As a Music Education HUB, one of our core roles is to provide children with the opportunity to progress beyond the initial term of First Access (whole class instrumental tuition at Yr.4). Our primary school members can choose to apply for an additional grant to facilitate progression; this enables children who show early musical promise to continue learning an instrument in a small group setting for another term at a subsidised rate agreed between the school and SoundStorm. Dan Speller, one of SoundStorm’s Ukulele Hub practitioners, had this to say about the difference progression funding makes in kickstarting students’ musical journeys:
“The children who are given the opportunity and support from schools and parents to take up progression get a chance to make really big steps forward with their playing. Firstly they consolidate what they’ve previously learned; also as they are taught in small groups, I can really see what they’re having problems with and therefore help them overcome any difficulties. I can also gauge what really enthuses them and gear the teaching towards that. Recently the children have been gaining new skills such as finger picking and playing along to some great songs like ‘One’ by U2 and ‘Shake it off’ by Taylor Swift which they love. There are also extra performance opportunities for children who sign up to progression lessons and they’re always keen to show off their new skills.”
At St Peter’s Primary they really appreciate how valuable progression is, how effective it can be in cementing a child’s enjoyment of their instrument and how it can be the catalyst for learning other instruments and developing a wider appreciation for music. Mrs Byles, Music specialist at St Peter’s, asked Yr.4 student Josie Derbyshire how her progression was going…..
“I was excited to learn the ukulele because I had never done anything like that before… Picking up the basics were really easy, because we just did it 1 finger at a time until we were used to it. Mr Speller’s lessons were fun… and playing the ukulele and making music is really cool…I carried on with the progression lessons as I really “got it”, which I don’t always with recorders! The smaller lessons are great as we can focus on things individually and it’s good to look at some new songs too! I’m loving my ukulele lessons, thanks!”
Is your child’s school a member of the Hub? Do they offer routes for progression beyond First Access? Speak to your school’s music coordinator or get in touch with us!