Brilliant work with children working with @luke_crookes – inspiring music practitioner – truly talented and genuinely searching for the innate power of creativity in young people.

Carran Waterfield. Theatre and performance maker. August 2019

A fellow collaborator

this is so well put together  …user friendly …simple , clear …….thank you for your time on this ….BIG thanks

June 2020

It has almost been 3 and a half years since I participated in the Candlebird project in St Andrews, Fife in 2016. It was an extraordinary experience thanks to the workshop leader @luke_crookes and@mcs42 @SCOmusic‘s associate composer) for making it such a memorable experience.

 April 2019.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the amazing work you did with our children for the past two days. To see them so engaged and interested in every aspect of the project was a delight and I can safely say they will look back on it as being a highlight for their time in Year 4. 

School teacher. June 2019

Thanks for an amazing project. It was inspiring, creative, educational, and most importantly FUN for the staff and the pupils.

Kerri Ovel. Deputy head of Beatrice Tate Special School. Museum of Docklands. February 2020.

Dear Luke

It was a great day yesterday, thank you for your wonderful musical input – so creative, sensitive and imaginative, all at once!

Collaborative artist. October 2019

You work in such an imaginative way and really make a difference to the students we try to connect with.

Project manager. October 2019. 

To Luke, as ever I saw the foundations of the sessions on the first day and know how much time, energy and passion you put into each project, so I have no doubt that yesterday was a wonderful evolution.

Project manager. February 2019.

Luke you are inspirational – no other way of putting it! For me it is always about the pupils and watching Romelo joyously swaying in time to your music was fantastic.  

Kind regards

Bill Webster, Head of School. February 2019.

Feedback from our dance and music sessions on Zoom. June 2020

Audience feedback:

’I’ve just watched the video, produced from your performance last night. I absolutely loved it. I was really emotional actually – knowing what you’re going though and yet you have led something that felt very tender and also optimistic. Well done. “

Donna Bradshaw audience member 20.6.20

‘It was a really moving and engaging piece”

Carol Bushell -audience member 19.6.20

‘…just watched it again with Rich and it’s even better on second viewing! I forgot to say yesterday that the heart beating sound made my own heart beat quicker! I loved the sunlight on one of the dancers and the hands near the camera too. Really good, and very moving. The medium of Zoom actually really helped create the right atmosphere of feeling trapped yet free, safe yet uncertain, disconnected and connected. Loved it! “

Carol Bushell -audience member 19.6.20

‘Mesmerising, fascinating details, playing with proximity to the camera, really loved this. Well done Ad Hoc CD”

Helena Rudd audience member 19.6.20

“Just watched the Ad Hoc piece, cocoon, absolutely brilliant, really captures a sense of isolation in our own spaces, the music and movement express a beautiful heightened sense of emotion. Well done to you and the performers.”

Richard- audience member 19.6.20

“It’s amazing. I love the music and dancing and all the shadows and response to the physical spacing.’

Ruth Allen from Manchester Art Gallery audience member 20.6.20

“I love this! Well done all – beautiful work”

Nadia Molinari audience member 20.6.20

“Love this. Magical”

Sarah Thompson audience member 20.6.20

“so great , a layered and emotional entanglement of solos together apart“

Kieran Sheehan

Participant feedback:

This is amazing! You have no idea how deep this has gone for me to work with my extreme lockdown experience! Take it into movement and music with the so very talented Ruth and Luke, and be part of Ad Hoc! Deeply touched!

“Thank you so much for Ad Hoc – such a treat and delight for me. I just wanted to say how much joy this project has brought into my life – and sparked off creativity again after such a reduced life in lockdown! To be part of Ad Hoc from afar has been a great privilege.

I hope there will be ways to stay connected, or even another project until things go ‘back’ (hopefully) to how they were?!”

Participant Alice Plummer 12.6.20

I was able to weave my extreme lockdown experience into this.

Really appreciate your guidance and support with our project – very special.

It’s fab! Amazing to be part of this!

WOW this is outstanding ….love it …congratulations to Luke and all of you who joined him in his music worksop to make this happen / create a unique piece of music in this unique moment in time.

Wow – I just watched it again. It is so very moving and the whole creative process of getting there in music and movement was so transformative! Thank you with all my heart. And to be able to work with Ad Hoc from a distance in my case has been a true honour. I have missed you all. 

Thank you with all my heart for this amazing and deeply transformative movement and music journey in lockdown! It has been life saving and life changing!

Wow – I just watched it again. It is so very moving and the whole creative process of getting there in music and movement was so transformative! Thank you with all my heart. And to be able to work with Ad Hoc from a distance in my case has been a true honour. I have missed you all. “

Participant Alice Plummer 19.6.20

“Thank you Ruth for leaving your comfort zone and providing us all with an opportunity to take part in something unique and special (as always)”

Elizabeth Patrick Ad Hoc Dance participant 19.6.20

“Just wanted to thank you for a fab time tonight..you are both amazing to create what happened tonight “

Linda Boyles Ad Hoc Dance participant 19.6.20

“..last night lifted my spirits and I was in need of a lift, last night

… appreciation to you all “

Padmadee Ad Hoc Dance participant 19.6.20

‘…huge thanks to Ruth and Luke, for one of my best lockdown experiences’

Emily Stock -participant 20.6.20

“Just to add my HUGE thanks to you Ruth for what was an amazing ‘pivot’.I have always admired your facilitation of us Ad Hoc-ers, but to do so virtually, in separation, mostly on your knees, with every conceivable obstacle, was amazing.Rock! Ad hoc-ers – great, as ever to bounce, jump, laugh and warble with you all in joyful creation.’

Alison Kilduff- participant 20.6.20

“I could feel my creativity being tapped into. I loved working with you on the track, I thought the way you were so inclusive and encouraging with everyone was great, a rare skill!“

Participant 20.6.20

A teacher telling us about how a parent and child have enjoyed our isolation activity Sail Away

X’s mum is reporting to me that x absolutely loves Luke’s Sail Away episodes and she insist on playing them every day and at least every night before going to sleep…….it is so amazing that you could offer this to x with the work you’ve been doing with Luke and how it’s now helping her to cope through the quarantine. It’s one of the few things she feels like engaging with.

June 2020

There’s no formula, everything you do is unique and different and the people involved, whatever their ages, are completely committed to the projects. I admire your patience and originality and talent and inexhaustible energy ……freedom and wide-openheartedness.  

Liz PatrickAugust 2019

Thank you again for a wonderful session.

SEND Project manager at the Museum of London.


Wind trio concert

Just wanted to pass on our thanks to you and the rest of your trio for your performance at Laureate House today.

I found your music very moving and you may have noticed that it reduced me to tears.

This vascular dementia illness is so cruel, it robs individuals of their memory, their personality, their character and it’s so distressing.  However seeing the time and personal effort your group went to helps to restore our hope that people are genuinely kind and want to do their bit to support.

Audience member  June 2019

It’s amazing. Thank you. [a recording and film of the children’s composition] The children really loved working with you and the video and music is fantastic. 

kleo Stylis. Head of art Hallfield Primary school. May 2019

I just watched the film and it’s absolutely brilliant! The soundtrack is absolutely amazing and so thank you very much for all of your hard work on this too.

Project manager. Open City. May 2019.

Just a note to tell you how much  I enjoyed today, what a pleasure it was, thank you so much for arranging it with your special ‘team’ Nell and Luke.  It really was very special to all present.

A participant on the first session of Powsowdie. A pilot project on reminiscence using music and baking at Heron Corn Mill, Cumbria. April 2019


This is really nice Luke! [a film of the performance] Thanks for sharing and creating this. It’s been so lovely working with you both. The ladies really enjoyed it and it was really special to see the space animated last Friday. Thanks for all your amazing work.

Bryan Beresford. March 2019  

Curatorial & Community Engagement Assistant (Contemporary Forward)
Rochdale Arts and Heritage Service


It’s been atransformative adventure. Thank you so much for everything.

Project manager. February 2019

Thank you very much for your soundscapes sessions with students and staff. The feedback was very positive from all who were involved. Your approach and interesting use of technology has inspired Yellow Class and we have since been exploring how we can explore and combine communication through music.

We hope to see you again in the future.

Warm Regards, Holly Ellis,Yellow Class Teacher. Ickburgh School. February 2019.


Many thanks for yesterday, a creative session which hopefully prompted lots of thinking outside the box!

No doubt we will see you again soon

Chief Executive Officer Berkshire Maestros music service. February 2019.

I would like to investigate more of the Luke’s work, very inspirational.

 It was a very interesting concept.

Participant. Experimental approches to creativity workshop  


Thank you so much for organising the project my class did with Luke and Marc. It was such a great experience on so many levels – my students responded incredibly positively and were engaged throughout. This was very much down to Luke and Marc’s ability to tune-in to the group, and pitch their ideas and activities in ways that worked – drawing on their rich personal creativity and adapting this appropriately to the character of the students. Moreover, it always felt as if the project was a collaborative venture between all participants, with everyone’s input valued and incorporated.

Class teacher February 2019

Thanks again for today! We made some wonderful memories and gave the students a lovely sensory educational experience.

Paula Ogun. Class teacher Oasis School. February 2019

Thanks so so much for a wonderful experience , we all loved it and got so much from it.

Kind Regards to all Dawn and co

Class teacher Waltham college. Dawn Musharafie. 31st January 2019


Thank you so much for all your work this year; it’s been amazing to see how our groups have responded.

Project manager. The National Gallery. December 2018.


An enormous thank you too for sharing so much with us;  I think everyone who came to the workshop or the evening performance got a great deal from it.  Certainly I know I did.

Audience member of my solo bassoon theatre piece ‘Form becomes us’ and workshop participant. November 2018


Dear all,

Thank you all so much for the wonderful work you did at the British Museum today, and in preparation for the event. We engaged 197 people, in various different ways. It was wonderful to see your interpretations of the gallery spaces and objects. November 2018.

‘Thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance on Sunday especially the final section with the whole ensemble….quirky, fun and different. Pauline Gibson/ audience member. November 2018

Not only is your sensitivity to the dance amazing but the fact that you seem to produce it in short time. Liz Patrick, participant.November 2018


The session on Monday was great fun. We chanted, processed, did a shadow show and even choreographed a monkey dance. Luke led a truly delightful day.

Head of Education. The Charterhouse. November 2018


Thank you very much Luke,

The morning was amazing and the children’s performance was incredible! Thank you so much for all of your hard work on the project. Sophie Draper project manager. Open City. October 2018


Thank you for designing and facilitating such a fabulous session with my class today. It was obvious by the end of it, and by the students’ mood when we got back to school, that they really enjoyed the day.The activities were perfectly pitched and appropriate to the very sensory needs of the group. You enabled each one to be able to engage on their own terms, without putting them under any pressure to participate. Yet by the end they had all participated – both directly, and in their own way. You also enabled them to access the Gallery in a way in which they understood and were able to.

Given the complexities of their individual conditions they can be quite a challenging group to work with You addressed this with sensitivity, insight and the utmost creativity.

It was an absolute pleasure!

Owen Smith. Riverside special school.


Thanks to all for a truly remarkable project. Thanks to the amazing foundation work completed by Emily and the enthusiasm of Dierdre, Jenny and Ian, plus the infectious talent of Luke and Marc, we did it! …… I truly can’t thank everyone enough.

Charterhouse & The Village school

Project Manager. Charterhouse.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 20.37.30

“Thank you so much for all the sessions at the library Luke. I cannot tell you how much all the ladies have enjoyed it! Yesterday was a great success and we have had some marvellous feedback”.

Library choir

North Manchester Library Manager  July 2018


“Thank you very very much Luke for all of your incredible hard work on the project, I really really appreciate it”.

Open City. Regent’s Place

Project manager. Open City. July 2018


“Thank you so much for all the fantastic work you put into the project. It was a pleasure to work on this with you.”
Collaborative artist. Chartist project. July 2018

How would you describe the project to other teachers?
“A fun, engaging, fully inclusive and multi-sensory history story; perfectly pitched for students with complex needs, led by a highly skilled musician and supported by sensitive and experienced museum staff. The project gives space for students to express their own creativity by allowing them the space to play and explore around its history-based theme. The facilitators draw on proven and effective methods for engaging students with complex needs (including Attention Autism and Intensive Interaction) allowing the story to unfold each week based on the students’ own terms.”

Museum of London & Riverside Special School

School teacher. March 2018


“Thank you so much for the Riverside project. It’s been incredible”.

Project manager. March 2018

“I would like to say a big thank you to you all for a fantastic day with the learners. The whole event that was organised by yourselves was very creative and innovating. Learners experienced something they have not previously, they engaged well and enjoyed all aspects of the session.”


Sense it! Rousseau painting


“One group mentioned how much they appreciated being part of the performance, that the opportunity to respond made the music ‘easier to enjoy and understand’.

Feedback from the families and groups that attended.

“Thank you so much again. It really did go brilliantly”.

The British Museum porcelain

Orlagh Muldoon
Programme Manager: Wolfson Project
The British Museum


“it’s the depth of thinking that goes into a moment, of true student centred learning, that can then appear to be so easy when it is facilitated so well (by you).”

Collaborative workshop artist


“Many thanks for coming in today, the learners enjoyed their session with clear interactions happening”

Barnet and Southgate College special school teacher


“Just to say it was absolutely magical – to see how the painting became alive through the careful selection of detail and then interpreted through music, singing and movement and back to painting – all of it was wonderful ! I met one of the pupils yesterday and she was talking to me about “the baby” ( signing actually). the speech therapist that she was with said the class team said it was the best trip they’d been on.”

Deirdre O’Flanagan

Deputy Team Leader – Expressive Arts
The Village School
London Borough Of Brent


“A very inspiring project that led to real creative freedom and an end result that was entirely the students.”
Teacher, Candlebird Creative Composition Workshop, 2015.


“Dan, Caitlin and Paul were singing the song all the way home and today we listened to the opera! It was so amazing and transported us all to the land of imagination and collaboration you made!” Parent.

“I love your ambient evocations! Full of mystery and joy. I think Turner’s paintings have this quality, visually!”


“I just wanted to say another very sincere ‘thank you’ for Tuesday evening. It’s breadth of appeal was quite striking because there were some very different characters in that room and it was great the way you drew them all in and enabled them to express some of their feelings about our great new enterprise of Senior Cohousing”

“Thank you for last night. I really enjoyed it and found it very compelling……. a visual treat. Loved the bassoonist…..live music just adds that extra magic!! Venue worked really well and I left feeling very uplifted!! “ ……..audience member Pauline Gibson

“with all your creative input. I personally think you your bassoon playing and wondrous methodology have provided a magic wand that has given this project flow and coherence, and raised the bar, for us at the National Gallery, creatively”

“Your musicality, professionalism, collaboration, communication, team work & dedication is such a joy & pleasure to work with.”


“Thanks for the workshops – they were great, pitched perfectly, engaging and fun!”

Paul Morrow. Lead Practitioner of the Creative Arts.


It is such a pleasure to work with such a wonderfully creative, instinctive and self-reflective practitioner such as yourself. Thanks for your wonderful work and enthusiasm.


Head of Nursery Charles Dickens Primary School.


“Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring workshop at our artist sharing this week. I really enjoyed the day and I thought your workshop with Chloe set the tone beautifully for a balanced exploration of practise and content”.

Michael Sells Senior Project Manager.

Create – transforming lives, inspiring creativity.


Demonstrating the bassoon

Wow! Brilliant as always! Thank you so much for delivering such amazing workshops! Project manager August 2017

“it was really interactive….. it got my child to sing in different ways to what he would normally do, using different tones and intonation. It was really interesting” Parent

“I really liked the use of the body as a paint brush, it worked very well because they could more clearly understand how it was relating to music” Project manger

“Outside I saw some children from the earlier session being a tree and doing the noises with their parents. I thought it was a good extension from the gallery into the wider world” Project manger


Creative team orchestra


“Thanks a lot Luke. It went even better than I expected – and I had high expectations! You were excellent as presenter, and the rest of your team were absolutely brilliant too.”

“The most innovative and effective team building activity I have experienced. Luke was a dynamic and inspirational leader and our group really responded positively and cohesively. We went from not having touched an instrument to being part of an orchestra in three fun and productive hours.”

Best Regards, Simon O’Sullivan. Regional Director – Northern Europe Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services


Barbican workshop

“I liked Luke’s playfulness and imagination, his wonderful love for and playing of the bassoon and information and anecdotes, and his fearless and relaxed approach to what might be an unusual topic! The singing bit makes me tearful. Such a lovely process!”


“Just a quick note to say that the Year 3/4 teachers were really pleased and impressed with this week’s workshops. I didn’t ask them for feedback but they came up to me to tell me how great it was, as did one of the 5/6 teachers who was walking through the hall at the time. They said that the teaching points were very clear and well demonstrated with examples for the children to listen to. Additionally, they were impressed by the level of work that the children produced. Welldone.”

“He makes music fun lets put it that way.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 21.57.46

Royal Free hospital workshop


Dear everyone at Promslearning

I just wanted to thank you, and all the musicians involved in the Family orchestra event on Sunday 12 August, for the wonderful time which my relatives -Morgan and River Sawchyn and their parents- had. When they returned from the event, and the concert afterwards (yes, we went with them to that, and that was exceptional too), they were buzzing with excitement and delight. Thank you so much for all the effort you must have put in to create such a successful outcome. Could I also please ask you to convey special thanks to the musician who led the workshop. I’m sorry that the children didn’t tell me his name, but they described him as “awesome”!

Thank you very much indeed. Best wishes, Judith Lamb.


“Luke was a real inspiration to the children. They warmed to his non-stuffy, personable approach to classical music.” – Veena, Yr. 6 Teacher

“Children are now interested in composing using ‘symbols’ as in the project” – Jo, Yr. 6 Teacher

“The children are much more confident about performance, sharing and taking risks. Some less able children became really engaged and more confident” – Veena, Yr. 6 Teacher

“It helped me to understand that without the wonderful music a play is not complete” – Sejal, Yr. 6 student

“The best thing about the project was meeting Luke and Fiona” – Sejal – Yr.6 pupil

“When you think it’s getting boring, they pop up with something fun!” Aman, Yr. 6 pupil

“The music acted as well” Radhika, Yr. 6 pupil

Philharmonia Orchestra

Musical stories (3)

Wallace collection workshop

Baringa staff corporate orchestra feedback

“The best corporate event I have been to since working for the company and probably the best I have been to since starting work 11 years ago. Brilliant!” 

“Fantastic performance and engagement by Luke.” 

“By an absolute mile – the best ‘teambuilding’ event I have ever done throughout my career”. 

“Totally and completely exceeded my wildest expectations!” “As a whole company we achieved something which felt pretty incredible!”

Comments from Baringa staff.


Royal London hospital

Andrew Wieland. Hospital Teacher

Barts and The London Children’s Hospital School (THPRU)

“Facilitators clearly understood the wide range of our students needs. They included all the students throughout the soundtrack work. Allowed students to respond/interact in their own time which is so important for SEN students.

Highlight for me was they way they empowered a very withdrawn student to lead/conduct the session. This was massively positive for him and subsequently has changed his attitude to school in hospital.”


“loads of useful tips given in a fun and interesting way”

“fantastic way to involve young musician. Inspiring”

“inspiring leader”

BBC Proms family orchestra feedback 2012


The Philharmonia Orchestra visit to the Phoenix Centre

On Friday 27th April 2012, three men from an Orchestra came to visit us at the Phoenix Centre. Gideon was playing the violin, Phil was playing the trombone and Luke was playing the Bassoon and was also the main spokesperson talking about the instruments and explaining what they do and how they do it.

They came in with bright smiles on their faces and immediately started talking to us and asking what our names were. Then they played some tunes whilst educating us on the music and the instruments. After that, they got us involved and gave us a cello and a violin to play and pass around, showing each of us how to play the instrument and when to play it so it would go in with a piece of music they were playing. They played many theme tunes Eastenders, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Wallace & Gromit and they also playing The Bolero.

I, and many other patients found the lesson very enjoyable and we would recommend it to anyone else. It was truly fun and we would love to do it again. They were very good because they got us involved and cheered us all up.

By Sophie


Feedback from inset teacher training day designed to inspire whole school to feel confident doing music.

“Super session, lots of great ideas to use throughout the school. Thanks Luke”

“Very enjoyable session, lively, suitable for all abilities and groups. Lots of really good ideas for nursery. Thanks”.

“Lots of content”

“Good ideas for warmup/games”

“Good ideas about composition”

“Child led activities”

“Everyone involved- good for kinesthetic learners! Good for children who don’t particularly like writing things down-oral!”

“Opportunity to experience activities”

“Overall very good for new ideas”

“An excellent creative musical workshop”

“Loved the exciting warm-ups and games”

“Good to explore planning in a more free way”

“Inspired us to spice up planning, make it cross curricular and explore a range of musical elements in one lesson, thank you!”


The Museum of London