Riddims, rhymes an' reading

Rastamouse producer Greg Boardman talks about this year's summer tour of parks and fields across the UK as part of the Rocksteady Reggae School
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Just over years ago we were packing the tour bus to take Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew to make their Glastonbury debut; a fantastic experience for the whole team even though it was a little bit soggy (Good job Zoomer remembered to pack the mice wellies!)
Glastonbury 2011 was a perfect fit given the extraordinary level of publicity that had run pretty much constantly since the show's launch earlier that year.

With an album launch just days away, Glastonbury was the only place to be.

Now we are packing the trucks once again, but for a very different kind of adventure that will bring children and their families much closer to the heart of what makes Rastamouse tick.

Every weekend over the summer, Da Easy Crew vibes will be echoing across fields and parks all around the UK. And this time Rastamouse, Scratchy and Zoomer will be bustin' their moves as part of The Rocksteady Reggae School.

Working with the very dedicated and wonderfully supportive people from BBC Learning; at nine venues, including the Edinburgh Festival, the Rastamouse team (with a few new recruits) are going to be delivering a one day version of the education pilot that we’ve been bringing to London schools over the last year.

Never forgetting that ‘everyting’ has to be fun; The Rocksteady Reggae School delivers elements of the Music National Curriculum with a hands-on experience that puts real musical instruments into young children’s hands.

Alongside these very cool musical workshops and Easy Crew performances, co-creator Michael De Souza will also take to the stage to deliver reading performances of some classic Rastamouse adventures.

Before we put the final flight case onto the trucks, we’re putting the Rocksteady team through their paces - testing out a few new elements of the project in front of some large school groups here in London. This is a magical experience that not only reminds us of the importance of listening to our audience (the children!) but also provides a constant reminder of the extraordinary talents and energy of Michael and Genevieve, the show’s creators.

Whilst ‘tings is rough’ for some in the licensing world right now, the literacy, reading and music education work we’re doing with Rastamouse provides crucial feedback, guiding how we might further develop the Rastamouse brand.

With more Easy Crew tunes about to emerge under the guidance of the master of riddim-maker Andrew Kingslow, we are sure we'll be bumpin’ fists with the Eavis family once again.

But, for now, The Rocksteady Reggae project provides a platform for a new phase of activity and new partnerships that will continue to demonstrate how unique and inspirational Rastamouse really is.


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