Sound Cause for a ‘Cello-bration’
28 Nov 2008
The Norbury Primary School children recently played alongside adult cellists in a ‘
gig’ aptly entitled Cello-bration!
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Eyes light up and young minds are set wondering, as ten tiny children hear about Guido D’Arezzo the medieval Italian monk who first dreamt up the concept of sheet music, after having had enough of students forgetting his teachings.
As they listen, the 4 to 7 year olds of Class One, at Norbury Primary School in South Shropshire, are given their very first piece of basic written music, which relates to the pint-sized cellos that they all eagerly clutch.
The long-term dream of head teacher, Liz Holmes, has recently become a reality for her pupils, as the accomplished cellist, John Fairbanks, now leads weekly cello lessons for the whole class. Liz herself was once taught the instrument by John and this experience created the basis for her own interest in music, as well as a passion for giving young children similar musical opportunities.
Both Liz and John firmly agree that introducing music at this young age has countless benefits; from mental and social development, to multi-tasking and special awareness. John feels he could ‘go on for hours’ about the subject and all its rewards. Similarly, while at university, Liz did her teaching degree thesis on the advantages of music in the development of the very young.
Although these days it is far from uncommon for primary school students to be learning a musical instrument, what makes this situation truly magical is the tender age these children begin. Starting from as young as four — a relatively new concept — many agree that this really is a fantastic opportunity.
Young Norbury cellist, Milo Turner, aged only five ‘and three quarters!’ he hastens to add — feels that he would like to continue playing the cello in a band as he gets older because he really enjoys his Friday afternoon lessons. His classmates all share a similarly positive attitude, which is about as far from the stereotypical image of a school-detesting pupil as you could get. What a result!
Contact: Norbury Primary School,
Norbury, Bishops Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5EA
George Jennings, Olivia Littlehales
and Annie Langford
Photo: — Shanna Jones
Shanna Jones, aged 17, recently participated
in the Positive News / Arvon Journalism course
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