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April 2008 saw the launch of the Bridge Project at our pilot Schools in Lambeth - Ashmole Primary and Jessop Primary. There are currently 320 children in the programme aged 4-7.
All Bridge Project students receive one year of musicianship training and two years of violin tuition within their school curriculum. In the fourth year the programme enters Phase 2, with children who are showing promise and a strong ‘connection' with the instrument continuing along a more individual path of violin tuition, whilst others are supported in the pursuit of other musical opportunities developed by the Bridge Project and local music services.
Our workshop leaders and teachers have developed a method for musicianship and instrumental learning described as "The Bridge Approach" which is a systematic approach integrating elements of Kodaly, Dalcroze, Suzuki and traditional teaching methods. Through the musicianship workshops students begin to develop their musical ear, sense of rhythm and pitch; they are also introduced to the concept of musical notation. The Bridge Approach makes use of song, story, imagery, play and movement appealing to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles. When the children reach year 1 we provide our students with custom-sized violins and deliver violin lessons in pairs and small groups to which parents and family members are encouraged to attend.
The Bridge Project community engagement programme works with parents and family members to ensure that the benefits of musical discovery reach out to the wider community. We organize choirs, social activities and visits to cultural events in the local area and further afield. The children on the Bridge Project take part in local performances in hospitals, nursery schools, community groups and care homes as part of our Bridge to the Community event programme.
For more information on any Bridge Project activities please contact Robert Adediran, Bridge Project Manager.