Summer school sees music pupils reunited after 18 months

Havering Music School Summer School

Havering Music School has just run its eighth annual summer school, which reunited kids after 18 months of meeting virtually. - Credit: Havering Music School

Morale is high at Havering Music School following the success of its annual summer school.

The school's principal, Karen Tweddle, was delighted to welcome children back in person for the first time in 18 months.

"It's been fabulous! The best thing is to see the kids back again - they’ve missed singing together so much," Karen told the Recorder.

She and her colleagues worked to ensure each gathering was Covid-safe, which allowed them to welcome up to 150 pupils per day over the course of last week.

Havering Music School Summer School

The kids pictured enjoying the range of activities on offer at the summer school. - Credit: Havering Music School

They were treated to a musical feast, and were given the chance to learn about electronic music, DJing, coding and composition.

Also on offer was African drumming, Samba drumming and Gamelan - the traditional ensemble music of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese peoples of Indonesia.

Karen considers the summer school her "baby", having started the initiative eight years ago.

Havering Music School Summer School

The summer school saw about 150 kids in attendance each day across the week. - Credit: Havering Music School

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She has been working at the music school for 20 years, and is hugely devoted to the facility she now presides over.

Though last week represented the first time the youngsters were back together in person, Karen and her colleagues kept them connected over the various lockdowns.

They held Zoom lessons and ran orchestras online, with the principal praising the manner in which the school thinks "outside the box".

Havering Music School Summer School

DJing was one of the activities on offer at the summer school. - Credit: Havering Music School

With a hugely successful summer school in the bag, the focus now turns to the Saturday and weekday sessions, which begin in just over a month.

"We're ready for September now," Karen said.

Emphasising that the school is always looking to "expand and grow", the principal is urging anyone interested to reach out.

For Karen, the message is simple: "We are back up and running, back in the real world, and loving making music."

Havering Music School Summer School

The school's principal, Karen Tweddle, said both kids and parents are delighted to be back together in person. - Credit: Havering Music School

She added that the school has an organ, recently donated by Michael Toll, with an organist in residence and an Indonesian angklung.

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