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Music Summer School in Kent

14 August 2018

Our tutors in Kent have been running a Music Summer School for the past twelve years, the concept being to get our young pupils to play in a band, but more than that, to involve them in two intensive days of learning, making new friends, playing lots of different music and performing in a concert, both in the band and as individuals.

This year we welcomed nearly 30 pupils to the Summer School, including 3 ‘returnees’ that began with us at primary school, but are now in their teens and still come along to help the younger players.  We also enlisted a drummer from the swing band that the tutors play in, which is lots of fun for the children because he brings along his electric drum kit, plus it helps keep the band in time!

Lots of rehearsals, both in instrument sections and the whole ensemble makes for a very busy day, so we break it up with games and music quizzes (with prizes!).  The best pieces are selected to play for the concert for parents, and this year we featured well known tunes like ‘Eastenders’, ‘James Bond’ and ‘The Locomotion’, plus solos too.

Having to endure temperatures of 36C over the two days was a feat in itself but the children did really well with lots of breaks and cold drinks to get them through!

We have had lots of great feedback following the Summer School, so we thought we’d share a few lovely quotes to show what an amazing time everyone had.

"Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the performance this afternoon and a huge thanks to you. It was so lovely to see the children perform together and fantastic that there were also solo performances. It was great to see the different ages/abilities all come together. I can’t believe you all survived in this crazy weather. Hats off to you! It was fantastic!"

"I was totally amazed at the standard of playing at the concert on Thursday - you may have been able to tell!  I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Considering the fact that most of the children had not played as part of a group before Wednesday, it was just brilliant how well they all played their parts and ultimately played together.  They were a credit to your teaching and conducting - please don't stop!"
One of the children themselves said, at the end of the first day "it was really hard, but I've learned sooooo much!"

Our tutors Jackie Wright, Richard Milford and Bev Prankard have taught over 2500 pupils, many of whom have had their first taste of ensemble playing at the Summer Schools.  We hope that they will continue to come along and that the events inspire them to keep playing – after all, playing with other likeminded musicians is why we learn, and wherever you end up, you will always be able to find a band or orchestra to play in!