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Everyone can play

MUSIC at Grove school is a powerful force, bringing staff, children and the community together, writes Paul Mills.

The 700-pupil primary, in Handsworth, Birmingham, provides a mix of lessons from peripatetic specialists and class teachers. Every child gets the chance to learn an instrument in Year 4.

The instruments on offer reflect the multi-ethnic intake, including African and Asian drums and harmonium.

Pupils who show talent and dedication continue into Years 5 and 6, as do children with special needs who reap a special reward from music.

This means each year around 180 children receive 30-45 minutes of specialist tuition a week from the Birmingham Music Service.

Class teachers who lack confidence in the subject get support. Chris O'

Malley, music co-ordinator, works alongside year groups in rotation, teaching by example.

Karen Bradshaw, a Year 3 teacher, who has had almost no music training, said. "Now we have seen good practice, and how much the kids enjoy music, it has given us a lot of confidence."

Acting head Justine Baker said: "There are children at the top end of the school who do not shine in maths or literacy. If they can achieve something in music... they leave with positive feelings."

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