A new project that will make music more accessible to local primary school children is being launched at Sidmouth College’s summer concert on Thursday, July 6.

As well as being a party for the college’s students and staff, the event will see the official launch of the East Devon Music Centre, an initiative between Sidmouth College’s music department and the Devon Music Education Hub, from which the college has secured funding.

The project will give children the chance to join one of three groups, free of charge. String Group will give violins and violin lessons to 20 students for a year. Rock Project will set up and train two rock bands from scratch. Music Tech will teach 10 children how to use computer music technology, including the college’s new recording studio that has been set up in the last year.

Richard Morgan, the head of music at Sidmouth College, said: “The whole ethos of the music department is about getting the tools of music making into children’s hands so they can explore, celebrate and develop their innate musicality.

“Securing this funding from Devon Music Education Hub means we can make this happen for students in the wider Sidmouth community, which is an exciting prospect!”

He said priority will be given to students who are within the college's catchment and have limited access to music at their primary school for one reason or another, or have shown substantial interest in making music. However, the scheme is open to applications from the wider area.

If there is high demand for places, Mr Morgan will look into scaling it up in future years, perhaps with more funding and possibly asking for a nominal amount from families.

He said: "The purpose is to make a musical difference and to avoid lack of funds being a barrier to music education."

Sign-up details for the East Devon Music Centre groups will be made public at the Summer Concert for those who want to get ahead of the queue. Spaces in the music groups are limited, but the college hopes that the project’s first year will show how viable the initiative is. 

Tickets for the concert are £5 and available on Eventbrite using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/a7je78t7 or on the Sidmouth College Website.  Tickets can also be purchased on the door.

The concert itself will feature live music from staff and students on the outdoor stage, along with guest performances by the Newton Poppleford Primary School choir. There will be food available including pizza, gelato and crepes, drinks, and a ‘festival atmosphere’.

A Sidmouth College spokesperson said: “It promises to be a fun evening of musical entertainment including a wonderful mixture of new and more seasoned performances, a great atmosphere, delicious food and the opportunity for some to begin their musical journey! What a great way to kick start the summer!”