As a result, hundreds of young people in Norfolk will benefit from the innovative programme, which particularly supports young people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In Norfolk, Music Junction will operate in one senior school, two state primary schools, and at least one SEND school. The primary schools will be feeder schools for the secondary school, creating a long-lasting musical and mentorship scheme that eases young people’s transition into high school. By training teenage pupils as mentors for younger participants, the programme also offers older participants the chance to support others, and build their skills and confidence.
Music Junction has a long-term focus, working with the schools and local communities over several years to deliver sustained impact. The programme also provides vital opportunities for local musicians and supports the local cultural ecosystem, helping to deliver the new National Plan for Music Education, embed best practice, and offer sustained training and development opportunities.
Speaking about the project, Vicki Long, Headteacher at Necton VA Primary School said: “Our fundamental belief as a school is to empower and enrich children’s lives so that they are enabled to flourish as individuals and embrace the world ahead of them with confidence, resilience and respect. Music Junction is the most amazing way we can achieve all of that and much more! To be able to offer our children the opportunity to deepen their relationship with music, so that it can become further intertwined with their enjoyment of life, is a gift. Music Junction will provide us with a greater dimension to how we support and prepare children for the lives ahead of them; to broaden their horizons even further, to experience success in a new context and to have the confidence and skills to step in to new worlds, new challenges and new dreams. We are hugely grateful to the LCO for offering our children this fabulous opportunity.”
A former Music Junction participant’s parent said: “One of the most unique features of Music Junction is the sense of what a tremendous change a simple human gesture can make to individual lives and to the wider social community. MJ became a cherished part of our lives, through the stories our daughter brought back, her sense of commitment, and her understanding of the special meaningfulness of the project.”
The need for programmes like Music Junction has never been greater. The cost of living crisis has rendered music education inaccessible for many, and the pandemic has caused a significant gap in music training and provision. By bringing together and supporting young people from all backgrounds, Music Junction ensures they can enjoy musical experiences, regardless of their situation or circumstances.
Future plans for Music Junction include expanding into other counties to help many more young people, working with The OHMI Trust to adapt instruments for young people who are physically disabled, and incorporating non-Western musical styles through a partnership with Indian Raga.
What is Music Junction?
Music Junction uses shared music-making experiences to bring together young people from different backgrounds who are often siloed into separate music provision, such as those with disabilities or SEND.
London Chamber Orchestra is highly experienced in providing such tailored and unique support, ensuring these young people can join in with mainstream music provision.
Now into its 10th year, Music Junction has helped thousands of young people develop skills in listening, communication, creativity, leadership, teamwork, and organisation. Participants also enjoy a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with the orchestra by attending rehearsals, concerts, and playing side by side with London Chamber Orchestra musicians.