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Big blow for music as vuvus enter classroom

They have been described as the Marmite of the South African World Cup, but love them or hate them vuvuzelas have come to typify this summer's football tournament.

Their monotone droning sound during football matches has been likened to a swarm of bees and led to countless complaints. They have even sparked an international debate about whether these tuneless "trumpets" should be banned.

So it might seem strange that teachers at Congleton High School in Cheshire would think of handing out the tiresome horns to a class of teenagers.

But the school is linked to Muizenberg High in Cape Town through the government-funded Global School Partnerships programme, so its latest project focused on the World Cup and involved a timely lesson on how to play the headache-inducing instrument.

The two schools hooked up via a live video link last Friday that gave pupils the chance to discuss details of their schools and daily lives.

Irene Bartley, assistant head at Congleton High, said: "As the World Cup is on in South Africa, the school thought it would be brilliant if we could have some and learn how to play them tunefully - but I don't think that's really possible.

"It was really nice for our students, though, and the kids loved the fact they were able to speak to people in South Africa.

"It really raised awareness of the different cultures between the two countries and it showed our students the real sense of fun that they have over there."

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