We are a brand new secondary school set up to answer the problem of music education in schools, or rather, the lack of it. Playing music has been proven to be beneficial in many more ways than just as a discrete subject, and too many schools are putting it at the bottom of the list. It benefits children socially as well as academically, and there are many children who enjoy music, but who, at most, receive a twenty minute lesson on their instrument. We also want to change the way secondary schools are thought of; the majority being large, anonymous, faceless organisations where it is easy for a child to get lost "in the system". We applied to be a free school to allow us to welcome everybody, but were turned down, despite the current push for more instrumental playing in schools, which means we receive no assistance at all from the local authority. We are trying hard to raise funds in order to allow any child that wants to come here: having only been registered late August we really are brand new, but very dedicated to our ideas of education and music, and wish to allow those who have expressed interest (many) to benefit. We were lucky enough to take over a beautiful Victorian building in Acocks Green that holds a special place in the community; the last of its kind, it has been a school since the 1900's. If we do not manage to raise serious funds by the end of this year, the building will go to the other interested parties (a supermarket and a developer) and will be torn down. The community will lose it.
Our remit is to promote instrumental playing and music, not only throughout school but into the wider community wherever possible. We run music workshops for children, where they can try one of the instruments that we have at school, or more advanced ensemble playing workshops. We have a community choir that is open to anyone that meets every two weeks, and has performed in the local community. We are in the process of starting an amateur orchestra specifically for adults who used to play an instrument and would like to relearn for fun. We have interactive workshops with students from the Conservatoire and the Royal Northern College of Music. We have visiting professionals from the CBSO who come and assist with workshops. We also have the facilities and the support from teachers and musicians alike for those who might want to make music a career.