Music school manager starts fundraiser to help children keep playing instruments after Covid-19 crisis

Havering Music School manager Karen Tweddle. Picture: Karen Tweddle

Havering Music School manager Karen Tweddle. Picture: Karen Tweddle - Credit: Karen Tweddle

The manager of a music school has set up a fundraising page to support children continue to play music after the coronavirus crisis.

Karen Tweddle, who runs Havering Music School, launched a JustGiving page in a bid to support families to maintain tuition for their children.

The school has frozen fees during the crisis and Karen wants to ensure children keep learning music after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

She said: “Come September, we may well have to start charging again, so we’ve got to start looking at how we phase that in so it eases the burden.

“That’s why we set up the crowdfunder –- to support parents and kids who maybe can’t afford it.”

The school has switched to providing lessons online and is still teaching more than 650 children.

Teachers are now doing one to one sessions with students over video calls, as well as producing online tutorials, music sheets and quizzes to keep students busy during lockdown.

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Karen said: “I think our staff have been incredible really. In such difficult times, it’s lovely for the kids as it’s a teacher they are having regular contact with every week. The kids are enjoying the fact they are getting to see their members of staff and they are working with their parents.

“Progress is great because parents are involved in the lessons all of the time. So we are very positive in such a negative time.”

Another initiative the school has launched is Live at Five, where teachers and students perform to their neighbourhoods at 5pm every Friday.

Karen has been among those taking part, with her daughter in Repton Gardens, Gidea Park, adding: “That’s made a big difference to our community, so much so that people put it in their diaries to come out.

“We get requests now from various people in the streets as to what they want us to play each week. It’s become a part of the community.

“Even though people are just sitting in their front gardens, it’s very nice to be connecting with them at a distance. Music has made a difference.”

To donate to the fundraising page, which has raised more than £1,500, go to