The national anthem is likely to be played with particular enthusiasm by the young musicians after a £2,000 grant with royal connections will further help support music teaching in West Norfolk Academies Trust schools.
The Trust has secured money from the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association charity fund, established by companies who hold royal warrants and specifically helps small local good causes with grants of up to £2,000.
“Put simply, without funding like this, the opportunity to teach instrumental music in the way we do across the Trust would not exist," said the Trust’s director of primary music Rob Galliard, who was previously director of music at Springwood High School.
Music has become a major feature of life at Springwood under its two previous headteachers, and the current one, Andy Johnson, who is also the Trust’s CEO, wants to extend the opportunities across all the Trust's schools.
“We already have funding from another source that covers the cost of music teaching, but not the cost of the instruments themselves, so without them, opportunities are very limited,” continued Mr Galliard, who conducted the Springwood concert band at the Sandringham Flower Show for 25 years.
The Trust uses primary level whole class instrumental teaching to talent-spot children with the potential to benefit from further tuition.
As well as being used in Trust primary schools, this approach will now be deployed into primaries that feed into its secondary schools, Springwood, Smithdon, St Clement's and Marshland.
The communal nature of playing music fits perfectly with the Trust’s joined-up thinking across its schools.
“Being a part of a Trust allows the schools to share resources and save money,” Mr Galliard said. “Another other advantage is that, when there isn’t a pandemic happening, we can enable pupils to play together, giving them a chance to meet others who share their interest, which leads to new friendships being formed.”
The wider educational benefits of learning instrumental music are well known, which is why the Trust is so keen to pursue it, despite the significant costs involved.
“We want to expand until all children in our primary schools and those that feed into our secondary schools have the opportunity to learn to play an orchestral instrument,” added Mr Galliard. “We aim to make the opportunity accessible to all children in the Trust's schools.”
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