Bosses at Shropshire Music Service, a non-profit organisation providing music lessons and support for young musicians, have said they have big plans to bring it firmly into the 21st century.
Plans to make it more inclusive, embrace new technology and provide free-of-charge workshops to youngsters around the county aim to revolutionise the service that was founded in 1967.
Dr Sarah Browne, who leads the Shropshire Music Service team, said: “We have been working hard to make the service much more inclusive, and since our plans were formed, the number of children taking part in our ensemble provision has already increased by 147 per cent.
“This means the number of pupils benefitting from our support has trebled in just the last few months, and our aim is to continue this growth as we move forwards towards an even more exciting future.”
The service provides music education in all kinds of settings, from classrooms to individual instrumental lessons, and through the service’s ensembles and workshops.
Dr Browne said: “Now we’re introducing and embracing new technology too, and we’re advising schools on how to maximise the opportunities this brings to encourage more young people to get involved
“Our ensembles and workshops are free of charge and delivered in all corners of the county, so there’s always something local for youngsters to discover.
“We’re keen to dispel the myth that music-making is only available to those who can afford it, and thanks to the support of generous local businesses, we are now able to reach and support so many more children.”
The service has recently launched a new a series of ‘Riffs’ workshops, designed to encourage budding rock and pop musicians to play the kind of music they all like, and meet new friends.
The sessions are open to guitarists, kit players and vocalists and are offered free of charge for the first time, thanks to the support of Bridgnorth-based web company Clickingmad.
Dr Browne added: “We’re keen to deliver as many varied and innovative musical activities as we can to a wide range of children, so we’d love to hear from any other local businesses who feel they could support our efforts, as by working together we can expand our operation still further.”
The next 'Riffs' workshop will be held at the music centre in Long Meadow, Bayston Hill, on March 25.
Shropshire Music Service is running an extensive programme of events in the coming weeks including 'Stompers', a beginners’ instrumentalist group in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Cleobury Mortimer and Wem.
To find out more visit shropshiremusicservice.org.uk