The orchestral string family consists of the violin and viola, called the upper strings, and the cello and double bass, called the lower strings. We offer whole class string ensembles that usually feature 22 violins and 8 cellos. We can however include other members of the family and have previously had class ensembles of violins and violas as well as cellos and double basses.

The programmes are taught by one upper and one lower string specialist who will bring a broad range of music teaching activities and assessment skills to your school. The 30 sessions include trying out and sizing pupils to instruments and lots of powerful learning activities. All participants will learn to read music for their instrument, have opportunities to sing, engage in rhythm work, discover the power of improvisation and composition, develop listening skills and combine those with the team work required to play in an ensemble. Performance is also an important part and regular opportunities will be made for other pupils in the school, parents and governors to see and hear how the aspiring young musicians are progressing.

We also encourage both the class teachers and teaching assistants to learn an instrument along with their class. This is inspiring for the children in the class and great fun for the adults too. Some have even decided to continue playing and have discovered a real love for music themselves.

A number of after school ensembles will be set up across Islington for pupils who wish to continue to learn and play their instrument after the one year programme.