EVEN more young people in Stratford can make music for free thanks to a cash donation.
Building products manufacturer Forterra donated £1,000 to SPARK Youth Music.
And the cash will be used by the not-for-profit organisation to provide even more youngsters from lower income backgrounds – or with mental health issues – with music tutoring.
Clare Thomas, who leads the SPARK organisation with her husband Richard, said: “We recognise how prohibitively expensive music lessons can be, and so we provide all instruments and equipment on the programme, in line with our ethos that there should be no barriers to every child having an opportunity to play music.”
With Forterra’s donation, SPARK is able to extend its programme of 25 sessions of music tuition to two more disadvantaged youths, with the cash going towards the procurement and maintenance of musical equipment.
Over the course of the programme, the youngsters will form a band, learn cover songs and finally write an original song, which will be recorded in a professional studio.
The band will also get to participate in a radio interview, have band photography taken, see a professional band, create a music video and perform in a gig with a 250-person crowd and professional sound and lighting teams.
Clare continued: “Giving these youngsters an opportunity to form a band and organise their own gig is a wonderful way to help them develop confidence and a sense of belonging. A lot of the young people on our programme might be struggling to find belonging in the traditional groups at school, so it’s vital that we recognise the ways in which music can bring diverse people together.
“We help the youngsters design and create their own band logos and band t-shirts, which means they are able to use cross-curricular subjects such as IT, Design, Business, Maths and English in a real-life, fun and engaging setting, all while experiencing the professional industry first-hand.
“To see these budding musicians go from very anxious people to people able to perform brilliantly in front of a 250-person crowd is truly awe-inspiring. We’re extremely grateful for Forterra’s donation, and can’t wait to begin our next programme.”