Mayor’s Music Fund hands out £1.5m to help gifted young music-
makers reach their potential
70 talented young Londoners are to be awarded four-year music scholarships to help them develop their skills as musicians, in the latest round of awards being presented by the Mayor’s Music Fund at a City Hall ceremony on Thursday 25 September.
Established in 2011 by the Mayor to help talented children from disadvantaged families fulfil their musical potential, these latest scholarships sees the amount handed out by the charity reach £1.5m.
Awarded to young people from London’s 32 boroughs this year’s scholarships are worth £280,000 and will enable each child to be given an extensive programme of music tuition and support that they would not otherwise be able to afford. It brings the total number of primary school children to benefit from the scholarship scheme to 300.
As Mayor’s Music Scholars, students get over two hours of learning, music-making and other developmental activities every week, plus lots of opportunities to perform and to attend concerts and live gigs. Crucially, each child has a personal mentor, who is the link between the child and parent, school, music service and the Fund.
Mayor’s Music Fund Chief Executive Ginny Greenwood comments: ‘The Mayor’s Music Fund is proud to be at the forefront of providing financial support to thousands of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, ensuring that they are given the opportunity to benefit from music provision of the highest standard, with the plethora of progression routes this opens up for them.’
It is well documented that the intellectual and emotional development of a child is enhanced through learning a musical instrument. It fosters an appreciation that enriches everyday life and also sparks creativity; it involves intense engagement, self-discipline, and teamwork and it uses dynamic ways of thinking which stimulate the parts of the brain which improve memory. This is why musically trained children will often perform better in general intelligence skills such as literacy, numeracy and verbal reasoning.
Ginny Greenwood adds: ‘One theme runs through the comments from the children and their families and that’s the sense of pride they have in being a Mayor’s Music Scholar. For many of the children, this is the first time they have excelled at anything. Shy, nervous,some recently arrived in the UK, these obstacles melt away when they’re given the support and encouragement to make music with a group of other children all wanting their talent to shine through.’
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson comments: ‘Not every child can afford an instrument or the lessons they need to make real progress as musicians and the Music Fund is doing vital work to help hundreds of gifted youngsters towards realising their ambitions and achieve their full potential. In addition, as they develop as musicians these scholars are also gaining extra skills and experience that will be invaluable in all areas of their lives.’
The latest Mayor’s Music Scholarships will be presented by concert pianist and TV presenter James Rhodes, in a special ceremony sponsored by the Trinity College London. James Rhodes says: “I am so thrilled to have been invited to speak at the Mayor’s Music Fund’s awards celebration. The charity does vital, life-changing work that inspires and nurtures our next generation of musicians at a grass-roots level, which is just what we need.”
Attendees will include representatives of the music industry such as AEG Live, BMG Chrysalis, Live Nation and Warner Music, together with the Mayor’s Music Fund chairman Veronica Wadley and other supporters of the charity.