Recommended Listening

At The Strings Club we are deeply passionate about music. Learning to play isn’t just about practising technique over and over. Sometimes the best development comes from listening to others play, to live performances and to pieces of music, classical and contemporary.

What should I listen to first?

There are so many fantastic pieces out there it can be difficult to know where to start! To help we thought about pieces that we like, things we have learnt to play and pieces that we enjoy listening to, and put them in two documents: Recommended Listening List 1 and Recommended Listening List 2. We also regularly update you with some season-appropriate Recommended Listening lists. Why not head over to our blog to find our Recommended Listening for Summer and Recommended Listening for Autumn.

There are links to Spotify and to YouTube making it very quick and easy for you to get listening immediately and we’ve given you a synopsis with extra information and things you can discuss with your child when listening to the pieces. It is the perfect way to begin to explore different music together.

Next steps

If your child is ready to move onto the next stage and begin to learn and instrument then take a look at our YouTube channel where we have lots of videos introducing stringed instruments – ukulele, violin, guitar and cello. Not sure which instrument to start on? Come along to one of our Discovery Days where your child can try out two new instruments and receive two 20 minute lessons for free!

One of our favourites

Here is a great starting point – Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev, wonderfully narrated by Bramwell Tovey of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. When you listen to the piece can you think why Prokofiev might have chosen to give these
characters to those instruments in particular? Happy listening!

First steps

Welcome to The Strings Club! We’re really excited to be helping your child begin their musical journey with us today. We know from experience that there are lots of exciting possibilities ahead and we are here to help you to inspire your child through music.

Where to start?

To make it a little easier for you, we’ve thought about all of the things that excited us when we were first introduced to music and put together some fun activities to guide you and your child through your first steps with us.


Inspiration comes in many different forms and we think there is no better way to first experience the joys of variety than listening to a range of inspirational pieces of music. Take a look at our Recommended Listening page where we’ve listed a number of our favourites alongside some fun facts and easy clicks to locate the song on either Spotify or YouTube.


Choosing an instrument for your child to learn can be a difficult and expensive process. That’s why at our Discovery Days, your child will be able to try out two new instruments of their choice and experience two 20 minute lessons – all for free.


When learning something new it often helps to see someone do it first and then have a go yourself. We are very lucky to have some of the UK’s best string teachers working at The Strings Club, so we asked them to put together their own personal tips for beginners. Have a look at our YouTube channel where we have a range of short videos to help introduce your child to the violin, ukulele, guitar and cello!


We hope this helps guide your first steps on your child’s musical journey with us. Remember we are here to help so don’t hesitate to contact us on 0121 296 9204 if you would like any advice or to find out more about our award-winning programmes taking place in your area.



Sharing and Celebrating

At The Strings Club, we are passionate in offering only the very best in musical education for children aged 4-11 and take pride in the programmes that we offer. We are especially proud of the achievements of the amazing children that join us.

Founder Amy quotes “Seeing children, enrolled on a Term Time Course, develop their musicianship skills alongside life skills such as building confidence, listening and communicating or overall well-being is deeply humbling and makes all of our hard work at the Head Office worth it!”

Take a look below at the recent achievements of children enrolled on one of our award-winning Term Time Courses:

Summer Term 2017
Child's Name:Age:The Strings Club:Instrument:Music Medal Level:Equivalent To:
Lily Smith10HarborneGuitarPlatinumGrade 4
Grace Williams 9HampsteadViolinGoldGrade 2-3
Jude Mohsen7HarborneViolinCopperPre Grade 1
Isabelle Lavery9HarborneViolinPlatinumGrade 4
Spring Term 2017
Child's NameAge:The Strings Club:Instrument:Music Medal Level:Equivalent To:
Annabel Flynn8HarborneViolinGoldGrade 2-3
Ethan Sanghera7HarborneViolinSilverGrade 1
Bobby Randle6Hampstead GuitarSilverGrade 1
Theo Vieten-Kay8 BournvilleGuitarSilverGrade 1
Autumn Term 2016
Child's NameAge:The Strings Club:Instrument:Music Medal:Equivalent To:
Kiera Habenicht5HampsteadViolinCopperPre-Grade 1
Coco Cormack6HampsteadViolinBronzeGrade 1
Frank Jelfs10HarborneGuitarGoldGrade 2-3
Jinxi Bai8HarborneViolinGoldGrade 2-3

Our Holiday Camps also offer only the highest quality of music education and childcare too. 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. Every Holiday Camp focuses on our “Four Key Areas of Development” that we believe are particularly crucial in igniting your child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to learn and form relationships. Read more here.

Like what you see? Join us soon at a Strings Club near you!

Find your nearest Strings Club here

Your Child’s Musical Journey

Age 4

Age 4

Starting school with soaring confidence!

Your child’s musical journey begins with our Minis courses – 10 week ukulele or violin programmes designed specifically for children aged 4-5 in their first year of school that strongly supports the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for England. At just 45 mins long, it’s the perfect way to end your child’s day or start to Saturday morning!

As you drop them off for their lesson, your child is a bit nervous at first – however, as you listen outside the classroom they seem to be at home once again and so you decide to leave them to it and grab some precious ‘me time’ yourself.

At the end of the lesson, your child runs up to you with their instrument –  hired from The Strings Club – with the biggest grin. They already have learnt how to hold their instrument as well as the name of the strings, G-D-A-E! The lessons sky rocket your child’s confidence into space and they seem to start their school life with no problems at all.

Age 5

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Age 5

Making New Friends – With Ease

By now, your child has made so many friends at The Strings Club – there’s Harriet and Isaac on their weekly Term Time Course plus Indigo and Danny at the Holiday Camp they attend every school holiday. You feel really at ease dropping them off with the friendly, experienced team members who are always there to greet you at the door.

By the end of Reception, your child can play most songs from their  Minis folder and take delight in completing their stars every time they practice their violin. The end of term concert bring a tear to your eyes as you see your child playing the violin with sheer confidence and joy!

Age 6

age 6

Age 6

Moving On Up!

After a wonderful summer, it’s time to join a Sound Start course! Your child can now choose to learn ukulele, violin or guitar – and their lessons now extend to a whole hour. They’ll also receive a brand new ‘Fiddle Time Joggers’, ‘Guitar Basics’ or ‘Ukulele Basics’ book (worth £8 RRP) with a cool backing track CD, for free! They love practising at home along with the backing tracks and giving you regular concerts too.

Their weekly ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ guides are really handy as they ensure that you know exactly what your child needs to perfect at home! You’re becoming an expert yourself and know how to make sure they’re practising a good bow hold – which is why your child’s playing sounds beautiful, rather than that squeaky violin playing you hear next door!

The Musicianship Matters part of each lesson is great  too – especially with their interactive games that your child then comes home to show you. You especially love ‘Don’t Clap This One Back!’ and have had great fun playing it with your child – they always catch you out!

At their Term Time Course, your child can now read all music notation, can identify dynamics, complex rhythms and can perform their songs with pure confidence!

Age 7


Age 7

Let’s Go For a Music Medal!

By the third term, your child has been nominated by their Strings Club teacher for a Copper Music Medal, an award-scheme part of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Rather than waiting for a few years to complete Grade 1, your child is already on the path to musical success – and in less than a year too! Wow! Plus, their Copper Music Medal is part of the National Qualifications Framework and is equal to the Grade system too so your child feels confident enough to go for that Year 1 scholarship at school too!

The Copper Music Medal takes place after their usual lesson, alongside with their regular teacher – plus it only costs £11.50 and is fully arranged by The Strings Club Head Office!


Age 8


Age 8

Celebrate in Style!

Your child chooses to celebrate their 8th birthday with a Strings Club Party – The Strings Club even arranged the venue and a photographer for you!

You book a ‘Ukulele Gurus’party and it’s packed full of your child’s favourite tunes! The friendly Party Leaders take care of everything, giving you the chance to watch your child and their friends having a ball – and put your feet up!

By the time they’re singing Happy Birthday and your child is blowing out the candles, everyone’s singing their hearts out and dancing their socks off! The party bags round the afternoon off perfectly – packed full of games, musical giveaways, and still with enough room for cake!

Age 9

age 9

Age 9

Playing with Others with Sheer Confidence!

Your child has been nominated for a Music Medal again – but this time, Silver! This level of Music Medal is equal to Grade 1 and has some lovely pieces that sound great!

They are really keen to practice and even invite their class friends over for a play-date –  who has also been learning at The Strings Club since they were 3!  Their ensemble piece ‘Little Liza Jane’ sounds lovely together – so much so, you record it and send to granny and grandpa!

Your child now is leading the strings ensemble during term-time at their school as well as the Intermediate Ensemble at their Strings Club Holiday Camp. They especially love playing a range of songs with their holiday camp course leader, who arranges well-known tunes such as Disney’s Frozen (as well as some Mozart)! The end of camp concert goes down a storm!

Age 10

aged 10

Age 10

A Well-Rounded Musician That Loves Playing Music!

Now 10 years of age, your child is a well-rounded musician with a passion for anything musical!

They also seem to have a deep understanding on different styles of music – this you believe stems from the recommended listening their teacher has given them over the years! You’ve loved listening to music together – a somewhat bonding experience – and learnt so much yourself too!

You recently visit The Royal Festival Hall, London and heard The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – it was so much fun and well-planned by Strings Club.

Age 11

age 11

Age 11

So Proud and Not a Dry Eye In Sight!

You’re so unbelievably proud today – as your child stands up to receive their Platinum Music Medal at the Strings Club Ceremony. You cannot help feeling emotional – not only for your child’s success at their Music Medal award (equivalent to Grade 3), but also the fact that this is the end of the road with The Strings Club. You give teacher, a big hug and a bouquet of flowers.

As usual, The Strings Club are always there to help and send you an email full of guidance on encouraging your child to continue at secondary school. You take the time to contact their new school’s Head of Music, who only knows too well the significance of continuation and is more than happy to put your child’s name down for one-to-one lessons at their new school. They also put your child’s name down for the local string ensemble, as well as the school orchestra.