Blackbird Lees primary pupils learn violin on free summer course

Luke Hitchcock, 11, and Toby Collier, 10, right, express their feelings with some nifty bow work

Luke Hitchcock, 11, and Toby Collier, 10, right, express their feelings with some nifty bow work Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

YOUNG musicians from Blackbird Leys are going to get a free summer course to expand their artistic horizons.

The Blackbird Leys String Band, made up of about 30 children from primary schools in the area, will be able to enjoy a four-day long summer music course.

Children will have the chance to take part in a four-day summer school to fine-tune their skills.

Oxfordshire County Music Service’s deputy head Liz Stock said: “They are in a socially deprived area, so these are children who wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford other music courses or be able to travel to classes because their families don’t have cars.

“It means they aren’t excluded because they can’t pay.”

The course will be open to members of the string band, which has been running for almost two years.

Its members are handed instruments and given free lessons to build up their musical skills.

Mrs Stock said: “We felt these children have given up so much time and they’ve been so brilliant and dedicated we wanted to do this for them. It will be a real benefit to them and extend their arts experience.”

The scheme will have music lessons in the mornings and lessons in arts, dance and drama in the afternoons. It has received more than £4,000 from Blackbird Leys Parish Council for the course to pay for workshop leaders and materials.

For Toby Collier, 10, the violin reminds him of his other school subjects: “I like music because it is fairly mathematical and maths is my favourite subject.”

The Blackbird Leys lad added: “I can play the piano too a bit but I want to learn how to do both.”

Fellow bandmate Luke Hitchcock, 11, plays the violin and attends Pegasus Primary School.

He enthused: “It helps me express my feelings. When I’m quite happy I can play happy songs and if I’m sad I can play sad music. It’s better than other things at school for doing that.”

His twin brother Elliot added: “I like that not many of my friends get to play it. It makes me feel special. The Saturday band helps me get out of things that I don’t like doing like going shopping. It’s good if you don’t like sports then it’s better for you.”

Their classmate Benito Cruz-Guterres, 10, from Blackbird Leys, said that he was looking forward to the chance to learn more music in the summer. He added: “I like how you hold it and really get into it because I hadn’t played it before that. I like learning.”

Children taking part will receive an arts certificate at the end of the course, which will be held at Pegasus Primary School.

Its music teacher Jo Gill said: “A lot of our children go to the string band. It has been brilliant.

“It’s important for them to play with other children and have an experience of playing in a group.

“It’s definitely made a difference to their rate of progress with their instruments.

“It would be really nice for them to have something in the holidays. Some of them might not be going away on holiday so it’s a nice thing for them to look forward to.”

No specific dates have been set aside for the summer school, but it will be taking place in the school holidays.

Our top stories:

Paloma Faith and Groove Armada to play at Alex and Jamie's 'Feastival'

Oxford Mail: Paloma Faith's new UK tour includes Reading date

12:10am Wednesday 4th March 2015

DANCE superstars Groove Armada and pop icon Paloma Faith and have been announced as headliners for this summer's Big Feastival.

Bullfinch report reveals many more victims as mother calls for resignations

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 3rd March 2015

A VICTIM of the Bullfinch gang and her mother demanded that heads should roll at Oxfordshire County Council ahead of today’s report into the abuse scandal.

Fashion guru Anna Wintour arrives in city for Oxford Union talk

Oxford Mail:

6:36pm Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Formidable fashion icon and Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue Anna Wintour was ushered into Oxford Union for a talk tonight.

University land pledge offers villagers hopes of flood relief

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 3rd March 2015

A £120M proposed flood relief channel running through Kennington has been welcomed after it was revealed university chiefs will help out.

Bullfinch: Authorities missed opportunities to uncover grooming gangs

Oxford Mail:

12:59pm Tuesday 3rd March 2015

A story rounding up the report and reaction to this morning's Bullfinch Serious Case Review.

New loan signing Gnanduillet beefs up Oxford United's strikeforce

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Armand Gnanduillet is available to make his Oxford United debut against Morecambe tonight after joining on loan until the end of the season.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:36am Wed 2 Jul 14

norton manor says...

haven't you got a proof reader app. it's Leys NOT Lees
haven't you got a proof reader app. it's Leys NOT Lees norton manor
  • Score: 0

8:38am Wed 2 Jul 14

norton manor says...

and well done the Parish Council for supporting this scheme
and well done the Parish Council for supporting this scheme norton manor
  • Score: 2

10:15am Wed 2 Jul 14

chavster says...

And yet more BBLers on the fiddle :)
And yet more BBLers on the fiddle :) chavster
  • Score: -4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree