Redbridge children to make music thanks to �1.8million grant

Redbridge Music Service has secured a �1.8million grant to help pay for children and young people to learn a musical instrument.

It joined with Waltham Forest Music Service to deliver a joint bid – the only one of its kind in the country.

The money from the Arts Council will be used to create the North East London Music Education Hub, led by Redbridge Music Service, opening in September 2012.

Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The Redbridge Music Service already reaches thousands of people across the borough but this money and new hub will mean expanding on that provision.

“This will in turn help our pupils and students build confidence, develop different skills and raise educational achievements.”

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The Arts Council scheme will develop 122 hubs across the country to provide musical experiences for young people aged five to 18 which could include learning an instrument, singing or being in a choir.

Both Music Services will consult with schools on the Hub and how it will operate, before a business plan is submitted to the Arts Council in July.

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A location for the hub has not yet been decided and the money will be released over the next two-and-a-half years.

Redbridge Music Service student Elizabeth Milne told the council last year how valuable the service was in the face of the proposed �840,000 cuts.

The young musician spoke in Redbridge Town Hall about how learning music gave children self-esteem, a social life, kept them out of trouble and contributed to Redbridge pupils getting the third highest GCSE marks in the country.

This year’s council budget shows that �635,000 will have to be saved from the Music Service, in Fencepiece Road, Hainault over the next three years.

A consultation with 560 Redbridge residents this year over council spending also revealed they believe the music service is “one of the areas where savings should not be made”.

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