Meet the Orchestra; Let’s get children interested in playing orchestral instruments

As many of you are aware, I always enjoy highlighting educational projects and this one looks great.  Flautist Liz Childs runs the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy, performs regularly as a soloist as well as with her Wind Quintet, and is an adjudicator and board member for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals.

I met Liz briefly at the Federation conference in Bristol last September and it was great to get to know her properly in Hong Kong  where we were both adjudicating for the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. We had a blast and have several exciting collaborative plans for the future. I had the good fortune to work with some wonderful adjudicators in Hong Kong all of whom are busy musicians; both as performers and teachers.

‘Meet the Orchestra’ is a music workshop to be held on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th May 2013 for children aged 6 and above. Organised by the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy, the workshops are designed for all those who would like to choose a suitable instrument to learn, as well as for those who already play but fancy trying something different. Each session focusses on a different family of instruments within the orchestra and will be packed with fun activities relating to those instruments. What a great idea! Children don’t often get the chance to ‘try out’ or get to know instruments before committing to studying them, so these workshops provide the perfect opportunity.

The first session on Tuesday 28th will be held from 9.30am-12.30pm and looks at Brass instruments led by Matt Harrison. The afternoon session (1.30pm-4.30pm) is a string session with Karen Hubbard. On Wednesday 29th, Liz leads the session on Woodwind (9.30am-12.30pm) and the afternoon class focuses on Percussion with Penny Harrison (1.30pm-4.30pm).

‘Meet the Orchestra’ will be held at Crabtree Junior School. Crabtree Lane, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 5PU and the costs are as follows:

One session (am or pm) £25.00

Two sessions £45.00

Three sessions £60.00

Four sessions £75.00

(10% Sibling discount available)

Liz and I are looking forward to being interviewed together on BBC Three Counties Radio about our various projects on April 10th at 12.15pm. Do tune in and join us!


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

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