In Funding Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage

Project: Sing and String: free, inspirational music lessons for children from primary schools in areas of deprivation.

Buckinghamshire Building Society Named Fund: £4,692

Many children have little or no access to music education either through their school or privately due to financial disadvantage. With funding from Heart of Bucks, Chiltern Music Academy have provided free instrumental music lessons to primary school children in deprived areas of High Wycombe.

Children without access to music education are unable to enjoy the benefits it provides, such as positive mental health, a boost in creative skills and resilience, as well as the improvement on educational outcomes and employability. Chiltern Music Academy were able to deliver their free music lessons to 180 children across three schools, during ten weeks of curriculum time. Entitled ‘Sing and String’, the sessions included practical music lessons from violin specialists, as well as songs, games and hands on string playing. The lessons gave the children a fun introduction to string playing and modelled the elements of good music teaching to class teachers and learning assistants. At the end of each term, the children performed to parents and their school community, showcasing their new new skills.

Parent feedback

“I just wanted to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Year 3’s playing violin yesterday at Highworth. The children were all so engaged and I thought your teaching method was absolutely fantastic.”

Thanks to Chiltern Music Academy, the children have become excited by music and the chance to discover their own creativity and musical abilities. Many are now able to develop and progress further with their music education, with CMA offering a free term and subsidised lessons to any child wishing to continue learning the violin after the funded lessons ended in their school. All the children have received a huge confidence boost that comes from learning and performing an instrument, as well as future skills such as problem solving and working as a team.

Case Study

C* (name changed) from Ash Hill school took part in Sing and String in Summer. She was keen as mustard, and showed instant promise on the violin. The family are financially disadvantaged, and C would not have had this opportunity in any other way. At the end of the term, she came to the Big Party at CMA, and witnessed the groups playing and singing. She took up a free place at CMA in September, joining Find Your Forte Violin, where she has made terrific progress and is ready to take her grade 1 exam. Her teacher is delighted with the progress. Mum has said that C’s entire character has been transformed. She is confident, positive and motivated, and this translates into every aspect of life at school and at home.

Alex King, CMA Trustee said

“Chiltern Music Academy are a charity committed to providing excellent musical opportunities to local children of all backgrounds. Our inspirational leaders have a very special impact wherever they work.  Sing and String provides access for those who would otherwise miss out on the wonderful benefits of music education. As a charity, we rely entirely on fundraising for these outreach projects, and are grateful to Heart of Bucks and Bucks Building Society for the funding. “

To read more about Chiltern Music Academy, click here.

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