2014 Grade 1 Challenge Update

Now one term into the 2014 Grade 1 Challenge, I am extremely pleased with how it’s all going. To my knowledge, there are five teachers (including myself) and one parent signed up and well into their lessons with at least three teachers on a waiting list.  

In all honesty, I am surprised about the ratio of parents to teachers that have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn a new instrument/develop old skills. I had no idea that the other staff members at Stoneygate were so musical and this scheme seems to be bringing out latent skills, interests and talents. I would love more parents to be involved. Learning alongside children does make you live the frustrations and fun that it is to pick up something new.

I am taking guitar lessons with Richard James and loving it hugely! It was my intention to teach myself guitar during maternity leave with my elder daughter but, not surprisingly, it just didn’t happen. I am now more motivated than ever and find that having a teacher to clock into every week pushes me to keep practising and learning. My reasons for learning are both professional and personal, and at the moment I am really enjoying the process of picking up something new and getting better at it! Of course there are obstacles to practise, but I am currently focused on getting my grade 2 in the summer and I know that my scales will not learn themselves!

The 2014 Grade 1 Challenge is still open to all staff and parents and we have a good range of instrumental and vocal lessons that take place at school. If you would like more information, please send me an email to lashwin@stoneygateschool.co.uk or pop into Music Room 1 for a chat.

Mrs Ashwin


The 2014 Grade 1 Challenge

The Music Department is launching a new challenge to parents and teachers of StoneygateSchool. That challenge is to learn a totally new instrument/voice and take the grade 1 exam within 2014.

We set this challenge with many hidden aims and objectives, but our most important mission is to get as many people as possible connected with StoneygateSchool actively involved in music. We want you to experience the fun, frustration, excitement and those breakthrough moments that happen when we learn to play an instrument or learn to sing. We want you to feel the buzz and get hooked on whatever it is that you have always wanted to learn.

How often do you say, ‘I wish I’d learned the drums’, ‘Why did my mother let me stop learning the piano’ or ‘I always wanted to know if I could sing’? Now is your chance.

Lessons with our fantastic team of instrumental and vocal teachers will be opened up to parents and teachers in January 2014. You will be able to take lessons in school time[i] and hire school instruments, where available.

The team of instrumental/vocal teachers ready to teach and inspire you are:

  • Andrew Ashwin           Voice
  • Keith Britcliffe             Trumpet/Trombone
  • Karen Hardy                Flute
  • David Hartland            Drum kit
  • Paul Hudson                Keyboard
  • Richard James             Guitar/Ukulele/Bass Guitar
  • Mirka Katariina           Violin
  • Chris McCormick         Piano
  • Suzanne Thompson     Clarinet/Saxophone

 All lessons for parents will be charged at £15 per half hour and instrument rental will be charged at £25 per term. There will be a charge for exam entry, but the exact exam fee will depend on the exam board and level of exam taken.

Once you have decided that you would like to have a go, achieve something for yourself and have a lot of fun along the way, please register your interest with Mrs Ashwin, Director of Music, who will pass on your contact details to the relevant instrumental/vocal teacher.

To find out more please email lashwin@stoneygateschool.co.uk , call 0116 259 2282 or pop into Music Room 1.

[i] specific lesson days and times will be negotiated between parent and teacher and we cannot guarantee a mutually convenient time