Partnership blows its own trumpet

MPN instrumental tutors Ron Creasey, John Connolly and Stephanie Brown demonstrate the range of instruments which will be delivered across the project.
MPN instrumental tutors Ron Creasey, John Connolly and Stephanie Brown demonstrate the range of instruments which will be delivered across the project.

A Northumberland music partnership is celebrating the award of a grant to help it deliver music lessons in brass in schools across the county.

The Bedlington to Ashington Building Brass project run by Music Partnership North – Northumberland (MPN) has received a grant for £146,488 from Youth Music.

Learning and playing brass is a fantastic way to keep our local musical heritage alive.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council

The Northumberland County Council project delivered by MPN involves 15 schools across the county.

The new grant means that music lessons and workshops on brass will be extended from schools in Bedlington where a similar three-year project has been taking place.

The lessons will now be provided to students in Ashington as well as Bedlington for three years.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Learning and playing brass is a fantastic way to keep our local musical heritage alive.

“The project teaches new skills and strengthens bonds across and between generations by providing opportunities for youngsters to play with brass bands.”

Students aged seven to 16 will receive tuition on cornets, tenor horns, trombones and baritones.

The project will raise standards of musical performance in young people through tuition, raising aspirations and involvement in new and existing brass bands.

Fiona Johnstone, business development assistant at MPN, added: “Music-making is life-changing and this project teaches young people new skills and instills confidence.

“It will re-engage them with their heritage in a really positive way through the creation of school-based brass bands and linking in with existing brass bands in the area.”

Through the life of the project all pupils in first and primary schools in Bedlington and Ashington will take part in the project.

Students start to have tuition on their brass instrument through the whole class first access DfE initiative then, after two terms, they join school-based mini brass bands.

Each school will receive support for teaching staff and extra resources to facilitate lessons, free instrument hire mini band sessions and extra-curricular activities.

Students will have access to the youth and community bands which will rehearse at Bedlington Community Centre and the Ashington Development Trust Building.