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In Harmony NewcastleGateshead: Students join Centre for Advanced Training

Posted on 29 October 2013

It is hard to believe that around this time last year, the children of Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick, Newcastle, were picking up their instruments for the first time. Since then, with the help of their music tutors, these children have learnt to read music and play their chosen instruments.

Fourteen of these budding young musicians have made so much progress, and shown so much passion and dedication to music that they have been selected to study at CAT – Centre for Advanced Training at Sage Gateshead.

Every Sunday, during term time, the students are picked up bright and early by taxi and driven to Sage Gateshead, where they spend the day immersed in musical activities alongside some of the most gifted and talented students of the region.

They each receive an hour of one to one tuition on their instrument and have music language, choir, pilates and percussion workshops, all aimed to develop them into all-round musicians. On speaking to the students, it becomes apparent that they are all enjoying CAT immensely and have made an enormous amount of progress both musically and personally. Who would have thought that a Sunderland supporter could sit alongside an avid Newcastle United fan in ensemble and work so well as a team. But that is what music can do, unite very different people.

The children have now settled well, even the constant pull of the gift shop has faded as they become more absorbed in their studies. Some of the students are preparing to take ABRSM exams and all are looking forward to taking part in lunchtime concerts and festivals.

It is wonderful to see that, in the space of one year, these students have made such a monumental success of the In Harmony NewcastleGateshead project.

Ann Francomb, In Harmony Clarinet Tutor