Keyboard Studies Curriculum Tackles Music Education Underfunding with Melodica

This unlikely starter instrument offers a low-cost, low-maintenance option at a time when school music provision is suffering

the National Keyboard Studies Program, announced an initiative offering UK schoolchildren the chance to learn the melodica. The program aims to use this low-cost, low-maintenance instrument to help provide low-cost music education at a time when the supply of music in schools is suffering.

The hand-held keyboard instrument is powered by air blown through the mouthpiece and can be used to teach a wide range of repertoires. The program offers students a progression from melodica to accordion, piano and then organ, in the hope that the students involved can develop a wide range of skills, musical and beyond.

Christopher Potts, music program manager for the Hamish Ogston Foundation who backs the scheme, said, “This all-important first instance of musical ignition could now happen on a classroom desk with a melodica ready to roll out. The end goal could be at the console of one of the UK’s finest organs or behind a mighty Steinway Model D in a grand concert hall.

Originally established by the Diocese of Leeds, the Keyboard Studies program currently reaches 830 students as part of the whole class program and 150 individual lessons are provided to students who then study accordion, piano and organ.

There are now plans for the program to expand alongside the current rollout of the National Schools Singing Program – another music initiative supported by the Hamish Ogston Foundation. In dioceses where the singing program has been successfully implemented, a second fund will be available to start a program of simultaneous keyboard studies.

You can learn more about the National Keyboard Studies Program here.

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