site logo

A strings workshop and concert for pupils from Yrs. 3- 6

The project comprised a collaboration between the established strings group at SSMJ and NCS Yr. 3/4 stings group. The Assistant Director of Music at NCS organised a 2 ¼ -hour music workshop and concert for the pupils from both schools. Parents were invited to attend the concert. The aim was to enable all the pupils to learn the disciplines required of playing in a larger group, it covered stage etiquette, dynamic contrast, and musical discipline for ensemble playing. Music was sent out two weeks before to the partner school, after an initial visit by the Assistant Director of Music. An NCS year 8 pupil contributed too. The pupils were taught by the visiting VMT from SSMJ and the Assistant Director and Director of Music at NCS.


To establish a link with SSMJ; and support their strings group set up and run by a parent and VMT. The pupils at SSMJ have no music lessons timetabled in the curriculum. To encourage and give the pupils the confidence to play in a larger group; to meet and socialise with children who enjoy music making. to teach stage etiquette, dynamic contrast and musical discipline for ensemble playing. To share the results with the parents and wider community.
Critical factors for success: Enjoyment, learning, higher levels of confidence, improved community cohesion.


The initial contact was through a parent at SSMJ who was also a parent at NCS. She set up the strings group with a VMT and in discussions with the Director of Educational Partnerships (DEP) had discussed the possibility of her pupils playing with NCS pupils. The DEP then followed up with the music department who were very receptive to the idea of a whole school concert involving the strings group. It was decided on discussion with the parent and SSMJ that an initial workshop and smaller group [ and concert would be a good place to start to introduce the pupils. The Assistant Director then made an initial visit to the school and subsequent organisation of transport and resources were coordinated through her and the DEP.


Music staff x 2 – Assistant director of Music – 10 hrs, Director of Music 3 hrs
DEP – 5 hrs
Hall – 3hrs
Seating for 60 – 3hrs
30 Music stands: 3hrs
Music and Copies of repertoire for Concert – 30 copies
Instruments – provided by pupils
Refreshments – Juice and biscuits for 30
Name Labels
Coach Provision: £75
Kitchen Staff- 30 mins.
Admin Staff: 1hr


Adult feedback from SSMJ both from the VMT, parents and the Head – A keenness to partner up with other projects

Electronic and paper Feedback Pupils Questionnaire Responses:

69% - Likely or V Likely to recommend the event to a friend
96% - the event met or exceeded expectations
80% - It was well or v well organised
87% - Enjoyed meeting and playing music with new children
58%- Improved confidence - 38% confidence the same

Suggested Improvements: Allow More time to get to know each other first and to chat, perhaps have other instruments too, perhaps wind. Make sure you are not sat next to someone you know.

What did they learn?
To play softly; That it’s fun but harder to play in a larger group; I can play harder stuff than I thought; Don’t get nervous, Dynamics and volume; I’m good in an orchestra and play well and get along with a new school; How to play as a team; how it feels to play in a larger group; That music is important; How to interact with other people; More children makes a better team; A lot.


Pupil Involvement

15 Year 3 & 4 pupils and a Year 8 pupil. - Boys
15 Pupils from Yrs. 4-6- Girls and Boys


This project was the first musical collaboration with SSMJ but the plan is to involve the strings group in a whole school concert next year. Before that we hope to link up again with the older pupils from NCS.