In Year Two we use an approach called the Junior Strings Project which involves ensemble teaching with both violin and cello teachers working together.
For trumpet lessons we also use a group teaching method using ‘pocket’ trumpets which are easier for young players to hold.
The instrumental groups work together on musicianship in the school hall with their teachers at the start of each week’s lesson. The method used is the Dalcrose approach. After this, the brass group go with their teacher to the Kaleidoscope room, and the strings continue in the hall.
Unfortunately, we are unable to access any funding towards instrumental tuition so parents need to bear the cost of the lessons (which are currently £50 per term), unless the pupil is supported by Pupil Premium funding, in which case the school uses this to pay for lessons. However the loan of instruments is charged at only £26 per year, keeping costs down a bit. The Music Faculty of Community Learning MK provide most of the instruments, though with the help of the Friends of Loughton Manor First School, we have managed to purchase a few. The stringed instruments are a smaller size, the correct size for young learners.
If there is a large demand for places, it may prove necessary to select pupils on the basis of co-ordination, maturity and the current musicianship. There is a similar strings project at the MK music centre which runs after school, so some children are able to do this if they can’t be included at school.
All Year Two children have the opportunity of playing the recorder as part of their music lessons. This is run by our in-house staff and there is no charge for this class.
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