On Saturday, I took my daughters flute to be fixed. Inexpensive when bought, being round about £100, and never having had a service or major problem for years; it has kept her on track with school music lessons until the music exam last week.
She has spent the last 5yrs or so enjoying music lessons, the thrill of playing at concerts which boosted her playing skills and confidence and has provided endless friendships over the years.
Now I must wait for an assessment of the wear and tear damage and decide whether to rebuild or repurchase a flute. Has it been worth it …YES!
She has been playing flute since primary school and we have never had to pay for a single lesson. This is absolutely fantastic and a choice every parent in Merseyside should take advantage of.
The decision to take on board that instrument, was taken in primary school. At the time, classes were full for guitar, which was her first choice, with trumpet, saxophone, flute and clarinet on offer.
It would have been easy to have dismissed the idea, in favour of academic prowess and time spent on ‘doing homework’ instead of playing an instrument.
However, cross-curricular studies, particularly at primary school, are so successful in promoting academic attainment. All subjects have something to offer, but it’s the arts and humanities that tap into what makes us human.
For many years, those who set education policy have been struggling to imbue a generation of young people from chaotic family backgrounds with non-academic ‘social’ skills, self-discipline, awareness of others, teamwork, etc- to ensure that schools are places where people care about each other and work together, where there’s a culture of good behaviour and aspiration to learn.
Research shows that music, arts, drama and sport promote such a sense of ‘belonging’.
Music in my mind, is the ultimate inter-disciplinary activity, stimulating all forms of intelligence, improving children’s academic achievement, concentration and sense of self-worth, to say nothing of the sense of time, history, geography and place that studying music provides.
The day my daughter picked up a musical instrument and started to have lessons, was the day she gained a skill for life, to be nurtured, enjoyed, and provide a route into a thriving national cultural life, for life.
As well as the free school music lessons Liverpool schools provide, there are two new music studios being created in Liverpool, north and south.
Through the superb Liverpool Schools, Resonate Music Studios, Liverpool’s Music Hub at Great Homer Street, Notre Dame Catholic College, children can involve themselves in an after school ensemble, rock band and choir provision.
You can take part in any of these music sessions on Thursday and Wednesday evenings between 4-8.15pm at either Resonate Music North at Great Homer Street or at Gateacre School Hedgefield Road L25.
For £3 a session children can begin to play, train in an orchestra, jazz/swing, rock or just sing -age 8 and above.
Do take advantage of these musical resources on offer inour fantastic city.
You only have one chance, use it at an early age, and reap the benefits in the future.
So often the big bands and the big music makers get the headlines and the notice in the news, but how did they all start? Who helped them? Who developed and nurtured their skills and confidence to perform and gain the attention they now get?
The music teacher. The background maestro that moulds the raw recruit day after day developing their musical skill with the instrument they use, developing their skill into a polished act worthy of displaying and playing in front of a packed house, and giving them something to cherish for a lifetime.
At the end of term, I was proud to watch and listen to a fascinating sample of their work. Work with the dedicated members of ‘Resonate’ and the Resonate Singers.
This is the name given to Liverpool’s Music Hub and the many pupils who have taken up an instrument in the many Liverpool schools. Children who practise their instrument day after day then, on a Saturday morning at 9.30am, assemble for an extra session of tuition with the instrument of their choice at Notre Dame Catholic College, Everton.
Their Spring Concert at All Saints Church Broadgreen by Junior and Intermediate members of the Morning Music Centre was a knock-out.
The mini maestros of the junior woodwind gave a polished performance to parents, family and teachers with popular arrangements by Wagner- ‘The Wedding March’ and ‘Dance of the Hours’ Ponchielli.
The junior brass section gave a good account of ‘Boogie Train’ and ‘La Cucaracha’ which had the house twitching to the beat.
The junior windband also gave an outstanding performance of ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ and a fabulous stirring ‘The magic of Harry Potter’ much to the delight of the little ones in the audience and my daughter who was playing flute.
The intermediate woodwind section gave an unforgettable performance of ‘Morning’ by Grieg and ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ by Tchaikovsky.
But, the most memorable of the evenings superb display of musical delights came from the Resonate Singers, with their version of ‘Happy’ with additional audience participation.(They will back Gary Barlow at the Echo Arena)
The windband, finally gave the John Williams Jurassic Park score a resounding ‘yes’ vote for thrill and emotion.
But, with talent like this, why on earth do they perform where they do, they are worthy of the Philharmonic, the Capstone Theatre, or even LIPA for an evening venue. Pupils who put this amount of effort into learning an instrument need a permanent base along with the staff of dedicated experienced and talented music teachers.
‘Resonate’….you deserve better!!! a fantastic performance from the children of Liverpool.
See for yourself and make a diary date for ‘Brass Extravaganza’ 17/05/14
Resonate ‘Passion For Music Week’ 30th June -5th July