About In Harmony
In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead is one of six In Harmony programmes in England, funded by Arts Council England, the Department for Education, individual donors, trusts and foundations.
In Harmony aims to inspire and transform the lives of children and young people in areas of socio-economic disadvantage through orchestral music-making. As well as developing new musical skills, it increases confidence, health and wellbeing, resilience and supports educational attainment. It has a positive impact on families and family life and helps build stronger communities, developing pride, hope and aspiration.
In Harmony is targeted at children with the greatest need and fewest resources – over 50% of In Harmony children are classed as living in poverty. Sage Gateshead works with: Hawthorn Primary School and Ashfield Nursery; Bridgewater School and Nursery; Castle Nurseries at Rye Hill; Riverside Community Health Project; Westgate Baptist Church Parent and Toddler Group; Cornerstone Parent and Toddler Group and West End Women and Girls Centre. Since the programme started we have worked with over 1000, children and their families and over 100 professional musicians.
Every child learns an instrument throughout their time at primary school, and over 600 children and young people aged 0-16 are learning music every week, free of charge. By the end of primary school, In Harmony young musicians have typically taken part in almost 500 ensemble rehearsals and 25 performances, with most children playing their instrument at ABRSM Grade 2 standard or higher.
When In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead launched in 2012 every child at Hawthorn Primary School chose an orchestral instrument: from violin to bassoon, flute to trombone. In 2017 we expanded the programme to include Bridgewater School and more early years settings. Children at both schools have regular music-making sessions, with tutors from Sage Gateshead, and have many opportunities to perform.
Children and young people from In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead have travelled across the region and beyond performing with In Harmony Opera North in Leeds, with In Harmony Liverpool at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and St James’ Park, as well as with Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead.
Royal Northern Sinfonia is at the heart of the programme and young musicians play side by side, learn from and attend performances by the orchestra. In Harmony musicians play all kinds of music, from film scores, to pop music, folk and classical pieces. Music has become part of everyday life at the schools, which now have 12 ensembles, including a symphony orchestra and a choir.
Pupils grow in confidence during their time in school, acquiring an assured and resilient approach to learning. This is in no small part to the personal and life skills they acquire through music, which have ramifications for learning across the curriculum and their all-round development as young people. Pupils say that they love school and thrive in the well-ordered and positive school environment.
Ofsted 2019, Hawthorn Primary School
In Harmony musicians regularly share their musical skills with their families and the local community, they’ve performed: in care homes; at Elswick Park; in other schools; at Cruddas Park Library; at the West End Women and Girls Centre and the Tyne Theatre and Opera House.
A new orchestra for the community, West Newcastle Symphony Orchestra, has been established, which is made up of In Harmony musicians who have chosen to continue playing their instrument after leaving primary school and young people from secondary schools in the area.
If you would like to find out more about In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead please email [email protected]
“In Harmony has impacted my family considerably. I spend more time with my child, learning an instrument that we both enjoy playing. It’s really fun to learn, in school, and we play at home and do concerts for our family.” Parent
“In Harmony improves self-esteem, confidence, life chances and future health. “I see the effect on children when I see them at my work – pride, confidence, self-worth and I see the effect on parents when I see them too”
Guy Pilkington, Local GP