Ampthill Proms instrumental in showcasing music education

Young people performing on the same Ampthill Proms bill as Britain’s Got Talent-winning singers Collabro demonstrated the importance of music education, according to the head of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Inspiring Music service.

The traditional proms in the park saw young people, taught in Central Bedfordshire schools and Council-run classes, showcasing their talents to large numbers of festivalgoers.

The Ampthill Music Centre Concert Band opened Saturday’s Proms on newly-introduced Bandstand, with a medley of songs learned by students of Inspiring Music’s Saturday centre, both beginner and advanced.

Charlotte Payne, the Director of the Council’s music service, said: “Just when you think they couldn’t raise the bar any higher, they do.

“Learning to play and perform music is great for confidence and self-esteem and you could see that the young people were so proud and excited to play to such a large audience and be introduced to the crowd by the Proms host, Tim Lihoreau of Classic FM.

“Learning to play an instrument also enhances so many other skills and, while the main experiences it provides is one of fun and a sense of achievement, there’s a new research study from the US which shows that high school students who take music courses score significantly better on maths, science and English exams than their non-musical peers.

“Our aspiration is to create a system that encourages everyone, whatever their background, to enjoy music, while helping those with real talent to flourish.”

Part of Inspiring Music’s remit is to show young people with musical talent that there are clear progression routes available and affordable to them.

Charlotte added: “After performing, the young people were also able to watch the Ampthill Town Band and then, on the enormous main stage alongside Collabro, the Ampthill Orchestra, which gave them an idea of what they can achieve.”

Inspiring Music also held free workshops at The Proms, teaching festivalgoers the basics in the ukulele and the African Djembe drum.

With the school summer holidays on the horizon, we can help young people find holiday course, to continue their musical education while school’s out.