Norfolk schools hitting high note with investment in music

Student with new piano at Hewett Academy

Student with new piano at Hewett Academy that is part of extra investment into music provision. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

Pupils at Norfolk schools are set to benefit from an investment in new instruments to boost music learning. 

Norwich-based Inspiration Trust is investing in additional music provision to make sure all of its academies have access to high quality pianos, keyboards and digital pianos.

The trust has supplied pianos to schools that did not yet have them and is replacing worn-out pianos that were beyond economic repair.

Academies that have received pianos include Cobholm Primary Academy, Charles Darwin Primary, Cromer Academy, Hewett Academy, Hethersett Academy and Norwich Primary Academy.

It comes as the Department for Education announced a wide-ranging new music curriculum that will see children from Years 1 to 9 learn how to read and write music, and be introduced to beat, rhythm and pitch. 

They will also have the opportunity to study a range of music, from Bach and Tchaikovsky to Nina Simone, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

John Stephens, director of music at Inspiration Trust.

John Stephens, director of music at Inspiration Trust. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

John Stephens, director of music at Inspiration Trust, and former pupil at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, said the “significant investment” was being made to ensure music was central to the life at its schools.

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He said: “Pianos are the foundation of so much musical activity in school - everything from singing assemblies to offering tuition and public performances. It’s so important that every school has at least one good piano, and that it makes proper use of it.

Student performing at the new theatre at Hethersett Academy. Picture: James Bass/Inspiration Trust

Music student performing at Hethersett Academy. - Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

“Musical instruments do tend to be expensive, and when there are so many calls on school finances it would be easy to prioritise other things. 

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“To me, investing in music and the arts is a ’no brainer’, as I’ve seen first hand the positive impact that these experiences can bring to individuals and school communities.”

In addition to the new pianos, the trust is also funding regular piano tuning and maintenance and has improved many existing pianos by fitting new castors and making long overdue repairs.

Woodwind teacher Eddie Seals providing tuition to pupil at Springwood High School in King's Lynn.

Woodwind teacher Eddie Seals providing tuition to pupil at Springwood High School in King's Lynn following pupils being allowed back to in person tution. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

School halls have recently echoed to the sound of music again as students forced to undertake their instrumental learning remotely were able to restart tuition in person.

Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust, said: “It is so important that we continue to invest in music so that every child can benefit from both playing music and appreciating music.”

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