Education Article header


SILLY instruments are helping to introduce schoolchildren to classical music at St George’s Bristol on July 6 – thanks to inspirational music charity Preludes.

The event includes a classical performance by professional musicians from the Preludes team, as well as singing by the children.

Bristol-Ensemble-LogoPreludes is run by Bristol Ensemble chamber orchestra, and was the first organisation to win St George’s Prize for Music.

The award recognises Preludes’ contribution to music education in Bristol, and the annual prize includes free use of St George’s Bristol.

Preludes decided to invite a total of 380 schoolchildren, aged six and seven, from south Bristol schools. The Year 2 children are from Ilminster Avenue E-ACT Academy and Greenfield E-ACT Academy in Knowle West, Long Cross and Bankleaze in Lawrence Weston, and Cheddar Grove, Headley Park and St Peter’s in Bishopsworth.

Having fun, as well as singing and music-making, is important and the session includes children on stage playing silly instruments such as bird water whistles, hooters and tooters plus some traditional instruments from Vietnam.

The event is the culmination of a year’s work by the Preludes team in the schools.

Catherine Freda, Head of Education at St George’s Bristol said: “Preludes is the winner of the inaugural St George’s Prize for Music with their inspirational project in Bristol schools.

“Run by the Bristol Ensemble, the charity is transforming lives by putting classical music at the heart of a child’s education.”
preludes sqPreludes is a bold and innovative music project that has been running since 2009 in areas of Bristol experiencing high levels of disadvantage. It is the most extensive education project of its type in England. The programme is delivered by a growing team of dedicated professionals.

Penny Rawlings, who leads and manages Preludes, said: “Children learn to read music, sing and play a range of instruments in an inclusive and supportive setting. This has a huge impact on their confidence and self-belief.”

She added: “The project is creating a vibrancy and pride which nurtures aspirations amongst the children, their families and the community as a whole.”

Head of School at Ilminster Avenue E-ACT Academy, part of the Malago Learning Partnership, Hilary Dunford said: “Our involvement with Preludes has opened up music in a way that is well beyond what we can do during regular music lessons.

EF2“Children experience instruments that we would not have in school such as violins, flutes, clarinets, trombones, trumpets and cellos, quality performance opportunities and expert tuition. All schools in the Malago Learning Partnership value the contribution Preludes brings to our schools for both music education and social development.”

When the stage at St George’s is not being used by schoolchildren, it is home to world-class artists including pianists Mitsuko Uchida and James Rhodes and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Other big names performing soon are hard-hitting jazz electronica three-piece GoGo Penguin, folk legend Loudon Wainwright III and ’90s chamber pop band The Divine Comedy.