Greenham Common Trust is delighted that Music Bursary Fund is a big hit

Instruments provided by the new fundA music bursary fund, introduced by Greenham Common Trust, has been enthusiastically taken up by young children keen to learn an instrument.

The £185,000 grant was made available to Berkshire Maestros last year. The original intent was to give more seven to 11 year olds the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument.

Funding does already exist in West Berkshire for the most disadvantaged children to support their learning. However, there is a gap for many children who come from families where disposable funding for non-essentials is a problem although the family is not entitled to existing financial support.

Now, the bursary addresses that need. Berkshire Maestros has reported that dozens of applicants have benefited from the new bursary, with parents overwhelmed by the benefits experienced by their children. There are 42 West Berkshire schools which will have had tuition taking place thanks to the support from the bursary.

Sam Wyne, Area Senior Leader (West Berkshire) for Berkshire Maestros, said: “Every school in West Berkshire is now aware of this bursary and most are thinking of children that can benefit from access to it, and are exploring ways to use this money in a creative way to enable more children to make music in schools.

“We are also extremely grateful for GCT’s instrument bursary and many children are now playing on better quality instruments which they can hire from us.

“I hope that this bursary can benefit many more children in primary schools in West Berkshire. We cannot thank GCT enough for the impact that this is having on music making in the area.”

One grateful parent said the lessons her child received would not have been possible without the funding provided by GCT. She said her family could not afford the skills of a music teacher, but now her daughter could have access to music lessons.

Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Common Trust said: “We are so pleased to hear how well the scheme has taken off, and that the take up has been excellent and has exceeded Berkshire Maestros original anticipation.

“It shows that this new bursary really does work. We are delighted that we can support talented children in our community, who might otherwise miss out on a life-changing experience.”

The Music Bursary Fund covers both tuition and purchasing the stock of musical instruments required.

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