Oswestry’s brand new music charity MusicMOB is delighted to announce its first School Partner. On Friday Trustee Sue Turner, along with a group of peripatetic musicians presented the opportunity of learning to play various musical instruments as well as singing to some very excited children at Holy Trinity CofE Primary School. The assembly took place on Zoom from the Hall but Mrs Turner managed to visit each class personally to answer questions. She reported that, “there was a huge amount of interest with lots of hands waving around and some very good questions”. Letters and application forms went home to parents and the charity awaits responses.
The Headmaster, Robert Kenyon learned about the opportunity offered by MusicMOB to provide free instrumental and vocal lessons to children in local State Primary Schools and wasted no time in contacting the charity on behalf of his pupils.
There are children in Oswestry who have benefited from instrumental or vocal lessons from families who have been able to fund their lessons in school and they have said,
“Music is very important in my life – it is relaxing, interesting and makes me feel as though I am really achieving something”
“These lessons are really important to me because I can express myself through music and it makes me happy”
“My singing lessons are very important to me because they build up my confidence”
“If I am ever having a bad day, my music lessons put a smile on my face”
Music MOB would like to remove the potential financial barrier from a child’s choice to learn an instrument or have singing lessons and is offering its services free to Schools and free to children. There is currently funding to provide its services for 24 local children. If you would like your child to benefit from this opportunity please ask their School to consider becoming a Partner and invite MusicMOB to provide its services.
For any individual or business who would like to support the ongoing work of this local Oswestry Charity in any way, there is an opportunity on the website both to subscribe to information and a JustGiving link to donate. It will cost around £260 per year for each child to learn an instrument which includes the lessons, instrument hire and all other equipment so ongoing support will be vital for the musical future of these children.
MusicMOB (Music Matters in Oswestry and the Borderland) is the brainchild of business owner, Mike Coppock, who is on the Committee for the Oswestry Youth Music Festival. He could not help noticing that the proportion of entries in the festival from children in local State Schools was diminishing year on year. It is widely accepted that art and music departments are much more likely than sports departments to have their value questioned and their budgets limited but there is much research which points to the fact that whilst sport and music share many benefits such as teamwork, discipline, focus, and fun, music will also improve your child’s thinking, language and reasoning skills. Music should, at the very least, be on an equal footing with sport.
In years gone by, visiting musicians (peripatetic teachers) were a common sight in schools, offering lessons on a variety of instruments. Many of us will have had a first experience of learning an instrument and then playing it alongside other people in a band or orchestra in the school environment. Similarly with choirs in school, another disappearing opportunity. These opportunities are no longer a common feature and Mike Coppock along with a small group of like-minded people have determined to provide the funds to make this possible once again in our local State Schools.
MusicMOB is not unique as there are charities with the same aims in other parts of the country, with growing numbers of children benefiting. The largest of these is in the South East and is supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. Crucially, we know that OFSTED is now looking more widely for evidence of Arts provision in schools, so we hope that our initiative will be of interest to schools and parents in this area.
The Constitutional aim of Music MOB is to support free instrumental and vocal lessons for children whose families may not have the means to provide them. Although the lessons would take place in school, there will be no cost to schools or families for either the teaching or the instruments.
MusicMOB comprises a small team of committed local music makers and its Board of Trustees includes Sue Turner, organiser of Oswestry Youth Music Festival and a respected peripatetic instrumental and vocal teacher.