The Community Music Programme involves fourth form students who participate in a series of visits to schools, community centres, residential homes for the elderly and hospices, where they present their own programmes to a wide variety of audiences. Recent visits have included: Holt House, Prestwich; Wickham House, Ashton-under-Lyne; St Ann’s Hospice, Little Holton; Bruntwood Language Centre, Cheadle.
Students receive coaching from staff and professionals from outside school. The programme allows students to gain invaluable experience of taking music to the wider community and presenting themselves in front of unfamiliar audiences, which may include people who do not usually have access to classical music.
More recently, Chetham's has enjoyed a more established relationship with the Seashell Trust (formerly the Royal School's for the Deaf and Communication Disorders). In conjunction with their musician in residence, Ros Hawley, Chetham’s students have participated in workshops aimed at children with hearing, movement and learning difficulties.
"The students at our school really enjoyed the visit from Chetham's. The students from Chetham's did a really great job and we had a fantastic afternoon."
- Bredbury Green School
Through improvisation and movement, our students have had the opportunity to share their musical talent with the students from the Seashell Trust whilst learning what a wonderful method of communication music can be. As this relationship between the two schools develops, opportunities are now being created for Chets students to undertake work experience alongside the team at the Seashell Trust.
Ros Hawley from Seashell Trust said: Working in partnership with Chetham's brings together two groups of young people who, at first, may seem not to have very much in common. Some of our students at Seashell have very complex disabilities and need a high level of support in order to engage with the world around them. It then becomes obvious to those involved in our workshops that the common connection is music, and it is the music that provides a unique way of facilitating communication, interaction, and sheer enjoyment between these two groups of people so that they can experience, learn and share together - regardless of disability. It's a two way process that benefits both organisations and is greatly valued by the Seashell Trust.
The skills students gain on the Community Music programme are essential for a professional musician in the twenty-first century as classical music aims to become more socially inclusive. Future plans this year include more visits to the Seashell Trust and to St Ann’s Hospice, alongside a series of visits to Salford Primary Schools in conjunction with the Booth Charities Foundation.
If you are part of an organisation and feel that our Community Music programme could be of benefit, please get in touch by completing this form.