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Young violinists at a city primary are a class act

MORE than 60 violinists from the same year in a Swansea school are to gather at the city's Cathedral to celebrate the success of an innovative music project.

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Staff from the council's music service have undertaken a special programme at St Joseph's Cathedral Primary to enable more pupils than ever before to have the experience of playing music.

Every pupil in Year 2 there has had violin lessons at no cost to their parents to enable them to try an instrument and experience the joy of music first-hand.

As well as musical skills, it has enhanced their concentration, performance, dexterity, team work and counting skills to benefit the rest of their education too.

And on Wednesday they will be celebrating the experience by playing at St Joseph's Cathedral in front of parents and guests.

Their success has sparked plans to set up similar experiences for whole year groups in other schools in Swansea.

Cllr Jen Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "This achievement is down to the hard work done by all the pupils, the staff who have taught them, and the parents who have supported them to practise.

"It's one of the innovative ways the school music service is being developed in Swansea and offered to pupils who might not otherwise have the chance to play an instrument.

"This kind of innovative working with schools will continue to be developed through the city's new Swansea Music Unit which has replaced the former West Glamorgan Music Service.

She said: "The service will move forward in the new school year, building on the existing provision to meet schools' expectations and their aspirations for pupils."

Angela Heald, headteacher at St Joseph's Cathedral Primary, said: "Music is one of our priorities as a school and our aim is to give every single pupil an appropriate opportunity to try an instrument and sing.

"The level of experience, expertise and support we get from the local authority music service is something you simply cannot find elsewhere and that's why we have already signed up for the new school year.

"We work with the service to ensure that those with a talent for music are discovered and supported to shine.

"However music also brings benefits to all our children. They learn the importance of listening, concentrating and sitting still as well as gaining confidence about performing in front of strangers. It shows them how much fun and how rewarding it can be to work together in this way."

The council's school music service has been renamed the Swansea Music Unit because Neath Port Talbot and Swansea councils de-coupled the West Glamorgan Music Service and set up separate music services earlier this year.

So far 59 primary schools and 12 secondary schools in Swansea have agreed Service Level Agreements to receive a music service from the Swansea Council schools music unit from September 2016.


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