Director Amy Cunningham up for prestigious FL Awards

Amy Cunningham of The Strings Club from Birmingham makes regional awards shortlist as Social Entrepreneur of the Year at this year’s Forward Ladies Awards.

Now in its ninth year, the Awards have grown from being purely regional into one of the most prestigious events in the calendar for professional women. The organisation, founded in 1999, supports women in their professional lives and celebrates and champions the role

 

Amy said: “I’m really pleased to have been shortlisted. As someone who is really passionate about sharing the benefits of music with children, this award has particular resonance for me. There’s a real high-calibre of entrants, and to be shortlisted alongside these individuals feels great. I look forward to the regional finals!”

Amy has been nominated in the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award category. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the positive impact their business has on society. 

In announcing the results for the West Midlans, Griselda Togobo, MD of Forward Ladies said: “This has been a fantastic year for women; we continue to start, grow and run high profile successful companies. We have been surprised and delighted by the number and calibre and diversity of the applications we have received, and look forward to celebrating their success.

“The award categories are a reflection not only of the types of businesses with which women are involved but also industries which need to attract and encourage young women to join for future growth and prosperity.”

This year’s judges includes Sahar Hashemi Founder of Coffee Republic; Linda Plant of The Apprentice; Bill Henry, retired PWC partner and Forward Ladies Advisory Board Member; Rachel Hannan, Angel Investor; Ajax Ahmed, founder of Free Serve; Catherine Doran, Former CIO of Royal Mail Group and Nigel Lockett, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School.

For more information on the FL Awards, click here.

Let’s all say a huge good luck to Amy!

Free day of childcare for all 2018 customers

Have you booked a programme with us in 2018?

Whether a Holiday Camp, Term Time Course or Party, if you’ve booked with us in 2018 so far, you can take advantage of our brand new “Recommend a Friend” offer.

Recommend us to a friend and once they book with us you’ll be able to claim your FREE DAY with us at one of our multi award-winning Holiday Camps – worth at least £35.

If you recommend to five  friends and they book – that’s five free days at a Holiday Camp!

All your friends have to do is mention your name when they call the office to book on 0121 296 9204.

So what are you waiting for? Get recommending and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Join our brand new Minis Explorers in September!

Designed specifically for children aged 4-5 in reception class at school, our brand new Minis Explorers programme is the perfect introduction in learning an instrument. This unique one-year programme will enable your child to explore both ukulele and violin – before deciding what instrument they would like to continue learning in the third term.  

Children learn in small groups and spend a term on each instrument starting with ukulele and moving onto violin. Classes will be led by the UK’s top string teachers and will packed full of fun-filled learning of the highest quality.

Over the course of the year children develop key musicianship skills such as rhythm, pitch, notation, dynamics alongside technical proficiency on their instrument.

You will receive a termly report on your child’s progress to keep you informed of their achievements. Each term includes our Grand Concert – the perfect opportunity for your child to show what they have achieved with their new friends. You can even hire an instrument to take home from only £3 per week. During the third term, children will work towards an exclusive Minis Award and will take part in our End of Year Awards Ceremony. Price per lesson is from £15 per 45 mins session. 

Book by Friday 31st August and receive your first lesson for free!

Our Minis Explorers are now on sale, beginning on Saturday 22nd September and run for 10 weeks.

Find out about Courses in your area

 

#TipTuesday – Mastering tuning

Learning how to tune your instrument is a big step on the way to mastering your instrument.

Without tuning, playing songs will never sound right! Here are some tips to go through with your child on how to tune your instrument:

Tune upwards

The correct method of tuning is to go a bit below the desired pitch (loosen the string), than go up to the right pitch (tighten the string). Doing this will help avoid the string getting out of tune, and becoming flat during play. Your final twist of the peg should always make the string tighter. Of all these guitar tuning tips, this is most important since so many people get it wrong.

Feeling hot hot hot

Avoid leaving your instrument in extreme temperature conditions – strings stretch when too hot or too cold – or if you do, make sure you retune before you start playing again.

New strings need playing in

After getting new strings, you’ll need to tune more frequently until your strings stretch into place.

Care for your instrument

Don’t leave your instrument with its neck resting on the ground. The tuning pegs will invariably brush up against the surface and turn by accident. Use the case or a stand!

Tune! Tune! Tune!

It’s best practice to tune your instrument every time you pick it up.

Listen very carefully

Tuning with your ear is good and will help you develop a musicians ear, so once you’ve played enough and can hear pitch alterations, first tune by ear, than maybe double check with an electric tuner.

 

 

 

Want some help at home?

Take a look at our YouTube Channel – we’ve lots of handy videos including how to tune your instrument!

 

 

 

Interested in helping your child learn and instrument? Want to help them learn new skills and build confidence? Enhance your child’s development with our weekly music classes, set within a fun, supportive and rewarding environment and led by the UK’s top string teachers. Our lessons start 22nd of September across London and the West Midlands.

Find out more about our Term Time Courses

Win a week of childcare – week 4 prize draw

Each week this summer we are running a prize draw to beat all prize draws where you can win a week of childcare!

Every family who has been to one of our Holiday Camps this summer is eligible to be part of the draw.

All you have to do is tag/share a post or tweet on social media with a few of your friends (3-5) by Sunday 19th August. Let them how much your little one is enjoying Camp, and at the end of the week we will do a prize draw and announce the winner.

The winner will receive 5 days of free childcare at one of our Camps. Simple as that.

So what are you waiting for? Get sharing!

Our Holiday Camps for children aged 4-11 are running from 23rd July for 6 weeks with half days from £20. If you’d like to find out more take a look at our Holiday Camps page.

Find out what is going on in your area

Fantasy and Adventure – creative workshops week 4

This is it! We’re so excited! We’ve got an incredible schedule of activities over the 6 weeks. Here’s what to expect in week 4.

Brace yourselves everybody as we prepare to embark on a once in a lifetime adventure packed week. If you are a big fan of blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Trolls, Star Wars and Into the Woods please jump onboard with us. We’ll be exploring these dynamic plots and mythical creatures through top musical hits, sporty games and arts and crafts.

Pick of the week: John Williams, Tuesday 14th August

Meet the Composer

John Williams is one of today’s hugely successful composers, writing the world’s best-known movie soundtracks including “Harry Potter”, “Star Wars” and “Jaws”. In this workshop, we will be exploring what makes his music so ‘magical’ and how it all came about. Your child will also have the chance to create their very own peice using pencils, paint, and various bits and bobs to show how the music makes them feel.

Sport Beat

We are all about physical activity at The Strings Club and getting those heart rates going! In this workshop we investigate all the possible kinds of sounds our body can make while listening to John Williams “Star Wars” soundtrack! Your child will get the chance to use their body to make some wonderfully weird sounds by using their feet, hands, mouths and even their tummies!

Our Holiday Camps for children aged 4-11 are running from 23rd July for 6 weeks with half days from £20. If you’d like to find out more take a look at our Holiday Camps page.

Find out what is going on in your area

Meet the team – Camp Assistant, Jo

The summer is underway and we’re all getting ready as families, getting everything organised from last minute holidays away to childcare – it is all going on the big diary!

If you are anything like me the big thing on the list will be the childcare. Where will they be for 6 weeks? You don’t send your child to just anyone, it is to people you trust. Your parents, your parents-in-law, your sister, your best mate…

So it can be a strange feeling when you are considering childcare such as Holiday Camps for the first time. These are people that you don’t know and are yet to build a relationship with.

Here at The Strings Club we know just how you feel so we thought we would take some time to introduce you to our amazing team. And we do mean AMAZING! They are professionally trained, kind and caring people who are amazing with kids. That’s why 100% of children said they would recommend our Camps to their friends. Can’t say fairer than that!

Jo – Camp Assistant, Birmingham

“I’m Jo, a cellist originally from Devon who now lives in Birmingham! I have just graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, studying the cello and learning all about music. I started playing the cello when I was 9 years old, and also play the piano, guitar and sing as well. I play in a string quartet and teach children and adults how to play the cello – I have always loved music and hope to inspire others to love it too!

I am really looking forward to the holiday camps this summer, they are a great opportunity for you all to enjoy music together, as well as build confidence and friendships. I am especially looking forward to the grand concert at the end of the week, where I get to see the amazing work all the children have done throughout the camp!”

Our Holiday Camps for children aged 4-11 are running from 23rd July for 6 weeks with half days from £20. If you’d like to find out more take a look at our Holiday Camps page.

Find out what is going on in your area

Fairies and dragons week 3 was fantastic!

We’ve had a fantastic time in week 3! Our theme was fairies & dragons so we have been getting creative and exploring the mythical and fantastical and learning lots about music with our new friends.

Take a look at our gallery to see how much fun Holiday Camp Summer 2018 week 3 has been!

Next week’s theme is Fantasy & Adventure. One for Star Wars fans amongst others!

We’re sold out most days in Brockley, limited in Hampstead and down to our last 2-3 spaces each day in Harborne & Islington. So be quick if you need childcare next week!

Our Holiday Camps for children aged 4-11 are running from 23rd July for 6 weeks with half days from £20. If you’d like to find out more take a look at our Holiday Camps page.

Find out what is going on in your area

 

Why our Camps are the place to be this summer

Summer can be worrisome. With so many weeks of childcare needed in one go it is definitely not your usual holiday and brings with it extra questions about the activities your child will take part in.

Will my child be engaged for such long periods of time without being bored? This is such a big period of their life, will they benefit from their experiences and continue their development? Will they have fun and be happy there? And quite simply, can our family afford the cost?!

As parents ourselves we have experienced first hand all of these thoughts. And best of all, we have found the solutions!

Here are the top 4 reasons why you can be confident a Camp with The Strings Club is the place for your child this summer:

1 A new amazing theme every week

Each week at Camp we have an amazing new theme to help us have fun and explore music, and over the summer hols that means we have 6 themes guaranteed to inspire your child and ensure they have a new creative experience every day and week they are with us.

2 Your child’s development is key

What enables our award-winning Holiday Camps to stand proudly apart from other childcare providers is our passion and dedication in promoting the learning and development of all children in our care. 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 multi award-winning, Ofsted registered Holiday Camps.

3 100% of children would recommend us!

The opinions that matter the most are those of the characters who we have so much fun with every event – the mini maestros themselves! Each Camp this year has grown through word of mouth because every child who has attended has said they would recommend us to their friends, simply because they have such a good time!

4 Ways to save

Childcare can be expensive, so to help we have introduced a new way to save money. Each Camp we have a super simple offer – recommend a friend to us* and for each friend who books we will give you a free day of childcare. If you have 5 friends that will give you a free week and save you up to £225! All you have to do is ask your friends to mention your name when they book.

* To take part in this offer you need to have already booked with us.

Book your child a place at your local Holiday Camp

Recommended listening – summer chill out

Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate pieces of music.

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.

In this summer chill out edition we’re listening to some more laid back and beautiful tunes as we unwind this in the lovely weather.

1) What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

The legend, Louis ‘Satch’ Armstrong, is widely known for his sublime jazz trumpet but in this song first recorded over 50 years ago we’re treated to some beautiful strings up front and centre of attention. The song was initially a flop in America, but it went straight to number 1 in the UK. Us Brits have great taste and we love Satchmo! This is a great bedtime song with its slower, tranquil pace. Do you agree Satch? Oooooh yeeeeaaah!

Listen on Spotify or watch on YouTube

2) Perfect Day, Lou Reed

This is probably Lou’s most recognisable mainstream song. It is probably less well known that David Bowie and fellow Spider From Mars Mick ‘Ronno’ Ronson produced the track. Ronno, who arranged the strings on Perfect Day, was a classically trained violinist which enabled them to create a silky smooth, dream like soundscape. It is something that Ronno and Bowie used to great effect on a lot of early Spiders albums. This is the perfect song for a wonderful summer’s day. Best played during picnics.

Listen on Spotify or watch on YouTube

 

We love to explore all aspects of music in our creative workshops every afternoon at our Holiday Camps. Our Holiday Camps for children aged 4-11 are running from 23rd July for 6 weeks with half days from £20. If you’d like to find out more take a look at our Holiday Camps page.

Find out what is going on in your area