Secondary School Workshops

Dirty Beasts and Revolting Rhymes’ – A Roald Dahl Workshop

This bespoke workshop with optional concert for 10 and 11 year olds which sparkles with Dahl’s unique brand of humour, imagination and storytelling. Activities include:

  • Demonstrations and descriptions of the instruments of the wind quintet;
  • Discussion of compositional methods and instrumental techniques used in constructing characters and storylines in music;
  • Students work with the members of the ensemble to devise incidental music to accompany a reading of Roald Dahl’s hilarious and gruesome reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Students are taught a short song to perform as the grand finale of their performance

An optional extra for this workshop is a London Myriad Ensemble wind quintet and piano recital. This has in the past included (but is not limited to) Patterson’s hilarious Three Little Pigs and Butler’s setting of three poems from Dahl’s deliciously-gruesome collection Dirty Beasts.

The students’ performance also forms part of this public concert.


Crafting Characters’ – A Peter and the Wolf Workshop


This workshop was crafted for young secondary school students to supplement a series of academic music lessons which focused on ‘programme music’.

The workshop involves an introductory session on the instruments of the wind quintet, based around the character themes of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Peter and the Wolf. Inspired by these motives and the distinctive qualities of each of the wind instruments, students then work intensively with members of the ensemble to compose a musical score to accompany Edward Lear’s poem The Duck and the Kangaroo. Participants experimented with creating kangaroo jumping sounds, duck quacks and other sound effects and developed musical themes to bring the story to life. Students were once again taught a vocal section to round off the performance.

An optional extra for this workshop is a London Myriad Ensemble wind quintet recital including (but not limited to) Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals performed with Ogden Nash’s accompanying verses, and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, complete with eye-catching masks.

Here is a video of the Myriads introducing the various characters, instruments and themes from Prokofiev’s musical story Peter & The Wolf to the audience as part of their Mini Maestro Family Concert at St. Martin in the Fields in December 2016:

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