Tapestry keeps pulling threads

20th May 2005 at 01:00
East met West last week at the latest conference for teachers and pupils organised by the innovative Tapestry organisation.

It was not an Edinburgh and Glasgow rapprochement, however, but an exchange of ideas and findings with educationists from the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Russia and Israel.

Nigel Osborne, Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University, whose work with children traumatised by war has received worldwide recognition, opened the conference with extracts from the Russian film-maker Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky, which epitomised the battle-lines between east and west on the eve of war.

Other speakers at the two-day event included Christopher Bell, chorusmaster of the Royal Scottish Junior Chorus, who gave a workshop on the Hungarian composer and musicologist Kod ly to hundreds of primary pupils.

It is now clear that previous Tapestry guests are extending the reach of its work and making their mark in Scottish schools.

Carol McGuinness of Queen's University Belfast has been working with schools in East Ayrshire, while Galina Dolya - a practitioner of methods pioneered by the Russian educationist Lev Vygotsky who now runs an early years centre in England -has been working in Edinburgh and North Ayrshire.

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