James Mayhew 2015 Workshop, Queen Margaret Primary

Music for Schools 2016

Please note: this page contains archived content: For full details download the Music for Schools 2016 Evaluation Report

Help your pupils to develop a love of music with this year’s Music Festival Programme for Schools

Most of us engage with music on a daily basis, through listening and/or performing, often for extensive periods of time. A world without music is unimaginable. It is the background to many everyday activities, accompanies significant moments in our lives, and can profoundly influence our mood.

But what is music? How does it affect us so powerfully? And can a deeper understanding of this beautiful noise benefit us in other ways? Find out with a Cheltenham Music Festival school workshop.

Workshops in School
June 2016, £30 administration fee/workshop, KS2 and 3

Piano Works with Anne Lovett (20, 21, 27 and 28 June) KS2 and 3

Your pupils cannot fail to be inspired by Anne Lovett, a dynamic and charismatic young French pianist, who will take them on a whistle-stop tour of great piano music across the centuries and explore the inner workings of this amazing instrument. Anne’s father was a top French piano technician, so she’s as good explaining all the technical stuff as she is making great music! Watch her here playing one of her own compositions…

Anne’s workshop Piano Works has been specially commissioned by Cheltenham Music Festival to inspire young people about the piano. As well as playing live, Anne will share specially filmed material where she takes apart a concert grand piano and shows how it all works.

Pupils will hear a wide range of music – excerpts from the greatest piano music by classical giants such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov – and they will also discover how yesterday’s music has influenced today’s. From pop to hip hop, TV adverts to film scores, your pupils will be surprised and delighted to learn that they already know and love classical music.

Incredibly, no piano is required for this workshop. If your school has a recently-tuned Steinway, all well and good, but if you lack even a modest keyboard, this is no barrier. We will bring you Anne Lovett, a complete piano key action for a close-up look, and a hi-spec digital piano!

These workshops will last for about 70 minutes.

For a change of scene
Pittville Pump Room, £30 administration fee/workshop, KS2 and 3

Gamelan – a different beat (20 and 27 June, and 4 July)

Bring your pupils to a gamelan workshop in one of Cheltenham’s most iconic buildings, Pittville Pump Room. Upstairs you will find our Javanese gamelan – an array of tuned percussion instruments including metallophones and huge hanging gongs all made of bronze, with intricately carved wooden frames. It is visually stunning, and great fun to play.

No previous musical experience is necessary, and everyone is able to achieve the same outcome because it is all about working as a team. Playing together, your listening skills will improve as you focus on the aural signals from your fellow musicians that tell you what to play next; it is also a great way to develop your understanding of pitch and tempo, rhythm and melody.

During your workshop you will not only all learn to play an authentic piece of Javanese music, you will also find out about a different culture with gamelan expert Jonathan Roberts. Make sure you factor in enough time to enjoy the beautiful park outside.

Workshops will last for up to 90 minutes, and funding is available so that the cost of travel does not prevent you from taking part. Non-subsidised workshops take place all year round; for more information click here

In order to ensure the best experience for your pupils, please read the workshop guidelines.

Concert for Schools and Music Explorers, KS2

Friday 8 July, Cheltenham Town Hall
Concert: 10.30 – 11.30am; Music Explorers 11.45am and 12.45pm

Tibetan Monks of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will mesmerise you with fantastic costumed dances accompanied by drums, cymbals, and their spectacular long horns; Anne Lovett will delight you as she demonstrates the versatility of the piano, and plays some of the most iconic works for piano, many of which have found their way into today’s popular culture; and, sprinkling stardust liberally as they go, the Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio will dazzle you with their technical brilliance and musical passion.

Jump on the Music Explorer carousel after the concert, an opportunity to get your hands on a variety of musical instruments under the expert guidance of county instrumental teachers. Bring lunch with you and have a picnic amongst the famous flower beds in the gardens behind the Town Hall.

Mark the Music with James Mayhew (23, 24, 27 and 28 June) KS2 and 3

Artist James Mayhew creates visual art to tell the story behind a piece of music, an approach which results in deeper engagement with the music. Join him to explore compositions inspired by some of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays – from Romeo and Juliet, to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, via The Tempest.


Musicate is a new and ambitious outreach programme devised and produced by Cheltenham Festivals for teachers, pupils and musicians, and supported with funding from Make Music Gloucestershire, the county’s music education hub. Our aim is to inspire children to both love and critically engage with music by supporting and training teachers and early-career musicians to develop their skills in music teaching and appreciation. Find out more >

Education Partners

The Steel Charitable Trust
The Reed Foundation
70th Festival Appeal Donors
The Summerfield Charitable Trust

The George Cadbury Trust
The Adams Youth Trust
The John Armitage Charitable Trust