Portsmouth Music Hub – Winner 2015
Portsmouth Music Hub aims high to produce the most engaging opportunities, teaching excellence and a diverse and exciting cultural education for children and young people in Portsmouth.
Storyscape, the tenth songbook in our award-winning series, was created by local composers and musicians, and it has children at the heart of the process as we asked them what they wanted to hear and what they wanted to sing. Children and young people are central to what we do, and their feedback really matters.
The provision of singing and instrument tuition is fundamental. The Hub has a well-developed singing strategy and we work with Portsmouth schools, academies and colleges to develop and improve vocal skills, to expand vocal opportunities and to ensure that all children and young people sing regularly within the curriculum, assemblies, whole class ensemble teaching, choirs, festivals, workshops and events. We work in partnership with schools, colleges, academies, professional musicians and Hub partners to deliver a wide range of progressive instrumental tuition and whole class ensemble teaching, and the Hub offers free and subsidised instrumental programmes in a multitude of genres to individuals and groups.
The Hub’s aim is to provide opportunities that will lead to a life-long passion for music. We work hard to ensure that 100% of schools and colleges are supported with visits, resources, workshops and concert opportunities. We support talented pupils and those in challenging circumstances, recognising that cultural opportunity is a birth right not a privilege, and over the past year more than 10,000 children and young people had the chance to take part in vocal events and 8,500 received instrumental tuition.
Events, from major concerts in prestigious venues to vocal showcases, gigs and festivals, all provide a platform for children and young people to explore different musical genres, to work alongside professional musicians, being inspired by the process of performance. Planning and communication is vital. We speak to parents, to young people, we listen and adapt, but remain committed to the on-going conversation with schools and to the needs of the curriculum. As a result the timing, content and theme for each event is carefully structured with educational sustainability in mind. A one-off concert in a theatre might be fun and fire-up creativity in a young mind, but the Hub is always planning for the long term educational and cultural experience; we need to ask ourselves ‘what happens next’ for the child.
Portsmouth Music Hub is fortunate to have enthusiastic and committed partners. We know that the diversity of our partnerships stimulates wider creative experiences for children and young people. So, whether it is having the opportunity to perform with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, or to see Chinese Dance for the first time, or to engage in creative music technologies, or to be part of a day of interactive rock band workshops with University students, we understand that children and young people respond differently to different choices. The Hub’s offer of cultural diversity, which embraces the traditional and the modern, aims to sow a seed in a young mind and encourage a passion for music and the arts which will go on into adult life.
The Hub believes in drawing it all together, creating a cultural focus which delivers more powerful outcomes. Opportunity is important, more important still is sustaining a young person’s interest and developing their passion, which is why we created the Arts and Culture Passport. This is a programme which encourages children, young people and adults to attend events, concerts and workshops, and in return the programme issues special Awards for participation and engagement. The programme has been very successful, garnering national and international support, and we have watched people embark on a cultural journey which encourages them to ‘think outside the box’ and to engage with new music and new genres. This has not been done in isolation, we have drawn together not just music-makers, but museums, venues, artists, performers, even the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. The Arts and Culture Passport is a collaborative process, bringing partners, children and young people together under the umbrella of a programme that delivers a focussed cultural approach that will, over time, show real dividends. When you hold a day of workshops for hundreds of local children in the centre of a busy city, with the threat of rain, but plenty of drumming, rapping, drama and maypole dancing, plus a surprise visit from a 40-strong Royal Marines Band you can see on the faces of all those involved that the Portsmouth Music Hub is making a difference.