Starting an Orchestra – Essex Music Hub Case Study

Students at Mark Hall Academy recently took part in an exciting new project with London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO). Longstanding partners of Essex Music Service, Orchestras Live, introduced the LMTO ‘Upbeat’ programme, which works with early-stage musicians at secondary level, giving young singers and instrumentalists an opportunity to begin, revisit or pursue their music-making through a series of workshops with West End professionals.

Each student was given an orchestral instrument to learn and play in a concert with the LMTO professional musicians. Their final performance showcased hits from musicals and films played by the students who had only been learning their musical instruments for just six weeks!

The programme demonstrated to the wider school community the confidence pupils have both as instrumentalists and within themselves and has proven very positive for the school community at Mark Hall. Many pupils have gone on to continue with instrumental lessons and to join the newly-formed school orchestra.

Music lead at the school, Ms Mulholland, reports that parents regularly comment on the changes in their children. “One parent approached me and said their child had transformed since starting the project. She was highly anxious and very nervous about starting secondary school and playing the cello had made her feel much more positive and excited to attend school.”

You can read more about the project and find out how Essex Music Hub can support music in your setting on our website.