Children, families and teachers at Jubilee Primary School were treated to a concert by a string quartet last month, as the charity London Music Masters celebrated its tenth anniversary, writes Emma Bartley
The performance by the Ligeti Quartet was designed to introduce students to contemporary music in a light-hearted and accessible way. It began with Singing Strings, a Stef Conner composition in which the musicians played and spoke, explaining that “A string quartet is like a conversation”. By the end, Christian Mason’s Mongolian-inspired piece Eki Attar was supported by enthusiastic throat-singing from the audience.
“The programme was brilliantly performed and the children seemed to appreciate the unusual sounds and music,” observed Simon Funnell, a radio producer and parent governor.
Every child in Year 1 and Year 2 at Jubilee learns the violin, receiving three lessons a week from London Music Masters at no cost to parents. “The sight and sound of 120 pupils playing the violin together is truly amazing and the children love making music together,” says headteacher Joanna Eade.
When this intensive two-year programme ends, 15 students are selected to continue with group and individual lessons. A group of Year 3 violinists from Jubilee recently had the opportunity to perform at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank.
“The music programme at Jubilee is doing really well,” says Katrina Damigos, of London Music Masters. “There’s a group of children who are very good now, and in only four years we’ve already had one student selected for the LMM Pathways programme, which means that she’ll get extra mentoring and help with her development.”
London Music Masters was set up ten years ago to offer a world-class music education to children of all backgrounds, and support the next generation of professional musicians. Its creative partners include the Royal College of Music and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
“The idea is to bring classical music directly into the school community,” says Katrina Damigos. “The Ligeti Quartet’s viola player Richard Jones has previously taught at Jubilee, and we really rate the work his quartet does. This type of music is often seen as quite niche, but they are great at making the music more accessible and encouraging the children to listen actively.”
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