Russell’s Music Fun Day, held at the school just before the summer holidays, was a complete success and testament to the ongoing work of a very special team of musical parents who are encouraging children to get involved in music.
Mum Christine Deeley is passionate about music and so determined that children should be given more chances to enjoy it that she spends the little free time she has involved in running Russell School music clubs.
“We have Mini Maestro sessions in recorder and vocal techniques, a flute group and brass band throughout the term worked around the school day, either before 9am, during lunchtime or after school.”
As an accountant in the oil industry who has played trumpet, piano and sung since she was 7, Christine has always fitted music around her studies and career and is keen that it should always be a part of her children’s lives too.
“ Now I have a family I can see why music is so important for the next generation.”
The idea of running a summer music day in school came following last year’s successful taster session where children could try out a few instruments. It went down so well that this year we made it much bigger.
“ There was a try out room again but also ten rooms of musical workshops all run by professional musicians and talented musical parents covering strings, guitar, brass, woodwind, piano and singing. Parents signed their children up in advance. We had demos, drums, a mini recording studio, jazz, wind, brass and string ensembles, musical fun and games, aural and theory. ”
“It’s amazing how much children can learn in such a short time” says St Clement Danes (SCD) student Jess Bradley who was showing children the basics of violin playing, “they soon discover what makes high sounds and low sounds. Some of them pick it up very quickly.”
Jess was one of six music SCD senior music students passing on their skills.
“ I really wanted to be involved because that’s how I started to learn to play when I was in Primary School.” adds Freddie Edwards.
“The sessions ended up being interactive” says Piano Teacher Wendy Lewis, “some parents stayed in the back of the room and asked questions. The whole day was fantastic, it’s such a great way for children to experience music. It was a tremendous feat of organisation too, it was run with military precision!”
“The day was structured“ agrees Christine, “Everything was timetabled and the children had wristbands. We begged and borrowed instruments. Prozone Music of Chesham lent us 15 woodwind and brass instruments – clarinets, flutes, trumpets and trombones and we even had saxophones. So many children signed up for the guitar that I sent out an SOS the day before and rushed down to the Peace Hospice shop to buy some!”
Since the event, many children have decided to learn a new musical instrument and others who were already playing have benefitted from playing in ensembles and experiencing jazz for the first time.
Christine is now in contact with some musical pupils from SCD who, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are hoping to spend three months volunteering helping with music in the local community.
Photos © Clare Charlton
“I loved it because I got to try a trombone and you have to be really big to try a trombone” Arthur, Reception
The guitar is cool, please can I have lessons.” Alexander, Yr6