Making sound; The Victorians and The Ancient Greeks are all in the National Curriculum. We can tailor tours suitable to all three areas - and more!

Making sound

Using a variety of the musical instruments at the house, we can teach children how sounds are made, reproduced and synthesised from Harmonics. The instruments include not only the pipe organs but also the Hammond which shows how different sounds can be created by adding harmonics together. This knowledge harks back to Plato and the Greek music. The Aeolian Harp and the Alpen horn demonstrate how harmonics are produced naturally. Playing these harmonics gives the origin of the musical scales of the West and the East and the Borghese plaques on the outside of the house depict ancient musicians playing instruments which have evolved and perpetuate the same music today. In particular we note the Kithara or Cithara, the professional musicians' version of the lyre which developed variously into the Zither and the mediaeval Citern in the west played with the tambour and into the Citar and Tabla in the east. Cithara, Citar, Guitar through north Africa and the Spanish arriving in the origin of Celtic and Irish folk music audibly traceable to the Indian and the ancient Greek. The course is taken by David Pinnegar BSc ARCS who studied physics at Imperial College and has had a lifelong interest in music. Finchcocks, near Goudhurst in Kent also does tours for schools on making sound using the collection of historic pianos there.

The Victorians

The tour includes all aspects of the Victorian period, not only from an Upstairs-Downstairs perspective but simply examining how the people lived both from the evidence of the building and also from aural recollections which we have recorded. The tour also makes use of Mrs Eileen Pinnegar's extensive dress collection. The course is taken by Mrs Eileen Pinnegar, a qualified teacher who lectures to all age groups.

The Greeks

Plato's philosophy, the Parthenon and Hope for the young . . .

A class of the local Ashurstwood Primary School was recently taken for a tour by David Pinnegar showing them the copy of the Parthenon Frieze, explaining the debate of the Council of gods therein portrayed as ensuing directly from the missing speech of Zeus' in Plato's Critias. The children became so enthralled by the concept within the context of the modern environmental debate and their studies of the Greeks, that they decided themselves to hold a debate of the Gods: "Should mankind be allowed to continue to exist on earth?". Each child took the part and point of view of each one of the Greek Gods. The debate was attended by the whole school. On a trial run the cause for mankind won by just one vote. Plato maintained that Hephaestus, the engineer, was responsible for creating the first man. Perhaps the Parthenon frieze Council debate also ensues from the issue posed by Hephaestus' creation, contrary to the instructions of the then Scientific Ethics Council.

When the debate was heard by the whole school, including a very expressive Ares (Mars) God of War "I want to get rid of men because I just hate mankind", the children from 5 to 10 years old voted heavily in favour of man.

When in the future those children face issues of good and evil - perhaps immediate teenage issues of drugs and ensuing crime - might their conscious concern through life be to help mankind win its vote to justify survival? Will these children, perhaps more than any others, now seek good and turn away from bad? Could the appreciation of the heritage in this way have a radically beneficial effect on inner-city problems?

Upon a visit to the British Museum, one finds the display of the Elgin Marbles incomplete, part of the central section of the frieze remaining still in Athens. The majesty of the Gods sitting in full council is thereby incomprehensible. Even the copy which adorns the Athenaeum Club in central London has the missing panel replaced by an inferior rendition and the copy at Hammerwood is the only copy in England accurately displayed and on regular display to the public.

We also teach English to individual residential foreign students

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