A major crowdfunding campaign to promote the joy of music for children and families in Bedford has been launched by Bedford Creative Arts (BCA).
The Gigs 4 Kids initiative is aiming to raise £1 every Year 3 child in Bedford Borough to fund gigs in schools and bursaries for music lessons.
BCA is working in partnership with Music Live, Bedford Music Co-operative, the Philharmonia Orchestra, The Culture Challenge and Pad Presents to deliver the project.
The aim of Gigs 4 Kids is to hold live music gigs in all 54 primary schools located in Bedford in early 2020, with the aim to inspire the 2327 Year 3 children in Bedford Borough to learn an instrument.
The gigs will be offered to schools free of charge and will include a broad mix of music styles from rock, jazz, funk and classical music.
“For children, the benefits of live music are extraordinary,” said Kayte Judge, cultural education producer at BCA’s Culture Challenge.
“Childhood is the peak time to learn to play, and the experience opens up a lifetime of potential enjoyment and self-expression.
“The Cultural Learning Alliance has robust research showing that musical knowledge makes a positive difference to engagement and attainment in children’s’ broader learning, so the importance of music really cannot be overstated.”
The campaign has been raised to tackle the diminishing number of opportunities for children to learn and experience music, due to major cuts to music provision, charges to families for music lessons, and a rising number of families struggling to get by, especially in poorer communities.
The key partners have all pledged cash to the project and are now seeking support from the music loving public in Bedford to raise the remaining £2522 required.
Every school gig will be followed up with clear instructions for parents about the options for music lessons in Bedford Borough.
A bursary fund is also being raised to support at least 30 disadvantaged children to access a ‘taster term’ of one-to-one lessons. The bursaries will be allocated on need by a panel according to set criteria.
“From buskers in the playground to rock bands in assembly…let’s not expect children to want to learn to play before they have heard, seen and felt live music,” said David Rose, the Bedford Music Service Manager.
“Instead, let’s inspire children with live music and practically support their early explorations in music.”
Pad Presents is a partner in the campaign. Gareth Barber, of Pad Presents and Bedford Esquires said, “As the owner of a music venue, I’m keen to inspire the next generation of live music lovers who will become not only Esquires’ future customers, but also other grassroots music venues around the UK.
“Experiencing a band playing live – whether it’s indie, jazz, funk or grime – can be a life-changing experience and we’re really pleased to be partnering with Culture Challenge to bring music to thousands of Bedford’s school children.
A mass social media drive is being organised to support the campaign, asking the general public to donate £1 per Year 3 child to raise funds for the gigs and bursaries via crowdfunding.
More information can be found at https://www.spacehive.com/gigs4kids and on social media @gigskidsbedford #gigs4kids #quidperkid