HIP in local primary schools

Local Music Initiative Inspires Primary School Students to Create Their Own Music

HIP continues to extend its impact beyond the renowned Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, launching its 2024 Learning & Participation programme in three primary schools: Christ Church CE Academy, Silverdale Primary Academy, and St Leonards CEP Academy.

The initiative, designed for Key Stage 2 pupils, kicked off with three days of enriching musical experiences led by musician Sam Glazer and former Hastings International Piano competitor Gabriele Sutkute. Over 100 students aged 9 to 11 participated in workshops, where they had the unique opportunity to compose their own original music using keyboard instruments.

The culmination of these workshops was a special showcase assembly at the end of the school day, where the students performed their creations alongside Gabriele. An additional 600 students experienced the events as spectators, adding to the overall impact of the programme.

Sarah Kowitz, Chair of the Trustees for Hastings International Piano, emphasized the importance of engaging children in musical activities:

“We believe that there is no better way to engage children and young people in music than by involving them in the activity itself. The gradual sidelining of creative subjects in the national curriculum and wholesale cuts in arts funding have left many children unable to access music at all.”

Andrew Marsh, Music Subject Lead for Silverdale Primary Academy, praised the inclusive and inspiring workshop delivered by Sam and Gabriele. He expressed, “They made the whole experience fun, exciting, and creative for all the children. We would most definitely welcome Hastings International Piano back again soon!”

Looking ahead, HIP plans to continue its impact through a legacy project. Selected children from the workshops will be offered free weekly group lessons to learn the electric keyboard over 30 weeks. The project will culminate with the children and their families being invited to a Hastings International Piano concert, providing a unique and inspiring experience.

HIP is also gearing up for another workshop project in primary schools, specially designed for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and those eligible for Pupil Premium.

The Learning & Participation programme has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Additional support has come from the Kowitz Family Foundation, Spencer Wills Trust, Hollick Family Foundation, Chalk Cliff Trust, Isabel Blackman Foundation, Hastings Winkle Club, Hastings Rotary Club, and the Mrs A Lacy Tate Trust. This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of the community to fostering musical talent and creativity among young minds.