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Peterborough Music Hub is currently on a mission to enlist the help of parents and guardians, convincing them to support and encourage children to take up lessons and develop musical skills from an early age. Many local schools regularly provide Whole Class Ensemble Tuition (through the Music Hub team) and all will attest to the positive impact of music on the children’s learning and personal development.
The benefits of high quality music education go beyond the fun of playing, supporting numeracy and literacy skills, aural and listening skills, teamwork and community skills, and increasing wellbeing and self-confidence. Modern technology also provides a brilliant opportunity for writing songs, composing music and recording these efforts to share with the world through YouTube and other platforms. However, most people will acknowledge that music is best shared live, played and sung with skill and showmanship by talented artists across a wide range of genres.
Musical skills also support the work of a host of other cultural disciplines including dance, theatre, film and video games. It would appear on the surface that the nation has a vast array of musical talent – with no shortage of hopefuls seeking for money and fame through appearances on a series of popular TV shows. But there’s a relative shortage of instrumentalists and a growing list of ‘endangered’ instruments. Music Hubs were set up across the country to promote singing, playing and making music. Peterborough Music Hub, its partners and local schools continue to maintain the profile of music within schools but more still needs to be done. Instrumental lessons are often seen as elitist and expensive but the costs compare favourably with training for drama and dance, sports and many other leisure activities.
Music is also far from elitist – it is at the very heart of mainstream culture and entertainment – indeed it is so commonplace that we actually fail to appreciate its true value. Undoubtedly becoming a top musician requires total dedication and skill but even learning to play competently will provide wonderful opportunities later in life. Each year, the music industry is worth billions of pounds to the UK economy, it provides thousands of full-time jobs and many thousands more part-time opportunities. Over the coming months Peterborough Music Hub will continue to work with local partners and musicians to develop a strong progression route for young players – including young composers through the New Youth Music Showcase (part of the Peterborough Music Festival – www.peterboroughmusicfestival.org.uk).
Future success will, however, be determined through the engagement of parents and families, seizing the opportunities on offer and promoting music making as part of the everyday life of the home. If your child demonstrates any aptitude or interest in playing, speak with your local school music coordinator or contact Peterborough Music Hub directly – visit www.peterboroughmusichub.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hub can provide free instrument loan (through the school) and has a number of bursaries on offer for individuals. Local groups – supporting young players – can also apply for Special Project Funding – with details also on the website. For children already receiving music tuition and/or singing lessons then the Peterborough Music Hub has a network of contacts including Peterborough Sings!, the Peterborough Youth Orchestra and City of Peterborough Youth Ensembles, music technology specialists Beat This and PHACE (Peterborough’s Cultural partnership for Children and Young People). The Hub also supports weekly ensemble sessions (during term time) for singers and players at the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians.
This new resource opened in October and is a collaboration between Peterborough Music Hub, Ormiston Bushfield Academy and the prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Young musicians will enjoy visits from Guildhall graduates and Professors, working alongside an excellent team of highly skilled tutors.
PCYM provides a focal point for musical excellence across the region. Further details can be found by visiting www.pcym.org.uk or calling the Centre manager, Kirsten Barr, on 01733 452384. Music lessons or membership of PCYM will provide the perfect gift this Christmas – lasting the whole year and opening the door to a world of potential.