Talented young musicians flourish thanks to project
- Credit: Ian Burt
A scheme which has been set up to allow young musicians the opportunity to start tuition on an instrument will now support 200 pupils thanks to a special grant.
The West Norfolk Academies Trust is expanding an initiative to encourage more talented young musicians in west Norfolk after receiving a grant of £2,000 from the Royal Warrant Holders' Association charity fund.
The project allows students in six of the trust's primary schools who show "an aptitude for music" to begin tuition on an orchestral instrument, and will now also include all primary schools connected into its high schools - Springwood, Smithdon, St Clement's and Marshland.
The six primary schools it started in were Clenchwarton, West Lynn, Snettisham, Heacham Junior, Walpole Cross Keys and Gaywood.
The grant will give more than 200 pupils the opportunity to learn, with more than 20 schools now involved in the scheme.
Rob Galliard, director of primary music at the trust, said the project began in 2019 to give children one term's experience of playing an instrument.
He said: “We use the same whole class opportunity but after a term, select a group of pupils who show an aptitude for music to begin tuition on an orchestral instrument.
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"Of those who started in 2019, nearly 50pc are still playing and beginning to join bands and orchestras.”
The Royal Warrant Holders’ Association charity fund is established by companies which hold royal warrants and helps small local good causes.
The funding, which is the second donation received by the trust, will be used to buy more instruments for lessons and for children to use in practice at home.
The instruments are provided free of charge to the children and the cost of the lessons is under £2 per week.
Beginner orchestral instruments cost at least £150, rising up to more than £1,000.
Mr Galliard said: “We provide opportunities for the children from different schools to come together and this develops their social skills.
“There is a shortage of players of some orchestral instruments - mainly because of their cost.
"These are known as rare breed instruments and we have purchased bassoons, french horns, oboes and violas for use in our primary schools.”