In this exciting summer , I’ve taken part in a Work Placement at the Geffrye Museum, which is one part of my MA course in Museum Studies of University of Leicester. I’ve been working in the Young People’s Programme, part of the Learning Department with Rachael (the Programme Manager), Vanessa (Programme Coordinator) and Jess (Programme Intern) who always give me a lot of support.
In the first half of this 8 week placement, I prepared the materials for and assisted with the training of 13 Young Volunteer Tour Guides. They’ve just delivered their first Centenary Celebrations tour on the Family Day successfully.
The members of the museum’s Youth Advisory Panel and the Centenary Celebrations Project Steering Group have contributed a lot to this event as well. Although the weather was cloudy, there were over 1,000 adults and children coming and participating in various activities and workshops organised by the museum including ‘Dangerous Disguises’ (a mask-making workshop inspired by almshouse animals), ‘Perplexing Portraits’ (a youth digital media workshop inspired by the diary of a teenage almshouse resident in the 1880s), ‘Baker Family Fun’ (traditional garden games like the ones played by 1800s families in the almshouses) and ‘Tales about Tails’ (storytelling about creatures in the almshouses). I supported the workshop called ‘Recycled Rhythms’, which was run by a company called The Rig, and was inspired by rubbish left by local people in the early 1700s to even out the Geffrye front lawn.
Youth Advisory Panel member Sophia and I were helping the Rig to encourage people, especially the little children, to make music by beating the instruments made of recycled objects you’d find in your home, like buckets and forks and bicycle bells. At the same time, our job was to count the number of participants and ask people to fill in the evaluation cards to tell us their feelings about the workshop as well as the whole event. I’ve learned how to lead and communicate with people to go through the complete musical experience and how to capture evaluation data from visitors in a busy event. It’s great to see children and adults creating their own rhythms freely and ‘produce’ non-stop enjoyable ‘noise’ during all the hours of the event. However, it’s only a shame that we were too busy supporting the visitors to our workshop and had no chance to do other workshops! Overall, based on people’s feedback, with the ‘Recycled Rhythms’ workshop the Geffrye has done well to turn itself into an interactive playground and improve the learning and experience of visitors.