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Project information

Tower Hamlets Children’s Music Project

Help us bring the world of orchestral music to disadvantaged young children and families in Tower Hamlets. Your donations will enable us to offer access to high quality live music in a fun and interactive way through a series of workshops and children’s performances in the Borough.

January 2017 - July 2017

Charity information: City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia logo
  • Need


    Tower Hamlets has the highest rate of child poverty in London: 79% of children in the Borough come from extremely low income families, many of whom are out of work. Many primary school children and their families in Tower Hamlets do not have access to musical activities. This project will fill a significant need for skills, resources and materials to give children in the Borough the chance to experience live instrumental music and participate in high quality musical activities.


    Children from 12 primary schools in Tower Hamlets will each participate in 3 days of creative workshops with CLS musicians and experience live orchestral performances in February and May 2017. Teachers and school staff will be empowered to lead more musical activities in the future by attending hands-on training sessions with our team. After the project, teachers will receive a resource pack to help them continue using music in the classroom.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To create active and engaging musical opportunities for primary school children in Tower Hamlets.


    » 3 days of participatory music workshops in 12 primary schools (8 in February, 4 in May) led by a specialist workshop leader & a trio of CLS musicians.
    » 2 live concert days for participating schools (1 in February, 1 in May) with an orchestra of 13 musicians and a presenter.

    What success will look like

    Success will be up to 360 children attending themed music workshop sessions including an introduction to professional musicians.

    Aim 2

    To develop skills & confidence of teachers in Tower Hamlets to lead more musical activities.


    » 2 training sessions for teachers of Key Stage One and nursery school staff (1 in February, 1 in May).
    » Each session will demonstrate effective hands-on musical activities for young children which participants can use in their own classrooms.
    » Participants will be provided with musical resources to use in their classrooms.
    » Each session will accommodate up to 30 teachers or nursery school staff.

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing up to 60 teachers with the tools and resources needed to enhance their music class sessions.

    Aim 3

    To encourage schools & teachers in Tower Hamlets to use material from workshops in their own lessons


    » A music resource pack will be provided for each school containing song lyrics, workshop games and ideas for music activities.

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing practical materials for incorporating music into Key Stage 1 creative music work.

    Aim 4

    To provide high quality orchestral performances which are engaging & accessible for young children.


    » A specially themed orchestral concert at the start of the summer to be held in Tower Hamlets
    » Concerts will be presented by a music animateur who will introduce the instruments and pieces, and encourage children and their parents join in.
    » Performances and preceding activities will be free to attend.
    » The concerts will be marketed to families in Tower Hamlets through local organisations to ensure maximum participation from our target audiences.

    What success will look like

    Success will be delivery of participatory themed orchestral performances for over 360 children and their families led by presenter Claire Henry.

  • Impact


    By filling a significant gap in the provision of musical activities for young children in Tower Hamlets, the project will develop the musical knowledge, skills and aspirations of a whole new generation of music lovers and inspire teachers to lead more musical activities. The project will encourage cross-cultural and community cohesion. Feedback from children, teachers and parents will be monitored carefully and used to demonstrate the project’s impact.


    By working in partnership Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service, the organisation with local knowledge and connections, we are able to mitigate risks by identifying those who will benefit most from participation and that all activities are well attended.


    Written evaluation will take place throughout the project and a final report will be sent to donors via our online database Spektrix integrated with marketing software dotMailer.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,015

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,250 Workshops Holding 36 workshops for children
      £2,450 1st teacher training session Music training for teachers and nursery school staff in March
      £5,300 Concerts Holding two end-of-term concerts
      £1,390 2nd teacher training session Music training for teachers and nursery school staff in May
      £3,812 Family Concert Themed family performance in the summer
      £3,813 Family Concert Themed family performance in the summer
  • Background


    Tower Hamlets is located east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. The borough is one of the most deprived in the country, but there are a few small pockets of wealthy areas. Levels of unemployment are high, and it has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the UK - the percentage of pupils on free school meals is the highest in England and Wales.


    Hundreds of children, parents and teachers in one of the country’s most deprived areas will have their first ever encounter with live Western classical music, professional musicians and instruments.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    CLS musicians spend over 170 days each year making music with a wide range of groups of all ages and backgrounds. They are fully trained and supported to undertake this important work with confidence, passion and expertise. Our community and outreach programme was one of the first programmes to be established by a UK orchestra (1988) and is widely recognised as a leader in the field.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gillian Hunter-Gibbs - Education Manager

    Gillian will oversee the overall management of project: selecting venues, liaising with the music hub, and developing creative ideas for concerts.

    Pia Luck - Education Projects Coordinator

    Pia will coordinate teachers at the schools, CLS musicians, workshop leader and venues. She will create all materials required for pupils and teachers

    Alex Jackman – Tower Hamlets Music Hub Project Manager

    Alex works closely with CLS to identify schools most in need of music provision, and introduce CLS to key stakeholders at these schools.

    Claire Henry – Animateur

    An experienced musician & animateur, Claire will lead each workshop and concert, connecting and engaging the children with the orchestra.

Experiencing the joy of music for the first time

Experiencing the joy of music for the first time