30 January 2013 at 4.45pm | Comment on this article
Children got to try out musical instruments in their local libraries, thanks to a project funded by Royal Opera House Bridge.
The project has seen Inspiring Music – Central Bedfordshire’s music service – and Central Bedfordshire Libraries coming together to offer a programme of music workshops across the county. The project was created to encourage more young people to use their libraries.
Of the collaboration, Chris Jones, Music Director of Inspiring Music says:
‘There is a perception that libraries are a place where you have to be quiet but - as the staff reassured us - libraries are actually full of life and music fits really well with the space.’
Young people got the chance to play with African drums, ukuleles and samba shakers and so far 15 sessions have taken place in five libraries across the area. To date 218 children and 119 adults have strummed and drummed with a number of these taking up instruments afterwards. The programme has meant that those who wouldn’t usually have access to music have been able to get involved.
‘There are a few people who might not be to keen on the noise but as I say to them: “Isn’t it brilliant to see kids being involved with the library”’ says Wendy Featherstone of Central Bedfordshire Libraries, now under the management of the Arts Council.
‘The music session leaders brilliant at engaging the children and adults - it was a real family affair. Everyone learnt a lot in a fun environment. I hope it’s the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between the library service and Inspiring Music.’
Since this programme, Royal Opera House Bridge, Central Bedfordshire Library Service and Inspiring Music have been working on developing a creative network for the area that will support more partnerships in the area.