New music group for youngsters set up in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 17:20 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 04 April 2018

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Scratch! has been set up by teacher Shan English to bridge the gap in music provision in Honiton.

A new music group for children in Honiton will be launching next month.

Scratch!, which is offering places to youngsters aged seven to 11, has been set up to bridge the gap between the between the early musical experiences available in school or early individual lessons and existing music groups.

The group has been set up by peripatetic music teacher Shan English, who has been working with Honiton Youth Orchestra for several years.

Shan said she saw a ‘gap’ in music provision in Honiton, which inspired her to launch Scratch!

She added: “We have been very busy in the two weeks since we heard we had been allocated funding by Devon Music Education Hub.

“We will be ready to hold our first session on Tuesday, April 17.

“We feel very lucky to also have the support of St Paul’s Church in Honiton, who have agreed that we can use their Narthex for our sessions.”

Scratch! aims to bring together children who have no experience of playing music or those who have had a limited experience in a central location.

Participants will have access to tutors who will develop their playing, with particular focus on playing as a small or large group.

Each session of Scratch! will consist of 30 minutes of singing, using material from the National Youth Choir of Scotland. This will be followed by 30 minutes of small group instrumental playing when the tutors will develop technical aspects of playing and introduce the same concepts used in the singing session to the different instruments.

Each session will end with all musicians playing together.

Shan added: “Schools are finding it increasingly difficult to allocate time and staff resources to support children’s musical development during school hours.

“In addition, there tend to be only a few children in each of our small, rural, primary schools which makes the formation of school music groups very difficult.”

At the end of each term, there will be a performance opportunity when Scratch! members will perform the music which they have been working on during the term.

This will be a joint event with Honiton Youth Orchestra.

The group is free for all participants for their first term.

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