A group of Orthodox Jewish girls in Gateshead went round the world in 80 instruments last week, playing tortoise shells and goats’ hooves.

Students from Keser Torah explored a range of unusual instruments during the two-day workshop, including a beautiful painted Ukrainian string instrument called the balalaika, and had fun dressing up in Russian hats.

Facilitator Emily Ben Ze’ev, a former primary school teacher who has set up her own consultancy running workshops, said the girls particularly liked the goats’ hooves from South America, sewn together to make a shaker, and the real tortoise maracas from the Canadian Rockies, whereby tortoise shells are filled with seeds.

Mrs Salomon, the girls’ Head of Secular Studies, said: “The feedback was amazing and so positive from all the girls…the sessions were beyond our expectations.”