Creating a music map of London for students
July 30, 2014 5:57 AM   Subscribe

How can I use an ordnance survey map plus some pins/string/labels to make a Music map of London for my secondary school classroom without it taking a lot of time and effort?

I am a secondary school Music teacher in London, currently spending part of my holiday clearing out my classroom in preparation for September. Whilst going through cupboards that have been full of junk since I started at the school, I found an ordnance survey map (this one). It covers the area where the school is as well as other parts of London.

I've checked with colleagues and it hasn't been claimed. I have struck on the idea of using it to create a display in my classroom - using pins and string to label musically significant places in London e.g. Abbey Road, where various artists/bands are from, famous concert halls etc. We are an inner city school and lots of the students are very unaware of the world outside of their postcode so I hope that this would be informative in a number of ways.

1. Time. I do not want to spend my entire summer holiday doing this.
2. Longevity. It seems like it would make sense to mount the map onto a large piece of paper first before sticking it to the wall so that additions can be made without having to then remove loads of individual labels from the wall later
3. Source material. I've done a bit of googling but haven't yet managed to find a long list of musical landmarks. I'd rather not just think of things off the top of my head, google them, map them (see issue 1).


How would you go about doing this? I have thought about getting kids to stick things up (as a reward?) but I'd need to have a stash of labels/locations/pins/string ready to go. I have extremely limited experience with crafts etc. but I'm willing to learn.

The easy option with this whole thing would be to chuck the map in the recycling bin and move on but if there is a way that I can do this with minimum hassle and maximum effect I'd like to give it a go. Other suggestions of variations on this idea are also welcome.

posted by Lotto to Education (6 answers total)
This is a really cool idea!

For longevity, I'd mount the map on a large piece of adhesive foamcore mounting board like this stuff. It's easy to use (not quite as repositionable as post-it note glue, but enough to carefully reverse wrinkles) -- I've mounted posters on it without much skill or experience. You could also try plain foamcore & spray adhesive. Some clear contact paper over the top would help it stand up to years of pins. Or take the map to a print shop and have them laminate it (before you mount it), if that's not too pricey. Shouldn't take longer than an afternoon altogether.

As to source material, I think seeding it with stuff you already know & letting the kids take over would be great! So much better when it's interactive. And if you feel your own knowledge is too sparse, I bet AskMe would jump at the chance to make suggestions ;)
posted by Westringia F. at 6:20 AM on July 30, 2014

Here's a map of each borough's best-selling musical act for source material.
posted by Harald74 at 6:30 AM on July 30, 2014

(This probably doesn't help since you're in the UK, but just for the record -- Elmers makes an adhesive foam board that is much cheaper than the Crescent mounting board I linked above.)
posted by Westringia F. at 6:32 AM on July 30, 2014

This doesn't really help you on a practical level, but I was astounded recently to learn that there's a Max Roach Park near Brixton, named after the great jazz drummer. There aren't many places in London named after black people (although this was apparently part of a Lambeth council initiative to rectify this situation) and certainly not after jazz musicians. The story goes, Max was actually on tour in the UK at the time and was able to attend the opening.

A cool piece of London/jazz history that certainly belongs on your map.
posted by Ted Maul at 7:13 AM on July 30, 2014

Wait, I've just realised your map doesn't cover South London. That sucks, because everybody knows South London is where you go for music.
posted by Ted Maul at 7:23 AM on July 30, 2014

A few years ago, I asked What kinds of music should London get credit for? and I got a lot of fantastic answers. You will still have to find the specific landmarks associated with most of them, but at least it might save you from having to think of acts off the top of your head.

I would also recommend The London Blue Plaque Guide, which tells you the location of every blue plaque in London. It has an index, where you can look up all the blue plaques associated with composers, conductors, and musicians.
posted by yankeefog at 5:50 AM on July 31, 2014

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