Do you have an unwanted or unused musical instrument?
That instrument could provide the beginnings of a life long musical journey.
Remember the days when all school music departments had a variety of instruments that students were free to use?
Well, sadly, many schools across the UK now no longer even have music departments, let alone instruments.
In an age where funding for the arts is suffering and music is gradually fading from the school curriculum, we are developing a schools workshop series to bring music education back to the musicians and audiences of the future.
A big factor in the success of this outreach endeavour is the sustainability of our efforts to inspire school children after the workshops take place.
Our plan is to supply schools with donated instruments so that the young people who partake in our workshops can keep the ball rolling when we leave.
(This is where you guys come in!)
We will gladly and gratefully accept all instruments in any condition.
These instruments will be refurbished and given a new life in the hands of an enthusiastic and inspired child. In addition to this, we will keep donors up to date with news on the schools that the instruments have been supplied to and on the progress of the children playing them.
This outreach programme will start in London in the 2017/2018 academic year.
Help to give the greatest gift of all – A creative mind!
As a group of musicians and musical educators, we are all aware that Arts Funding cuts are preventing many children and adults alike from being able to access music education. I have been teaching in schools as a visiting music teacher for the past 5 years, and even in such a short space of time have been alarmed at the changes that I have seen.
The Old Jelly Rollers are seven-strong, so between us we have probably spent around 100 years learning our instruments (that’s a long time!) and have experienced the joys that music education brings. I am often disheartened by the attitudes that some people have towards what we’ve spent this joined 100 years doing;
“So what, if there are fewer musicians in the world?”
“Kids go to school to learn real subjects, not to mess about with musical instruments!”
“What’s the point in learning an instrument if you don’t want to be a musician?”
So, I thought I’d share just a few of the benefits of music education with you (just in case having a great time and learning a marvelous new skill aren’t benefits enough!)
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of music education is that it vastly improves a learner’s confidence. The evidence of this comes long before you consider that getting up on stage, be it at a concert hall or at a school show, takes a lot of nerve; A big part of learning to sing or play an instrument is being asked to demonstrate what you have been practicing, or to have a go at an exercise in front of your teacher (and your peers, in group lessons). The safe learning environment that is created by enjoyment and moral support means that in no time at all, the ability to demonstrate, talk and perform is magnified onto a much grander scale, both in other areas of work and socially.
The Social Element
In our opinion, nothing is more rewarding or satisfying than that feeling that you get when you’ve put on an amazing gig with your best mates. And it’s not just about the show – The amount of time that you spend with a group of like minded, creative people when preparing for a gig, concert or tour creates the perfect environment for some really amazing friendships to develop. Amazing friendships = happy, healthy state of mind.
In this changing world of bigger classes, less playtime, more homework and greater pressure, it’s easy to forget to make some time for self-expression. The ability to express oneself is cultivated by encouraging a creative mind, and many musicians turn to their instruments for expression (or just to let of some steam) in times of high stress, emotional difficulty or great joy!
However fun it is, mastering any instrument is not easy. Music students very quickly realize the importance of practicing and hard work, as the results are literal and clearly apparent in their progress. They also come to understand that the reward for their hard work is the improvement that they’ve made and what they have learned from their efforts – a very valuable lesson indeed! This helps to develop a tenacity in all areas of work, and a strength that will be invaluable as they progress in later life.
So, go forth and learn!
Blog by Louise Balkwill
If you have any questions regarding this post or would like to apply to host a workshop in your school or educational facility, please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org