Classical music is not traditionally seen as family friendly, but the Britten-Pears Foundation at the Red House in Aldeburgh aims to change that with a transformed programme of events and educational visits to engage and inspire families and younger audiences.
The Britten-Pears Foundation promotes the musical legacy of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. The Foundation, based at their former home, offers visitors a chance to explore the house, library and composition studio as well as extensive exhibition space and five acres of gardens.
Benjamin Britten wanted to engage young people with music and over the last two years, The Red House has transformed the way in which it engages with family/younger audiences. In doing so, they have moved from a site with limited interaction with families, to one that welcomes and engages with all groups. The organisations interaction with schools and young people has more than tripled over this period, with a wide variety of activities for schools, families, and children from ages 0-18.
One of the main aims of the Britten-Pears Foundation is to develop strong partnerships with local community groups and to use music, art and their collections to engage current, new and traditionally difficult to reach audiences. As part of this, the Red House offers free activities for families and young people and free admission to children under 16.
Mini Music Makers: A hugely successful, free under 5s music and play session. The Red House worked with numerous families and children’s organisations to develop an offer that was to be of most use to parents/carers.
Activities and events for families and young people have been developed and run over the school holidays. Events included storytelling and music, garden trails, art and crafts as well as shows/performances and workshops for all ages and abilities.
Reflecting community within displays, interpretation and events is an important aspect of the Red House’s interpretation. Benjamin Britten was passionate about engaging young people through classical music and the organisation follows this philosophy today.
Activities for schools New school visits include Create an Opera Day, where children take on the role of musicians, designers, authors and performers as they learn about Benjamin Britten and one of his best loved operas. Musical Mini Beasts offers pupils the chance to hunt for music and mini beasts in the varied environments of the Red House’s beautiful gardens. The Red House is also now an Arts Mark partner and Arts Award venue and offers budding artists the change to complete an Arts Award Discover qualification.
Accessibility. In 2018, throughout the school holidays, the Red House ran a free shuttlebus service from The Red House to Aldeburgh town centre on a continuous loop. This service was also available for local schools.
2018 has been an extremely successful year at The Red House and seen a huge increase in interaction with schools, families, and young people. In recognition of this the organisation was Shortlisted in the 2018 Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award as well as the Best Heritage Venue in the 2018 School Travel Awards.
For any further information about education work at The Red House please contact Joe Carr, Collections and Learning Curator, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit brittenpears.org