Deaf children help develop curriculum Orgelkids

Deaf pupils help further develop teaching package Orgelkids in Groningen and create voice over in sign language for animation about organ builder Arp Schnitger.

A great message from the Groninger Kerken Foundation:

Groningen is known as the ‘organ garden’ of Europe. In this province, we have many churches with beautiful organs, some of which were built by Hamburg’s master organ builder, Arp Schnitger. The teaching programme Orgelkids in Groningen, developed by Erfgoedpartners in 2018, brings children in touch with this special heritage.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils think along about adaptation curriculum.
This teaching programme is now getting a special extension. In cooperation with the pupils of the Guyot School in Haren, the lessons are made suitable for deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils. Especially for this group of children, the organ as a musical instrument is very accessible: the sound vibrations can be easily felt on such a large instrument. The pupils of havo 3 of the Guyot School have performed the lessons themselves in class and shared their feedback with the developer of the teaching package. The pupils’ tips and advice will be incorporated into a new version in the coming weeks.

Making sound visible and tangible.
The main modifications will be made in the experiment circuit on air and sound, which is part of the package. Everything that is audible for pupils in regular education will be made visible or tangible for deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils. The teaching package can be used by pupils in groups 6, 7 and 8 of the Guyot School after the adaptations.
Animation on Arp Schnitger.
In addition, an animation about the seventeenth-century organ builder Arp Schnitger and how the organs were transported from Hamburg to Groningen will be added to the teaching package. The animation is drawn by Groningen-based animator John Croezen and his daughter Sophie. Pupils of the Guyotschool converted the accompanying voice over into sign language. A short film is made of this and edited into the animation. This way, deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils can also follow the text accompanying the animation.
In October 2023, the adapted teaching package will be used during ‘Kleintje Schnitger’, a school programme linked to the biannual Schnitger Festival. The adapted experiment circuit will then be performed in the Lutheran Church in Groningen by pupils from the Guyotschool but also by pupils from regular schools. On Friday morning 20 October, a children’s concert will take place in the Akerk in Groningen. Frank Belt will tell the story of Polle the Organ Boy, accompanied musically by organist Eeuwe Zijlstra.
For the deaf and hearing-impaired pupils, a sign language interpreter will be present so that they too can follow the story.
Adaptation of teaching package possible thanks to financial contribution from funds
The further development of Orgelkids for deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils was made possible by a contribution from the Cultural Participation Fund and a contribution from CMK Groningen.
The school programme ‘Kleintje Schnitger’ and the further development of Orgelkids in Groningen is the result of a collaboration between Orgelstad Groningen, Groninger Kerken, Museum aan de A, Erfgoedpartners and Kentalis (Guyotschool Haren).
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