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Pupils in West End School Given the Gift of Music

Posted on 20 October 2017

Pupils at a West End school are being given a string instrument of their own and weekly music sessions as part of an expanding music-making programme run by Sage Gateshead.

In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead has been running successfully at Hawthorn Primary School in Elswick since 2012. The entire school now learns an instrument and engages with orchestral music. Now the programme has been launched at Bridgewater Primary School in Scotswood as well as its attached nursery and nearby Rye Hill Community Nursery.

This week every pupil in Year One at Bridgewater Primary School got to try their hand at violin, viola and cello for the first time and then chose which one they would like to learn. Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra Strings (one of 12 ensembles that has formed as a result of In Harmony) also made a special visit to Bridgewater to perform for pupils.

Delivered by Sage Gateshead and funded by Arts Council England and Department for Education, In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead is one of six projects in England and ensures every child is immersed in music on a weekly basis. It aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities using the power and disciplines of group music-making.

Musical skills, confidence and self esteem, educational attainment and health and well being are improved through learning about and taking part in orchestral music-making.

Pupils at Hawthorn have travelled across the region and beyond performing with Opera North at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds, at Wansbeck Music Festival and St James’ Park and with Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as well as Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead. The school now has 12 music ensembles, which includes a full orchestra and a choir. The project has also resulted in a new orchestra for the community – West Newcastle Symphony Orchestra.

At Bridgewater Primary School pupils in year one will be able to learn the violin, viola or cello and reception children and nursery pupils will receive weekly music-making sessions. The children have regular opportunities to learn, perform and attend performances with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Wendy Smith, Director of Creative Learning at Sage Gateshead, said: “The In Harmony programme has been incredibly successful over the last five years at Hawthorn Primary School and we are delighted to be able to extend the programme to include more children and young people in west Newcastle.

“The children at Hawthorn Primary School are fantastic young musicians. They work really hard at school and show incredible commitment to learning and playing music. We know that orchestral music making helps with their confidence, well being and education, as well as giving the children and their families a real sense of achievement and pride.

“We are excited to see children from Bridgewater and Rye Hill pick up their instruments for the first time, hear music from Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra Strings and join the In Harmony programme.”

Sam Robson, Head Teacher at Bridgewater Primary School, said: “We are really excited about working with Sage Gateshead on the In Harmony project this year. It is an amazing opportunity for our children to learn to play an instrument, be part of an orchestra and work with musicians.

“We have watched in awe as the orchestra at Hawthorn, one of our Trust Schools, has developed and blossomed and we can’t wait for this to happen for our children too. We believe strongly in developing the whole child and giving them rich opportunities in the Arts as well as in their academic learning.
“We are very proud to join the ‘Geordie Symphony!‘”

Find out more about InHarmony at Sage Gateshead.

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