Bristol Beacon delivers 400 glockenspiels to get Bristol children playing music

Glocks away! 4,500 children in years two and three (aged 6-8) across 13 schools in Bristol will have the opportunity to learn a new musical instrument and participate in school music lessons, thanks to Bristol Beacon, which runs Bristol Plays Music, and our unique Earthsong Programme.

Last week, 400 glockenspiels were delivered to schools and homes as part of the music teaching programme. The Earthsong Programme is a joint initiative between Bristol Beacon and the Earthsong Foundation, made possible thanks to an extraordinary philanthropic donation – the largest single donation to a music education hub in the UK.

Following a pilot programme in 2019 at Minerva Primary Academy school, it was rolled out last year to 13 schools across the city, to provide whole class singing and instrumental lessons. With lockdown restrictions and home schooling, the music education staff worked hard to adjust the lessons so that they can be done either as 30 minute live lessons online or recorded content that can be split into daily five minute sessions. The programme employs six tutors to deliver the lessons.

Laurie Stewart, vocal and instrumental strategy manager, Bristol Beacon, said:

“To be able to deliver hundreds of instruments to children across Bristol is just fantastic. We are so excited for them to get their hands on the glockenspiels and have a go. It’s such a fun instrument and a great one for younger children who have never played a musical instrument before. Our aim is for them to enjoy themselves, experiment and gain confidence – and hopefully it’s the start of developing a lifelong love and understanding of music.”

Suze Pole, founder of the Earthsong Foundation, said:

“Our vision is that all children have the chance to experience the joyful, creative and connecting power of making music and we are really excited about the impact our partnership with the Bristol Beacon  is already having in local primary schools.  We need music and the arts more than ever right now as they will play a vital role in helping children and school communities explore, express and recover from the challenges of the pandemic.  It is wonderful news that children in 400 Bristol homes will now have glockenspiels and I can’t wait to hear the results of their lessons, hopefully with a real-life performance later in the year!”

Sitting alongside the five-year programme is a longitudinal research study, measuring the impact on attainment in the core STEM subjects. The Earthsong Programme is the only one of its kind in the UK but the team’s aspiration is that it’s results will change the national understanding of the impact of music education.

We can’t wait to hear young musicians tinkling on the irons!

Find out more about the Earthsong programme here.

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We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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