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Does Music for Life offer something special to young people?

We’re at that time of year when students and parents decide whether to renew their courses for the coming new school and also when we hope to welcome many more new students who wish to try a “taster” course with us in September. Over the last few days, it has been lovely to receive some really wonderful feedback and I’m taking the unusual step of reproducing three emails received in full because they highlight things that are regularly said and which mean a great deal because they touch on things which, at their best, reflect the elements which I believe can make MfL so special – quality (of teaching, groups, concerts), strength of partnerships (tutors/Music for Life; tutors/students; Music for Life/schools; Music for Life/students; tutors/schools; parents/Music for Life/schools!!!), outstanding musicianship of teachers and an infectious enthusiasm for making music.

“Following the recent Music for Life event, we were moved to write to you to express how impressed we were. My husband is a secondary head teacher in another borough and he has obviously had experience of school music provision for many years. He is so impressed with the level of engagement you achieve with young people and their parents and the high standard of play the young people attain. Your emphasis on inclusion and excellence in seemingly equal measure is really quite remarkable. We had gone to see our older child play in the Big Band but so enjoyed the rest of the performances. They really were much more joyful and committed than anything we have seen before from people of that age and experience. Your choice of music, the type of arranging and the personalities of the people you employ clearly works very well and is something of a special formula. We are proud and pleased that our son was able to play a part in the event. Thank you for the opportunity you give him not only to perform at the highest level but also to contribute to the wider music community.”

“Samuel would love to join the guitar Workshop in Helsby High School scheduled for Wednesday 24th June. Thank you for this invitation and may I take this opportunity to say how very happy and impressed we are with the level of care and motivational input given to young musicians by ALL of your staff. We have been extremely fortunate to have had Hazel Barrett as my son’s flute teacher for the past four years. She is incredible, very talented, caring and inspirational. My son can be easily overwhelmed by new situations but under her tutorage he has blossomed and grown in confidence and strength. Helen Lacey and Ashley at the Junior Orchestra are incredibly supportive and talented. We watch in awe each month as they guide these young people. My son loves working alongside them and is now confident in all concert situations. He really blossomed during the RNCM in February this year. Thank you once again. If you would like to use this feedback I am very willing to write a parent testimonial – Music for Life are to be highly recommended as a professional, motivational and inspiring organisation with talented and inspirational tutors who care about the child and moulding the musicians of the future.”

“Dear Neville, As someone who has always taken a sympathetic and supportive interest in our daughter Elizabeth (whom you know to be severely /profoundly deaf )we thought you would want to know that she has won a National competition for deaf musicians! Her prize includes a 2 day Masterclass, taught by specialists of national repute and then she is playing at the Birmingham Rep Theatre.”

If you take a look at videos of MfL students performing and look at parental feedback on our facebook page, I would like to think that the elements highlighted in these three parents’ emails may be evident. Perhaps MfL really does offer young people something special, offering the best opportunities to learn an instrument successfully and enabling young people to get the music bug long term??!