Local Youngsters Tuning Up for Musical Master-Class
Published by kerri smith for Thrive Homes in Housing and also in Communities, Education
Youngsters at three local schools are tuning up ready for musical master-classes as part of a local housing association’s scheme.
To mark its fifth anniversary Thrive Homes – which owns and manages more than 4,000 rented and leasehold properties in Hertfordshire – is using the milestone as an opportunity to inspire its staff, residents and community partners with a variety of community projects in its Year of Ambition (YoA).
And as part of it, the IMPULSE Outreach Training Programme, organised in collaboration with the Purcell School in Bushey, will see talented musicians working with pupils at schools in the Three Rivers District.
In turn the Year 10 students from St Clement Danes and Joan of Arc will visit local primary schools to perform their pieces and get younger children in the district interested in music. They are hoping to work with Rickmansworth School too.
Alison Cox OBE, IMPULSE Outreach Group Leader and Head of Composition at The Purcell School, said: “We are all very excited about the IMPULSE Outreach Programme.
“The training and mentoring I have observed is of a very high standard indeed and the young people are being taught how to share their skills and present their musical ideas in an interesting, engaging way.”
The two young music mentors working with St Clement Danes are Joachim Badia Arumi (piano/voice/composer) and Julian Fish (violin/viola).
Following their master class with the mentors the young people from St Clement Danes ran an amazing IMPULSE project.
Elizabeth Bennett, Music Teacher at St Clement Danes, said: “The pupils are very excited and come to see me all the time with ideas. They are thinking a lot about how instruments work, and this has also spread to their class work too. They are becoming more confident in ways that I was hoping. One pupil for example, who was quite nervous and doesn't like playing his instrument in public is now getting really involved and stuck in!
“The two IMPULSE Mentors have a very nice manner, which is a balance between teacher and pupil. The pupils admire their musicianship and find them very easy to talk to.”
Year 10 student at St Clement Danes Tom Nicholas said: “We all made our own musical arrangements and it was great fun practising together. My group played ‘Take Five’ using the piano, alto saxophone and bassoon.”
During the workshop, the youngsters were also interested to see how musical instruments are created.
They saw the internal workings of a piano and were intrigued to see that a viola bow can be taken apart and put back together again quite easily.
Tom added: “By the end of the workshop, the children were singing and dancing and clapping and jumping in time with each other. It was then that The Presto Dinosaurs knew they’d done a great job!”
St Joan of Arc school has just started its programme and is thrilled to welcome two brilliant young musicians Emma Halnan (former BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist) and Hannah Morgan (oboe).
Alison Cox said: “I have high expectations for this particular project because Emma and Hannah are both highly proactive and extremely well organised.”
Alison added: “'I'm absolutely delighted to see how well the pupils are developing as Young Music Leaders. They are learning many new skills, and will soon be able to inspire and motivate younger children in primary schools, providing positive role models for them.
“Thank you so much, Thrive Homes, for making this possible. I am sure that the young musicians will be very useful to you in future events and projects, and I shall be fascinated to see how they all develop these skills.”
An Outreach Gala Evening for the Thrive Homes’ schools is planned at the Purcell School so that the young people and teachers can demonstrate their progress.
Sean Hughes, Head of Policy and Communications at Thrive Homes, said: “Thrive Homes is delighted to be getting involved with three local secondary schools in our Year of Ambition through the Impulse Outreach Programme. The Purcell School is well respected as a centre of excellence, and bringing their talent to inspire a wider group of young people is exciting.
“Our vision is to enable thriving communities where there are life choices and opportunities.”
As part of its YoA Thrive Homes is also working with Francis Combe Academy in a week of classes to prepare its Year 10 for life after exams.
The life classes aim to teach the youngsters about budgeting, options after exams, finding and renting a home and many other vital skills when they take their first steps in the world.