Monthly Recommended Listening: ‘Spooky’ Halloween Edition

Welcome back to our Monthly Recommended Listening!

Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate classical pieces. Listening to music is not only enjoyable but is also beneficial in development many skills including coordination and self-confidence that will continue to be useful for your child throughout their lives.

This month, The Strings Club Head Office team has gathered for you the best ‘spooky’ pieces of music alongside some fun facts and links to YouTube and Spotify to celebrate Halloween!

1) Toccata and Fugue in d minor, J.S. Bach

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue is one of the most well-known pieces of music associated with Halloween. This spooky organ piece fits in perfectly with the season with its creepy sounds, imitating the sound of creaking boards and ghosts.

Listen to Toccata and Fugue on YouTube or Spotify.

2) Piano Sonata No.2: III. ‘Funeral March’, Frederic Chopin

Chopin’s iconic ‘Funeral March’ which appeared in the 1830s as the third movement in his Piano Sonata No. 2 was first performed at Chopin’s own funeral. The work imitates the solemn pace of a funeral procession – an exceptionally beautiful yet haunting piece.

Listen to Piano Sonata No.2 on YouTube or Spotify.

3) Symphonie fantastique: Fifth movement, Hector Berlioz

‘The Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath’ is the fifth movement from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. It depicts the scene of demons and sorcerers gathered to celebrate the Sabbath night. Listen closely – Can you hear the bells ringing towards the middle of the piece?

Listen to Symphonie fantastique on YouTube or Spotify.

What next?

If you like the sound of these spooky pieces of classical music, why not join us at our Holiday Camps this October Half Term where we take your child on a spook-tacular musical adventure with a range of Franken-tastic Halloween-themed workshops!

From Halloween arts & crafts to drama workshop on ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Find your nearest Holiday Camps here

Celebrating our new partnerships – We are teaming up!

We’re delighted to announce that we’re teaming up with The Royal Schools of Music, pre-school music organisation Rhythm Time and the truly delicious Boston Tea Party!

The Strings Club has worked with The Royal Schools of Music over the last few years to ensure your child will be able to regularly work towards something exciting and worthwhile on our Term Time Courses. Exciting new additions include Rhythm Time and Boston Tea Party – Find out more about our brand new partnerships below!

 

Music Medals, The Royal Schools of Music

The Strings Club is incredibly proud to be partners with Music Medals, a fantastic award scheme established and run by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Whereas typically it might take over a year for a beginner to reach the standard to enter for Grade 1, Music Medals can be achieved every term giving your child something really rewarding to practice towards.

 

 

Rhythm Time

Offering weekly classes for newborns to pre-school children, Rhythm Time is perfectly placed to start every child’s musical journey before joining The Strings Club at age 4.

Founder Kathy Doolan states “We are delighted to be in partnership with The Strings Club and it is a very exciting opportunity for our pupils. Our courses are a perfect preparation for playing any string instrument and this partnership means our pupils can progress onto the next step in their musical journey.”

 

Boston Tea Party

With a range of delicious cakes, organic dishes as well as some yummy coffee, funky independent café, Boston Tea Party is teaming up with The Strings Club in September 2017. Our award-winning Discovery Days will be taking place at a range of Boston Tea Party venues.

 

Join us at our Discovery Day at Boston Tea Party venues!

Read more about our exciting partners

Our fabulously spooky workshops this October Half Term!

Although it seems like the long summer holidays have only just come and gone, the October Half Term is also around the corner! 

This October Half Term, we will be taking your child on a spook-tacular adventure at our award-winning Holiday Camps with a range of Halloween-themed workshops to compliment our high-quality small group instrumental classes.

At our Ofsted-registered Holiday Camps, your child can enjoy making new friends, build confidence and develop not only musical, but also personal skills whilst being in a friendly, safe and truly inspiring environment.

The workshop theme for October Half Term is everything Halloween! This will ensure consistency throughout the week whilst maintaining the high-quality of engaging activities we offer. Through this, we aim to guide the development of every child’s capabilities and skills on a daily basis to ensure that they truly benefit from our award-winning Holiday Camps.

Here are some of our hauntingly magical workshops carefully created by our Digital Marketing and Events Assistant, Asako, taking place this time around!

Imagination Station

Get your creativity ready with this highly exciting workshop! There will be a variety of arts & crafts based on the theme of the week – Halloween. Let’s see where our imagination takes us!

Join us on Monday 23rd October

 

 

Performarama

Based on the magical story of “The Wizard Of Oz”, children will be encouraged to act out as their favourite characters. They will also be exploring what happens on the ‘yellow brick road’ as they create their own additions to the story – What a fantastic session for your child to boost that confidence!

Join us on Tuesday 24th October

Music In Motion

It’s time to express yourself! This workshop based on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will encourage your child to express themselves by exploring dance and body movements.

Join us on Wednesday 25th October

 

 

Meet The Composer

The composer of the week is Hector Berlioz, best known for his “Symphonie Fantastique”. In this workshop, we explore how the orchestral effects are used within the work to create the scene of a gathering of witches!

Join us on Thursday 26th October

Pieces Of Me

In all the excitement of the activities during the Halloween season, the dangers can often be forgotten. In this inspiring workshop, we explore how we can keep safe on the night.

Join us on Friday 27th October

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our October Half Term Holiday Camps are already proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield | Solihull

Join us this October Half Term

Director Amy is shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

We’re delighted to announce that The Strings Club founder and director, Amy Cunningham, has been shortlisted for the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award at this year’s NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

The Strings Club beat off some competition in order to make the regional shortlist, with over 1000 businesses entering the awards nationally across the wide range of categories.

Now in its fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain.

Since launching in 2012, The Strings Club has gained wide recognition for its refreshing approach to music tuition. From this year alone, we have been nominated for ‘Businesswoman of the Year Award’ for Birmingham Awards as well as “Best Independent Children’s Activity” for Whats On 4 Kids Awards.

Take a look at the rest of our awards 

Monthly Recommended Listening: Classical Music for the Autumn Season

Welcome back to our Monthly Recommended Listening!

Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate classical pieces. Listening to music is not only enjoyable but is also beneficial in developing many skills including coordination and self-confidence that will continue to be useful for your child throughout their lives.

This month, The Strings Club Head Office team has come up with a list of classical music alongside some fun facts and links to YouTube and Spotify to celebrate the season of the golden leaves and misty mornings.

1) The Four Seasons “Autumn”, Antonio Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s “The Fours Seasons” were written to portray the events and emotions of the seasons. This set of movements in particular celebrates the harvest season with uplifting songs and dances. The final movement also illustrates a scene of brave hunters!

Listen to The Four Seasons “Autumn” on YouTube or Spotify.

2) Les Saisons “September: The Hunt”, Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The Russian composer’s “Les Saisons” is a set of twelve short character pieces for piano. His “September: The Hunt” portrays the hunters in their hunting dress mounted on their horses. Can you hear the horses galloping?

Listen to Les Saisons “September: The Hunt” on YouTube or Spotify.

3) Herbstrosen, Josef Strauss

The Strauss family was known for making dance music fashionable in the early 19th century, taking Vienna in particular by storm. Josef Strauss, the brother of Johann Strauss II, went on to write 283 compositions, including his Herbstrosen (‘The Autumn Rose’) in 1867.

Listen to Herbstrosen on YouTube or Spotify.

What next?

Is your child ready to move onto the next stage, but not sure which instrument to start on?

Why not come along to one of our Discovery Days where your child can try their hand at playing ukulele, violin and guitar and receive two 20-minute lessons, all for free!

 

Find your nearest Discovery Days here

The Strings Club is coming to Greenwich!

We are very excited to announce that we will be moving to the SE10 area from January 2018 onwards. 

What we offer

We have a lot to offer, and wonderfully bespoke musical activities to suit every child and family budget will be coming to Greenwich very soon.

Term Time Courses  

Enhance your child’s development with our weekly ukulele, guitar, violin and cello classes – all set within a fun, supportive and rewarding environment. Our partnership with Music Medals, The Royal Schools of Music will also enable and inspire your child to achieve from the outset.

Holiday Camps

Rated 5* by parents on Netmums, our award winning Ofsted registered Holiday Camps bring  together the very best of music education and childcare to engage and inspire your child – every school holiday. Each day is wonderfully different, including a range of exciting workshops alongside high quality small group classes.

Parties 

Ukulele Gurus party with The Strings Club is packed full of high-octane party games, fun filled activities and memorable music-making. Free hire of a ukulele for each child too! From your initial enquiry to the “big day”, we believe your experience with us should be as hassle-free as possible.

Discovery Days

Packed full of high-quality, unmissable musical activities, this free event will inspire your child from the offset and give you the chance to see and hear the amazing things we have to offer. Your child will also get to try out two new instruments and experience two 20 minute lessons – all for free!

Join us at one of our upcoming events soon:

Discovery Days:

Dates: Saturday 21st October

Time: 10.30am – 12pm

Venue: Greenwich Centre Library12 Lambarde Square, Greenwich, London SE10 9HB

 

Term Time courses in nearby Brockley available immediately:

Dates: Saturday 23rd September – Saturday 2nd December (excluding Saturday 28th October)

Time: Please click here for a list of available classes and times for Minis (aged 4-5) Ukulele and Violin, and Sound Start (aged 6-11) Ukulele, Violin and Guitar.

Venue: Prendergast School, Adelaide Avenue, SE4 1LE

 

Holiday Camps in nearby Brockley available immediately:

Dates:

October Half Term – 23 October to 27 October

Time: Standard hours 9.30am – 4pm. Choose to book from half a day to the full 5-day experience! Early Bird and Late Club available too.

Venue: Prendergast School, Adelaide Avenue, SE4 1LE

Have a question? Why not contact us here or give us a call on 0121 296 9204.

Our top tips in choosing an extra-curricular activity that suits your child!

Can you believe that the summer break is coming to an end already? We’ve had a fantastic summer, but it’s now time to get back into the ‘strings’ of things!

As a parent, you always want the best for your child, but choosing an activity can be a difficult and overwhelming process at times. From swimming to ballet classes, there are an ever-growing list of extra-curricular activities available – So, where do we start?

Here are some of my top tips to consider when choosing an extra-curricular activity.

1) Is your child in safe hands?

As a mum myself, I understand the importance of ensuring your child’s safety. Extra-curricular activities are extremely beneficial for your child’s development – They help them meet new friends, gain confidence, have unique experiences and learn new skills. Most organisations providing these activities have the children’s best interests at heart, but it’s not essential for them to undergo safeguarding training.

At The Strings Club, safeguarding is of paramount importance to us. Your child’s welfare is our number one priority and we do everything possible to ensure your child is safe at all times.

Please more information, please see our Your Peace of Mind.

2) Are you getting your money’s worth?

There are many benefits of letting your child participate in extra-curricular activities, but the one downside of the experience can be the cost. Sometimes we question its value for money when we see our children loafing around instead of concentrating on their skill building.

 

 

To ensure that there’re no hidden extra costs, our termly package for our Term Time Courses includes fantastic freebies below:

  • Weekly award-winning classes
  • Free welcome pack for both parent and child
  • Brand new music book – including a backing track CD
  • End of term report & certificate
  • End of term concert for friends and family
  • Hire of an instrument to take home for less than £3 per week!

3) Are you as a parent getting enough support?

Of course, most activity providers are extremely passionate about offering support and encouragement to the children that attend the activities, but at The Strings Club, we believe that you should be involved and supported just as much.

That’s why upon booking with us, you will receive a Welcome Pack including all the essential information you need for our Term Time Courses or a “5 days to go” email packed full of vital info for our Holiday Camps.

Our fantastic Head Office team is also available with just a phone call away if you ever need help with absolutely anything at all!

4) Is your child happy?

Ensuring your child’s happiness is extremely important – because if they aren’t, why waste your money?

Whether a Term Time Course, Holiday Camp or Party, we aim to give children of all abilities the opportunity to discover, develop and engage with music in a rewarding, safe and, most importantly, fun way. Our programmes are tailored to ensure your child gets the most out of their music education whilst having fun.

 

5) Are you taking advantage of any taster sessions?

If the activity provider is as professional as they say, they should be offering some sort of free sessions so that you can experience their service before splashing the cash.

At The Strings Club, we offer Discovery Days where your child can try out new instruments and experience trial lessons – all for free! Free taster sessions like ours are the perfect opportunity to find out more about the activities and to see if your child finds it enjoyable and motivated.

Why not join us on Saturday 16th September at your nearest Strings Club?

Share your tips with us!

Do you have any tips that aren’t on our list? We’d love to hear them!

Please share your top tips over on our Facebook page.

Find your nearest Strings Club here

Monthly Recommended Listening: Classical Music Your Child Will Love

Welcome to our brand new series – Monthly Recommended Listening! We know from experience that there are many different ways of inspiring children with music, however, we believe there is no better way to first experience the joys of music than listening.

Each month, The Strings Club Head Office will select and list a few of our favourite classical music for you and your child alongside some fun facts and easy clicks to locate the piece on either YouTube or Spotify.

The fun times and sunny days of summer is slowly coming to a close and it’s nearly time to get your child ready for another school year – but don’t worry – we’ve found some of the most uplifting pieces of music to banish those blues!

Here are some of the most joyous pieces to help brighten your day and ones your child will love too!

1) William Tell Overture, Gioachino Rossini

This piece of music is one of the most recognisable classical music tunes of all time. “William Tell” was Rossini’s last opera, written when he was 37 years old. Did you know that Rossini chose to retire at this age and instead, became famous for his cooking skills?

Listen to William Tell Overture on Youtube or Spotify.

2) The Marriage of Figaro Overture, W. A. Mozart

In one of his most well-known operas, the madness of “The Marriage of Figaro” takes place on a single summer’s day, and Mozart sets the pace in the Overture. Can you hear any elements of summer within the music? Apparently, the opera was such a hit that the emperor requested a private performance all for himself.

Listen to The Marriage of Figaro Overture on Youtube or Spotify.

3) Jupiter, the Bringer of Jolity, “The Planets”, Gustav Holst

We can’t not go without mentioning Holst’s Jupiter. Can you listen to this piece without humming along with the famous melody? Written between 1914-1916, Holst’s “The Planets” represents the planets of the Solar System and their corresponding astrological character. Did you know that when Sir Adrian Boult introduced “The Planets” to the general public at a concert in 1919, he gave only five of the seven movements as he thought they would not be able to cope with the full work?

Listen to Jupiter from “The Planets” on Youtube or Spotify.

What next?

Is your child ready to move onto the next stage, but not sure which instrument to start on?

Why not come along to one of our Discovery Days where your child can try their hand at playing ukulele, violin and guitar and receive two 20-minute lessons for free!

Find your nearest Discovery Days here

Meet Jonas!

Today, we’re introducing you to one of our fantastic Strings Club Course Leaders – Jonas Aaron!

In this interview, we talk to Jonas who’s had over 20 years of experience, learning several stringed instruments, playing in various bands and even composing music for theatre – He is one of our ukulele & guitar course leaders over at our Birmingham sites.

Jonas talks us through his time with us at The Strings Club and what he loves most about working with our children.

Where did you study music?

Dartington College of Art

Tell us about your musical experience?

I have over 20 years experience. I started violin in school when I was 9, then picked up and taught myself guitar when I was 14 by listening to my parents’ record collection. Since then, I have learnt several stringed instruments, played in various bands and composed music for theatre.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Seeing how much the children progress even between just one lesson to the next. Seeing when something clicks for them and the joy they get when something suddenly makes sense that they didn’t know before.

Your biggest achievement / most enjoyable musical experience so far?

I quite enjoyed composing and performing with Rashdash theatre a couple of years ago. We toured our shows and even won an Edinburgh Fringe First award!

Who is your favourite musician and why?

Too many! And also quite diverse. Often I say a band called Ween. Everything they do is different. Even on one album, the songs sound memorable and eclectic. I like music that is made to be made rather than to fit a genre.

How did you start learning your instrument?

I was taught violin at school. Then, I played it in the orchestra throughout. I also taught myself guitar and bass by reading books, watching videos, jamming with records and friends, and listening to advice from people who’s opinions I valued and respected.

Top practice tip for our Strings Club children?

Break a part down into smaller sections even if it is just the transition between literally two notes. Do it super super super slow on a continuous loop as you increase the tempo slowly and steadily. It doesn’t need to reach the correct tempo that day. Tone is the most important. Speed will magically build over time if you respect this regime.

Start your child’s musical journey with us

Our partnership with ABRSM – Giving your child something worthwhile to work towards

At our Term Time Courses, we’re incredibly proud to be partners with Music Medals, a fantastic award scheme established and run by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). With The Strings Club, your child will be able to work towards a Music Medal award on a regular basis, tracking their progress term on term.

Well done to all children who took their music medal awards last term. We have once again received fantastic results, and are waiting on a few more to come through – Congratulations to each and every one of you!

Take a look on our Sharing and Celebrating page to see the recent achievements of children enrolled on one of our award-winning Term Time Courses.

What’s special about Music Medals?

1) Whereas typically it might take over a year for a beginner to reach the standard to enter for Grade 1, Music Medals can be achieved on a termly basis giving your child something really rewarding and worthwhile to practice towards.

2) Music Medals are convenient for you as a parent too, as they always take place at the venue of your child’s lessons, rather than at an exam centre, and typically on the same day as a regular lesson.

3) The examinations are cost effective with prices beginning from only £11.50 and involve:

  • an ensemble-based piece
  • a solo piece
  • a short musicianship test

4) Starting with Copper and moving up progressively to a Platinum (equivalent to GCSE A* and ABRSM Grade 4 standard), Music Medal awards also count towards valuable points to the Qualifications and Credit Framework, which can be used as part of an academic application in UK.

Entrants are nominated by their Strings Club teacher and, if successful, they will be awarded with a Music Medal as well as their own certificate.

Take advantage of our Autumn Early Bird offer!

Book your child onto a Term Time Course and our October Half Term Holiday Camp and receive 10% off both – Offer ends a week on Friday, so hurry!

Please note – to claim our Autumn Season Early Bird offer, bookings must be made over the phone only. Minimum number of sessions to be booked at our Holiday Camp is 2 mornings, 2 afternoons or one full-day. Discount does not apply to our wrap-around care prices.

Book your child onto a Term Time Course today