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You know what’s really hard? Learning to play an instrument but never really getting a chance to play it.
‘String Club’ is a project we run at local schools with the aim of transforming groups of Years 4-6 students into miniature Paganinis. Every week a group of our players come and give a series of short lessons in either the violin, cello, or double bass (sorry, viola fans). Then after school hours, in their own time, all of these children come together to learn and practice collaborative skills, and to play together as an orchestra.
While the pupils have been making great progress, it’s hard because they don’t have their own instruments. No instruments makes it hard to practise. That’s why we’ve just insured all of the violins and cellos they play so they can take them home for the rest of the school year.
We’ve built up enough of a bond with the pupils to be able to trust them with keeping instruments that cost up to £500. And it’s going to be great – not only because they can now practice at home, but because they get the experience of maintaining and caring for instruments over a prolonged period of time. And who knows, maybe we’ll see some of them playing for the OAE someday.