'Let's Play' is all about giving children
the best possible start in learning an instrument and
discovering music. Thornbury Area Music Trust has been providing
musical activities in South Gloucestershire since 2012, and now
wants to start a new generation of young people on their musical
The scheme allows children to choose which instrument they would like to learn - there is the choice of flute, clarinet, trombone, trumpet and violin. The classes are large enough for children to have fun (minimum of 8 children) but small enough (maximum 15) so that tutors can provide one-on-one help when needed.
The primary focus is on learning the instrument, but pupils will be engaged in all aspects of music-making and appreciation. They will be introduced to music from around the world, the basic elements of pitch and rhythm, as well as simple notation. The aim is that two terms of tuition culminate in the players performing with the intermediate ensembles from the Thornbury Area Music Centre, and will be able to continuing playing with the groups in the following year.
The clarinets, flutes and violins were putting in lots of work this morning - both as their big ensembles and working in smaller groups of 4. We thought we'd have some fun and make a video of the piece they learnt today...!Posted by Thornbury Area Music Trust on Saturday, 25 April 2015
What does a typical session involve?
A typical session begins with a physical or vocal warm-up, a rhythm or call-and-response game. Pupils will then begin with some basic warm-up excercises on their instruments, before learning some new pieces as a group. There will be opportunities for pupils to play to the group if they would like, and there will be group pieces too. There are some familiar and new tunes, and each player will have some music to practice inbetween sessions, with parents encouraged to help!
Who are the tutors?
The tutors are all experienced teachers and musicians - they have plenty of experience in teaching both group and class tuition as well as one-to-one lessons.
How much does it cost?
The cost for a full term's tuition (usually 10 sessions including a concert performance) is £45. This includes any music and other materials needed to practice between sessions.
Some pupils have their own instruments,
but TAYM is able to loan children clarinets, violins, pbones and
flutes for the duration of the course. There is no charge for
this, but we ask for a £45 deposit which will be returned at the
end of the course. This instrument can be taken home and used
over the school holidays too.
Click on each of the instruments above to find out more about them
The instruments used are specifically designed for beginners. There are small violins, nuvo flutes and clarineos (which are smaller, plastic instruments), and the pbone - a light-weight trombone. They allow younger players to make a full sound but in an easier way!
The Violin is a member of the string family.
It has four strings - E, A, D and G.
It is played both by plucking the strings, and also by using the bow.
A violin is made of wood, and has over 70 pieces!
In an orchestra, the violin often gets the tune and plays through most of the pieces.
A violin bow is made of wood, and has horse hair which is the part you use on the string.
The violin is played under the chin.
Doctors have shown that violinists use both sides of their brains better than non-violinists.
The flute is one of the oldest instruments.
It is now made of metal, but has been made of wood, bone and even glass!
It has 16 keys, and is often used to play solos in the orchestra.
George Washington and Leonardo da Vinci played the flute.
There are different kinds of flute, including a smaller piccolo and even a bass flute!
The clarinet is a member of the woodwind family.
It's name means 'little trumpet'.
The clarinet is used in classical music and jazz. It is often used for warm, romantic solos in the orchestra.
The trombone is a member of the brass family.
It is one of the lower sounding brass instruments.
Instead of having keys or valves it has a slide. The Trombone is one of the loudest instruments in the orchestra!
There have been many studies over the
years into the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument.
An online search will produce many news articles and research
papers on the subject. Some suggest that playing a musical
instrument may increase a person's IQ or help children perform
better academically, particularly with Mathematics and Languages.
Others suggest playing an instrument improves concentration,
social skills such as empathy and even behaviour.
Learning an instrument certainly does benefit children in teaching them a skill that they can enjoy for life, nurturing a good work ethic through experiencing the rewards of hard work and practice and improving team working skills by working with fellow musicians to perform well.
Playing a musical instrument can lead to great opportunities and experiences. Experience the feeling of achievement when performing or mastering a piece, visiting new places for tours, concerts, festivals and competitions, meeting new people and making lifelong friends. Adults who played an instrument as a child but did not go into a musical profession often continue playing as an adult as a means of stress relief, for enjoyment, to meet people and for self improvement.
Some interesting articles on the subject of learning an instrument:
To register your interest in, or find out more about Let's Play!
(places allocated in the order of applications received)
please use the form below.
or telephone: 01454 299932