Chance to Play
Senior pupils (18 years old) of The Yehudi Menuhin School, supervised by a dedicated member of Outreach staff, introduce Cobham Free School pupils in Y1-13 to stringed instruments and give first-access tuition on the violin. The project takes place once a week throughout the year, with 30-minute lessons taught in small groups of 6-8 pupils. All pupils take part, together with pupils from The Yehudi Menuhin Schoool, in a major concert in The Menuhin Hall at The Yehudi Menuhin School at the academic year, performing to an audience of pupils from other primary schools in Surrey and their parents. For more details: Chance to Play
The aim is to introduce young children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to practical music-making, in this case learning to play a stringed instrument. It also gives the chance for senior students at The Yehudi Menuhin School to learn about teaching at beginners' level and to share their gifts with the wider community. If a child shows a particular interst or aptitude, he or she will be encouraged to take individual lessons. Success, however, can be measured not just by those who continue with their playing, but by the numbers who become interested in music and perhaps in getting involved in other ways.
The Chance to Play project originated in 1998 when Yehudi Menuhin visited a primary school in Guildford and, together with one of the original pupils of the School, began to introduce the violin to children who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn an instrument. The School took up the project after his death in the following year and has continued with it ever since, visiting a variety of primary schools. It has been involved with Cobham Free School since 2013.
The principal resources used are violins (with bows and cases), a teaching room, expert string teacher from The Yehudin Menuhin School, two senior students. Cobham Free School owns the violins used by its pupils, the lessons take place on its premises and it pays a fee for the teacher concerned.
There is no formal assessment but all pupils perform in an end-of-year concert at The Yehudi Menuhin School, and a few pupils have been inspired to begin individual lessons.
In the last academic year 122 pupils from Cobham Free School (Y1-3) were involved, as well as seven senior students (aged 18-19) from The Yehudi Menuhin School.
Classes take place on one day per week during term time, with a concert performance at the end of the academic year.