Music & Citizenship
04 November 2009
LJMU Honorary Fellow Richard Stilgoe OBE delivered a passionate and heartfelt lecture as part of the popular Roscoe Lecture Series entitled: Music & Citizenship.
Talking about how music can help bring people together in society, Richard initially demonstrated the unifying power of music by splitting the audience into four choirs while conducting them singing lyrics about Harry Potter to the tune of Frere Jacques.
Richard also talked about his childhood in Liverpool, and how listening to Lonnie Donegan on his accumulator radio led to the formation of his first skiffle band, Tony Snow and the Blizzards. Richard then entered a band competition in Mossley Hill town hall but were beaten by another local band, the then little known Quarry Men.
It was experiences like these for Richard that made it clear how performing music can teach benefits such as teamwork, discipline and concentration to children with a range of abilities and interests.
These are the values and ideals which now form the basis of the hugely successful Orpheus Trust – an inclusive performing arts centre Richard formed in 1998 which uses music as a catalyst to teach important values and improve the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK.
After hearing about numerous inspiring children overcoming their difficulties thanks to Richard’s approach to music and education, the audience left with a firm belief of how music can, in Richard’s words, “help all of us to live, quite simply, in harmony.”
Pictured: Richard and Professor the Lord David Alton, chair of LJMU's Foundation for Citizenship, with Bethany Bennett-Harrison - winner of the Good Citizenship Award