Bold approach is a Deal breaker in Kent

A fantastic approach to engaging youngsters in community music making is making a huge impression in Deal in Kent.

  The 'Bold As' approach is working wonders in Deal

The award winning Deal Festival this year celebrates 35 years of bringing music and arts to East Kent.

As well as international artists and performers it runs an extensive year-round learning and education programme, including its trail blazing music education programme 'BOLD AS' which collaborates with Kent Music through the Kent Music Education Hub.

Bold As

'BOLD AS' is an innovative project that works with children and young people, utilising the award-winning plastic pTrumpets and pBones produced by Warwick Music. The project has been running for three years, and is led by leading brass players including Tim Hayward (trumpeter in Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), Letty Stott (horn player at Covent Garden) and Phil White (trombonist with the Philharmonia Orchestra).


Spokesperson Laura Callaghan Grooms told 4BR: "We work with four primary schools in Deal and Dover, and are beginning to work with secondary schools and local community brass bands to deliver the project.

More than 100 children learn brass instruments every year, with more than 80 hours of musical activities including workshops with professional brass musicians to support weekly whole class brass teaching, a digital programme of resources, schools and family concerts, and performances in-school and at public concerts."

East Kent's history of coal mining and brass bands is also being targeted. 'BOLD AS' hopes to reignite the historic link by encouraging youngtsers to pick up a brass instrument with local community bands to have fun and begin a lifelong love of music.


Laura added: "We regularly evaluate the impact of 'BOLD AS'. We have found that children's engagement in the programme has led to improvement in behaviour, concentration, confidence and musical skills.

It's been very significant that some low achievers in class became high achievers after interaction with the project. As a result 'BOLD AS' was shortlisted for a Music Teacher Excellence award in 2016."

Excellent stead

Meanwhile, Phil White, Musical Director of 'BOLD AS' said: "These are transferable skills that as musicians we naturally learn and apply to all aspects of our lives.

Through brass playing, the schoolchildren have begun to learn skills, beyond musicianship, that will stand them in excellent stead for the rest of their lives.

The project was engineered specifically with the 'fun' element in the forefront. The use of brightly coloured plastic pBone and pTrumpets had an immediate positive impact on everyone."

Through brass playing, the schoolchildren have begun to learn skills, beyond musicianship, that will stand them in excellent stead for the rest of their lives'Bold As' Musical Director, Phil White


The last word on the success of the project goes to Ian Rowden, Headmaster of the local Aylesham Primary School.

He told 4BR: "It's been a real pleasure to watch the children learning to master the instruments, and a bonus that's impacted on their overall learning process in such a positive way. It is vital to ensure music education is an integral part of the curriculum, particularly as we have witnessed the benefits first hand!'

Find out more

To find out more about the 'BOLD AS' project and the Deal Festival, please visit the Festival website: http://www.dealfestival.co.uk

Picture credit: Tony Nandi

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