Spoken Word at Tredegar House

Spoken Word at Tredegar House

In preparation for our upcoming Rap, Beatboxing and Spoken Word course we’ve been working with Tredegar Park Primary School on a case study project bringing together a school, an artist and a cultural organisation. The course will focus on creating contemporary music and poetry in response to local culture and to be led by three well-known artists, the Welsh language rapper Mr Phormula; beatboxer and Art Champion Beat Technique; and bilingual spoken word artist Rufus Mufasa. For us, it is important, and relevant to the new Curriculum, that schools engage learners in new and cutting edge art forms in a way that sparks their interest in classical art forms.

Having made contact with Tredegar Park Primary School we were surprised and concerned to learn that many of the pupils had never visited National Trust Tredegar House, even though they can see it from the windows in their school.

Spoken Word at Tredegar House

Rufus Mufasa worked with the class for three days to help them develop their own spoken word performances in response to the historical landmark. On the second day the class visited Tredegar House, one pupil said, “I loved going through the giant gold gate, I always wondered what was inside it.” Once inside the pupils were given a tour of the house and it’s history, then they were introduced to a collection of historical objects that they could touch and even wear, “it’s so cool, the fashion that people used to wear”, “they look like giant lampshades,” said one pupil in response to a 19th century hoop underskirt. To finish, the third day was spent back at school with the children writing their own poems in response to what they had seen, touched and learnt.

Spoken Word at Tredegar House
Spoken Word at Tredegar House

Here’s one of their collaborative poems:

We’re bringing back the past
Unlocking doors into the unknown
Peeling back the house’s secrets
Stepping into other time zones
We’re bringing the past back
Women wearing huge lampshades
Crocodiles crawl around the posh rooms
Next to the Louis Vuitton suitcase
We’re bringing the past back
Old games come back out to play
Gold frames hang from the walls on chains
Way too heavy for nails

Spoken Word at Tredegar House

As a grand climax the children invited their families and the local community to Tredegar House on 31st January for a showcase of their poems, all performed to an audience by the pupils themselves. Their teacher, Nicola Williams, commented, “this amazing spoken-word project has inspired our learners to fire their imagination and express themselves, while developing critical creative writing tools. Rufus Mufasa really enthused the pupils from the offset with her passion for literacy and her innovative approach to the creative writing process. She inspired the pupils with her stories, creative thinking and inclusive approach, empowering them to produce some of their best creative writing to date. Spoken Word has strengthened the school’s relationship with outside agencies in our community to support future literacy projects in the new curriculum framework. The pupils are now terribly excited to showcase their work to their friends and family at Tredegar House next week.”

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