorable experience for all of us, full of technical, emotional, logistical and political challenges.  We’ve seen all the emotions:  Fear, Pride, Excitement, Euphoria, Anger, Sadness, Joy, Love.  It is for all of us Musikscoolers a highlight of our busy schedules, and we continue to want to be part of it.

Thanks to everyone who has invited us to work with them.  Do spread the word:  we can do some serious good with this initiative, and we are ready to jump in if you are!

Here’s that track from Eton to end with, with some images which capture, we think, the spirit of one of our events.  Enjoy!

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Eton efforts are go!

Two boys jamming

We’ve now started today’s event with Eton to raise money for Kidz Positive. So far it looks really promising, we have a very talented bunch of boys here!

Our target for today is £15000, but we expect to make much more than that. The boys are very passionate about this and they have already shown a great impetus so far. Their enthusiasm and determination so far has been tremendous.

Kidz Positive logoKidzpositive is a charity which aims to generate a source of income for single mothers with HIV/AIDS who would otherwise have no available way to earn money since they had been abandoned by husbands and family after receiving their diagnosis. They do this by providing the mothers with the raw materials to make beadwork, which they can then sell to make money.

Here’s a link to the donation page. All donations would be very much appreciated and we hope you look forward to listening to some of the excellent music being produced right now.


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Roedean, you ROCK!

Last Friday we worked with Roedean School on a one day Musikscool event on behalf of the charity DEBRA.  We came away slightly overwhelmed by what they achieved.  Actually, make that VERY overwhelmed.

We kicked off the event as usual by asking the participants what target they wanted to go for.  Wellington College had set the record to date, raising £11,800 in one day.  The 80 Lower Sixth girls decided, after we had talked them down a bit, to go for £15,000.

Guess what, they did it!  Within the day they had just under £14,000 in online donations, with more to come and a cricket bat signed by the whole of the Indian cricket tea, to auction on Ebay (good for another £2,000, surely?).

What was most impressive was that this was all achieved without fuss or drama, but with loads of guts, grit, energy, fun, teamwork and “can do” attitude.  There were some great salespeople as well as some very talented individuals.  We really enjoyed working with them, and they were fantastic ambassadors for Roedean.  Well done!

If you would like to hear what they came up with, visit the Online donations page they set up, make a donation and follow the link to the downloads.

Now we get ready for Eton on Monday, wondering how different their approach might be and whether they are going to try and beat this new record (pun fully intended).  Watch this space!

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Roedean School in action!

Today at Roedean we were given the challenge to raise £15,000 for the DEBRA charity by writing, producing and promoting an original 5 track album.  DEBRA is a charity which aims to promote awareness, assist and ultimately find a cure for EB. This is a condition children are born with where their skin is as fragile as a butterfly wing. If they knock or rub any part of their skin, it can cause permanent damage. Even if their parents give them a hug, it can really hurt them. It is such a shame that this skin condition existis and there isnt a cure for it, so many chidren won’t survive EB and will die before they reach adulthood.  We are coming up with ways to get the charity noticed by a variety of media. For example, trending the charity on twitter, getting in contact with friends and family who are willing to give, different radio stations like the BBC and contacting newspapers like The Argus. This is a good cause and its important that people are aware of EB and donate at least a pound to DEBRA for this rare condition. Being apart of this challenge to raise money for DEBRA and EB patients feels good as we are doing something great for an important charity helping for the condition to be noticed by many more people who never heard of EB before. I think its fantastic that we have had an opportunity to take part in raising money for EB and DEBRA and hopefully we have made a difference.

If you would like to hear the album we produced, please visit the Just Giving site:


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Roedean gets ready to face the music!

On Friday 22nd June the Musikscool team will be working with 80 pupils at Roedean school in Brighton, aiming to beat all records for fundraising in the one day.  Once again we are partnering with DEBRA, the charity which supports children with the life threatening skin blistering condition EB, and we hope to make a real difference with what the girls can achieve.

As ever, they face an enormous task:  basically setting up a business from scratch, designing and creating the product and then marketing it and producing thousands of pounds of profit, all within one day.  A huge challenge for people of any age, let alone those who have not left schol yet!  We wish them every success.  Go girls!  See if you can beat the record!

Watch this space for more details.

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Our new proposition for 2012

For 2012 we have a new proposition for our corporate clients.  It is motivated by our desire to do maximum good for both charity and young people, and this year of all years seems like an appropriate time to launch this initiative.

Here’s the deal:  for every corporate event we run, we will donate a comparable event to a school of your choice, on an expenses only basis.  So if you decide to buy two one day events, we will give 2 days of Musikscool time (with a team of up to 10 of us) free of charge to the school you wish to support.

What is more, we will invite you to support the event if you so wish by sending a cohort of your staff who attended your Musikscool to assist, in whatever capacity they wish. thus extending the impact of your event, developing their coaching and facilitation skills, and building your organisation’s relationship with the community.

This offer will run throughout 2012, and we are not putting any constraint on the commitment we therefore will be making to resource the free events.

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