Furthering Talent’s impact in one school

Photograph (c) Edward Webb

A school in the North of England was going through special measures, having had four headteachers within a nine month period, when Furthering Talent launched in their area. The new headteacher wanted to create an educational strategy which would enhance students’ enjoyment of learning. He quickly embraced music education as a key driving force in this strategy, and whole-class instrumental music lessons for Year 3 started.

Furthering Talent is designed to help children continue to play an instrument when their whole-class lessons end. In this case our Local Co-ordinator was already working in the school and she identified three children for support on the programme: Adam, Kim and Madison. As she told us:

“Adam and Kim both clearly had an aptitude for picking up musical ideas extremely quickly and played with exceptional musical maturity for their age and limited training.  Madison clearly had a love of music and had demonstrated in her Year 3 lessons that she could play very well when she was motivated to practice.  All were thrilled to be selected for the programme (Madison constantly bounced up and down in her seat with delight during the initial meeting) and they selected their chosen instruments – Adam and Kim chose euphonium and Madison chose to continue on the trombone.”

All three children became the driving forces in what at the time was a fledging lunchtime music club. The added depth of the euphoniums and trombone transformed the sound that the club were making. Spurred on by their Headteacher, they formed the school’s first ever brass band which now has 21 members.

As the Furthering Talent students have continued to improve they have inspired the children in the band to increase their ambitions and effort.  Similarly the improvement of the band has encouraged all the children to practice more regularly at home. All three FT pupils are also developing leadership qualities as they develop their skills, and they frequently help their less experienced peers.

Madison’s attitude of frustration and defeat in class has changed to one of perseverance and enjoyment in a challenge.  She is now much more inclined to persist with difficult tasks.  Her confidence in her own ability has also soared:

“When we’re doing an assembly I know I can do it because I can play music in front of everybody. And in class when we do morning maths Miss asks us ‘who wants to volunteer to do something?’ I can go up and just volunteer to do stuff now.”

And now – having seen a professional brass player perform in the orchestra for a musical during a Furthering Talent Get Together, Adam now wants to be a professional musician.

The band has now performed at local events and will be performing on an even bigger stage later this year. There’s now a clamour from younger children in the school to play an instrument and join the band and the impact on the whole school has been considerable. They’re investing much more in music across the school, and they’re out of special measures.

Five new Music Education Hub partners join Furthering Talent

To talk to us about Furthering Talent, contact our Programme Manager, Neil Philips.

Email [email protected], or call 0300 302 3418.

Furthering Talent is supported by Youth Music with funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

AYM is a founding member of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England

The Alliance for a musically inclusive England is a movement for change throughout music education. It is a growing network of organisations working together to:
* promote equity in music education
* support others to do the same through advocacy, CPD, resources, and strategic alliances.
More about AMIE

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