London Chamber Orchestra to expand its educational outreach programme Music Junction into Norfolk and Hertfordshire

London Chamber Orchestra are expanding our educational outreach programme Music Junction, into Norfolk and Hertfordshire  As a result, hundreds more young people will benefit from the innovative programme, which particularly supports young people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds, often who would not have access to classical music.

What is Music Junction?

Music Junction uses shared music-making experiences to bring together young people from different backgrounds who are often isolated during music education, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities. LCO is highly experienced in providing such tailored and unique support, ensuring these young people can join in with mainstream music education. Now into its 10th year, Music Junction has helped thousands of young people develop skills in listening, communication, creativity, leadership, team-work and organisation. Participants can also enjoy a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with the orchestra by attending rehearsals, concerts and playing side-by-side with LCO musicians.

A former Music Junction participant’s parent said: “One of the most unique featured of Music Junction is the sense of what a tremendous change a simple human gesture can make to individual lives and to the wider social community. MJ became a cherished part of our lives, through the stories our daughter brought back, her sense of commitment, and her understanding of the special meaningfulness of the project.”

Music Junction Participants, photo by Harry Blake

In Norfolk and Hertfordshire, Music Junction will operate in one senior school, two state primary schools and at least one SEND school. The primary schools will be feeder schools for the secondary school, creating a long-lasting musical and mentorship scheme that eases young peoples’ transition into high school. By training teenage pupils as mentors for younger participants, the programme also offers older students the chance to support others, whilst building their skills and confidence.

Music Junction has a long-term focus, working with the schools and local communities over several years to deliver a sustained impact. The programme also provides vital opportunities for local musicians and supports the local culture ecosystem, whilst helping to deliver the new National Plan for Music Education, embed best practice, and offer sustained training and development opportunities.

Music Junction participants performing at the LCO Shining Planets, Rising Stars concert at St John's Smith Square, May 2022

Speaking about the project, Vicki Long, Headteacher at Necton VA Primary School said: “Our fundamental belief as a school is to empower and enrish children’s lives so that they are enabled to flourish as individuals and embrace the world ahead of them with confidence, resilience and respect. Music Junction is the most amazing way we can achieve all of that and much more!  We are hugely grateful to LCO for offering our children this fabulous opportunity.”

Alison Bell, Head of Music Service at Norfolk Music Hub said: “We are extremely excited to be partnering with LCO here in Norfolk through such an innovative, engaging and inspiring project that has the notion of transition and legacy at its core. The work really augments and supports our current strategic offer and we cannot wait to see the lasting impact this has for our children and young people in the months to come!” 

The need for programmes like Music Junction has never been greater. The cost of living crisis has rendered music education inaccessible to many, and the pandemic has caused a significant gap in music training and provision. By bringing together and supporting young people from all backgrounds, Music Junction ensures they can enjoy musical experiences, regardless of their situation or circumstances.

Future plans for Music Junction include expanding into other counties to help many more young people, working with The OHMI Trust to adapt instruments for young people who are physically disabled, and incorporating non-Western musical styles through a partnership with Indian Raga.

Click here for more information about Music Junction.