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Furthering Talent News

Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) are a charity who have been working in partnership with Brighton & Hove Music & Arts (BHMA) for over five years. AYM have supported over 200 children during that time within the city with developing their musical interests and musical potential.

Following the recent successful pilot projects at Carlton Hill and West Blatchington Primary Schools, AYM are now working with children from Fairlight Primary and St John The Baptist Catholic School. The children being supported are all having instrumental lessons through Brighton & Hove Music & Arts. In addition, several more pupils from these schools are now signed up for lessons with an improved range of instruments on offer for them to learn.

At St John the Baptist, AYM are thrilled to offer bassoon as one of the instruments children can learn. Children also now have the additional support from AYM through a dedicated Furthering Talent co-ordinator who supports their musical journeys and helps connect all adults involved in this, whether it be their parents; instrumental teachers, school music co-coordinators, Head teachers or band leaders. Each term the pupils set targets for themselves alongside their instrumental teachers and each has extra individual funds in the form of a personal bursary to support their musical interests outside their lessons, for example free concert tickets or workshops. There are termly teachers forums for their instrumental teachers that help generate ideas for the pupil’s goals and ambitions. The pupils also have termly ‘Get Togethers’ which give them an opportunity to work together making music in school.

In March, AYM launched in Fairlight and St John the Baptist a Samba/body percussion workshop by Ollie Tumner from Beat Goes On, and then experienced a rap workshop through tutors Jon Clark and Gramski from AudioActive in June. The coming autumn ‘Get Together’ will involve a visit to Glyndebourne to see a performance of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore followed by a workshop in school.

The aim of the project is to increase numbers learning within these schools, particularly from low income families, as well as improving retention of learning musical instruments. The pilot project saw a very low drop off rate so AYM hope that in these new schools pupils will feel inspired by all the musical experiences they have from being part of Furthering Talent and feel part of a musical community within the school.

Nationally, as of April 2019, the programme delivery has begun in Sheffield, Bradford and Hull and in all 3 of those Hubs the places are now full, which is brilliant news. In actual fact, all three Hubs have been able to source additional resources or funding in order to increase the number of children joining the programme which is AYM are thrilled about. Starting in September AYM will be in Manchester City and Wiltshire.

For more information about Furthering Talent feel free to contact the local coordinator Natasha Gawlinski -

Photo credit: Edward Webb

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