Hugh Nankivell, a BSO Associate Musician based in Devon, was recently asked to take part in an international symposium sharing best practise in social music-making. Based in Torquay and working all over Devon and beyond, Hugh is a composer, songwriter and leader. His work includes; playing music with the elderly (and especially those with dementia); making sounds and exploring noises with the very young (from 0-5) and working with mixed generation groups whether Family Orchestras or taking children to Care Homes and seeing what transpires when old and young create music together

Hugh was recently selected to take part in an international SIMM-posium (funded by SIMM, Social Impact of Making Music) where seven social musicians and seven researchers from across the world gather together to share ideas. The conference is a unique opportunity to make and strengthen links within the international music making community and to share thoughts on best practise.

Hugh making music with Music for a While participants

At the symposium Hugh presented his recent BSO work alongside presentations on musical responses to the environment from Canada and Spain, creative work in prisons in Belgium and the UK, and approaches to formal music education from France and Peru, amongst many others.

Hugh said, “I shared some of my recent work as Associate Musician for the BSO, including presentations and discussions on: the research project at Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital’s dementia wards, Music For A While; my current intergenerational project in Torbay, Rebuilding Bridges, whereby childminders bring pre-school age children to care homes for the elderly to make music together; and the participative orchestra for families based at Exeter University, called The Aubergines.

The exchange of approaches, languages and music being made was inspiring and thought-provoking. I look forward to continuing to exchanging further with some of these colleagues, to re-thinking how the work I do is valued and researched, to reflect on my practice and to value the fact that I am part of a global community dealing with similar issues and challenges”

To find out more about the work of BSO Participate click here. To find out more about our BSO Associate Musicians click here.