The SRP Schools Affiliation Programme, agreed in principle by the 2018 conference, is very ambitious, but it is surely what the Society’s founders would have wanted us to do, and it seems all the more important in the present climate that we do what we can in this direction. Some initial ideas which have come in to the secretary from members are listed below, and everyone is warmly invited to comment on them and to suggest ideas of their own:
1. Appointing ambassadors. As our first Ambassador, Charlotte Barbour-Condini will visit schools and colleges and raise awareness of the work of SRP and promote the development of the programme, but more importantly stimulate interest in music and the recorder. If you can suggest other ambassadors please let me know.
2. Recruiting volunteer tutors, including teachers and perhaps music students, to lead the sort of out of hours recorder groups in schools of which Stuart Miller spoke at the conference so eloquently about leading at his own school. It is possible that the Society will be able to fund this either directly or through our Walter Bergmann fund.
3. Working with concert halls and music institutions committed to promoting young people’s music. At least one such service for young people at a major concert hall has expressed enthusiasm for working with us.
4. Donating unwanted recorders and music to particular schools, as has been successfully done by at least one branch and one orchestra. This may enable volunteers who wish to set up groups but lack the necessary instruments and music.
5. Going into schools to give little recitals by way of inspiring children and letting them see the range of recorders being played. If you could participate in this we’d love to hear form you.
6. Providing workshops for more advanced players in schools along the lines of the current SRP workshops.
7. Working with music hubs to offer ‘twilight sessions’ (i.e. out-of-hours sessions) for music teachers to encourage them to take the recorder seriously.
8. We have also reached out to NYRO, the National Youth Recorder Orchestra in order that we may align our programmes with theirs.
There is so much we can do, and it will all depend on willing volunteers, but this is an exciting project and I do hope you will be able to support it with your ideas and active participation.