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Sage Gateshead

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Foundation Strings

Foundation Strings is an instrumental string programme which integrates movement, singing, and instrumental learning.

Aims of Foundation Strings:

  • To tap into children’s innate creativity and imagination through music
  • To help children to develop important musical skills (pulse, rhythm, pitch, inner-hearing) using carefully chosen songs, games and activities
  • To develop children’s ability to read, write and compose using musical notation
  • To equip children with a firm technical grounding on their chosen instrument (violin, viola, cello, mini bass)
  • To help children develop confidence and social skills by playing in an ensemble and performing regularly in front of others

When Foundation Strings is oversubscribed priority is given to those completing Musical Foundations.  We want to make sure that children from a range of socio-economic backgrounds can get a place on the course, alongside children that face challenging circumstances. We ask about this in the application process and encourage you to give us as much information as possible.

Violin, viola, cello and mini bass tuition are all now available from Year 1.  We have a small stock of instruments available for hire each year, however most students own their own instrument.  We can advise on instrument purchase and help to buy schemes.

Key Information

Apply now

Applications close on Friday 21 April 2023.

Age: 5-8

Day & Time: Saturday 9am – 2pm (individual timetables)

Fee: £250-350 per term. Bursaries Available

Term Dates

September 2022 – July 2023


Our teaching is inspired by Kodály and Dalcroze methods and aims to provide children with the best possible start to their musical lives.

Years One and Two

  • 30 minute small group instrumental lesson (2 or 3 students per group)
  • One hour musicianship and ensemble session

Year Three

  • 30 minute individual instrumental lesson
  • 45 minute musicianship session
  • 45 minute ensemble session

Individual student timetables vary depending on the time allocated for the instrumental lesson. There are 30 teaching weeks and two performance days scheduled over the academic year.

Fees & Bursaries

Our Young Musicians Programme is open to all children and young people, whatever their circumstances. We are keen to encourage applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds and access a bursary where needed.

Here’s some more information about bursaries.

If you’d like to speak to someone, please email us at

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