Getting off to a sound start

Budding young musicians at Derby High School can now try a range of instruments as part of an innovative new scheme

Thirty year-three students from Derby High School will take part in nine sessions, during which they can try a brass, woodwind or string instrument in workshops taught by a specialist music teacher. At the end of the programme, called Soundstart, students can then choose which instrument they would like to focus on and from January they are taught in pairs.

The scheme has been introduced at the school, in Hillsway, Littleover, by director of music, Ed Temple and Lisa Soutar, head of primary music.

Mr Temple said all the students were enjoying trying out all of the different instruments: “The first session was a concert presentation which gave students the opportunity to meet the workshop leaders and hear all the instruments played by the specialists.

“They are loaned the instruments free of charge for the entire year. The brass instruments and some of the woodwind instruments are brightly coloured and made from plastic. They are lighter and better suited to the smaller players.

“They work in three small groups of 10 so they get lots of individual attention. It’s a great age to be starting an instrument – they are particularly determined to make a sound on every instrument and very enthusiastic. By the time they’ve finished the nine sessions they will have worked with eight different instruments so they can make a really informed choice about which one they want to focus on.

“The children are all enjoying it and I think the take-up of students wanting to continue playing will be massive.”

Esther Walters, seven, said that she was hoping to continue with the cello once the sessions have ended: “I’ve already tried flute, clarinet, trombone, cello and violin and the cello is my favourite. My dad plays the cello and I would like to carry on playing it. Trying out all of the different instruments has been great.”

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