Brass in Concert were delighted to welcome new players to Sage Gateshead and St Cuthbert’s Bedlington through a fantastic partnership with MPN.
Through funding received from Youth Music, Music Partnership North (MPN) are currently running a three year brass project with schools from South East Northumberland.
This project runs directly after the students have been involved in a whole class instrumental (WCET) experience and provides a clear progression route for all children to continue to play brass instruments in an ensemble setting.
Through the WCET programme, year three students receive one hour per week whole class instrumental tuition on instruments such as cornet, baritone, trombone and tenor horns. Following directly on from this experience students make the decision on whether they would like to join their school based mini brass band which will take place either either at a lunchtime or after school once a week and so continue their instrumental journey. At this point students have the opportunity to change onto another brass band instrument.
To ensure the success of this project it is essential that students have the opportunity to be involved in large scale, high quality performances such as Brass in Concert at Sage Gateshead.
The project is coming to the end of its current funding stream but over the last three years all mini bands within the schools have continued to grow and the ability and confidence of the students is clearly visible to see.
There are thirteen schools of varying sizes involved in the project each running a mini band. Some bands have only five members while others have thirty five and over ninety children from five of these schools attended the elementary workshop and performed on the concourse as part of Brass in Concert.
MPN are delighted that this year Brass in Concert have extended their youth work to include area based workshops. On the 7th November MPN and Brass in Concert held a workshop day at St Cuthbert’s Church, Bedlington. This gave the five schools, identified below, the opportunity to come together and rehearse the music they performed at Sage Gateshead on the 18th November. Laura Jackson lead this workshop with the support of musicians from Reg Vardy Brass Band, The Riverside Band and MPN.
We would like you to meet these schools:
Ellington Primary School mini band meet every Tuesday lunch time and currently have 17 members playing a mixture of cornets, baritones, trombones and tenor horns.
Stead Lane Primary School mini band meet every Monday after school and are one of our smaller mini bands. They currently have 8 members playing a mixture of cornets, baritones, trombones and tenor horns.
West End First School mini band meet every Tuesday lunch time and currently have 30 members playing a mixture of cornets, baritones, trombones and tenor horns.
Whitley Memorial C of E First School mini band meet every Friday lunch time and currently have 35 members playing a mixture of cornets, baritones, trombones and tenor horns.
Mowbray Primary School mini band meet every Friday lunch time and currently have 18 members playing cornets and baritones.
“At West End the children really enjoy learning their brass instruments. The programme not only ensures they receive high quality teaching and learning from a music specialist but gives them a real sense of achievement and self-esteem.
The opportunities provided for the children to play in the mini band and larger ensembles are fantastic and the children really respond well to these activities, enjoying the challenge and the feeling of being part of something special. Parents also really appreciate the opportunities these events provide for the children to learn and play alongside real musicians.
Music Partnership North have developed a fabulous programme which really connects with the children’s heritage. The fact that the programme is so well funded means that it is good value for money and a very worthwhile use of a limited school budget. It also means that school can support disadvantaged children to have access to learning a musical instrument without discrimination. We are delighted to be part of the Bedlington Brass project.”
Head Teacher West End First School
“The brass project has made a huge impact on music in our school. Every child in Year 3 experiences what it is like to learn and play a musical instrument as part of a whole class.They feel what it is like to be part of a group making a great sound together! The children start to read music, which is an amazing skill for life and enables them to take part in many varied musical activities throughout their life.
The youth music funding has also created the opportunity for the children to continue as a member of the brass mini band in Year 4. Last year this involved the thrill of playing at the Sage, St Nicholas Cathedral and our local church. The parents are extremely proud of their children’s achievements and we hope it has fostered a lifelong love of music!
Whitley Memorial C of E First School
“Playing music makes you feel good and I like the noise it makes, like being at a Newcastle United match” Matthew Mowbray Primary School
“I am looking forward to playing at Sage Gateshead because I get to play with my friends and I have never seen or been to the Sage before. Playing music and being in my mini band is fun and gives me lots of opportunities” Emerson Mowbray Primary School
I like playing in my mini band because all my friends are there and I get to play with them. I am looking forward to playing with them at the Sage as playing music makes me happy” Namh Stead Lane Primary School
“I like playing music because it is hard at the start but after a few years you’ll get better and then it will be lovely. It’s always better to go and see music at theatres as it is inspiring and I could maybe be doing that one day” Ava Stead Lane Primary School
“I like playing music as it relaxes me and everything else goes out of your mind, I am looking forward to playing at the Sage as I get to perform to lots of people and I can show people what I am capable of” Emily Ellington Primary School
“I like to play music because music is in my heart and I always enjoy it. Playing at the Sage is one chance in a lifetime.” Josh Ellington Primary School
If you would like more information on the above project please contact Fiona.Johnstone@northumberland.gov.uk
Business Development Officer
Music Partnership North