Category Archives: frontpage

The Snowman is coming to Cobham!

The Menuhin School is thrilled to present the classic Christmas film ‘The Snowman’ accompanied live by the world-class young musicians of The Yehudi Menuhin School in Cobham.


The Menuhin School are on the hunt for two vocalists to perform the much-loved song ‘Walking in the Air’ for our two performances on 5 December.

Learn more and apply at:

Applications close on 30 September at noon.

Music disability charity OHMI celebrates ten years of inclusive music-making  

Disabled music charity The OHMI Trust, is celebrating its tenth anniversary in matching disabled musicians with the adapted instruments they need to make music.  

The charity was established in 2011, with no money, only two trustees, and two volunteers. Fast forward ten years, and this small but ambitious charity has much to celebrate.  

It is unique in the breadth of support it offers to disabled child and adult musicians, with its impact felt across teaching, research and development, and awareness raising. The charity’s biennial competition, which supports the development of musical instruments that can be played without the use of one hand or arm, attracts entries from across the globe. Its popular Music-Makers and Inclusive Access to Music-Making programmes gain momentum each and every year, reaching new musicians across England and Wales. Its hire scheme offers an impressive 300 instruments and pieces of enabling equipment; a number that will only grow through the development of further instruments through OHMI’s research partnership with Queen Mary University, London and Birmingham City University. It is this wide-ranging work that led to the charity receiving recognition in The House of Lords.  

These impressive milestones will be marked at OHMI’s 2021 Competition Awards and Tenth Anniversary Celebrations, taking place on Saturday, 25th September. The event, which will be held at Aston University, will also be live-streamed from 6pm BST, and is expected to attract musicians and representatives from musical organisations from around the world. 

The event will include performances from the talented OHMI musical community, as well as an announcement on the winners of the 2021 Competition, along with demonstrations of their equipment. 

Melissa Johns, British actor and disability activist, best known for her roles in Coronation Street, BBC drama Life, and, most recently, Celebrity Masterchef, will be hosting the event.  

As Rachel Wolffsohn, OHMI’s Manager, explains, 

“Melissa is a proud champion of the rights of disabled people, so she was the perfect choice in helping OHMI to bang the drum for inclusive music-making. Hosting the event, for the first time, as a blended live and broadcast event, will allow us to share the celebrations with a global audience, reflecting the truly international nature of the competition entries over the years.” 

Registrations for the event can be submitted here:  

Get Playing

Music is great fun, but did you know it can also improve brain function, support wellbeing, and broaden horizons?

At Surrey Arts, there are plenty of ways for children and young people to #GetPlaying, from taking up instrumental lessons, joining one of our ensembles, making new friends, or even hiring one of our instruments. Discover how to #GetPlaying with us at:

Instrumental Music Teachers

Surrey Arts are currently looking for teachers with skills and availability to teach the following: 

  • Piano: 1-2 days (Mid-SE Surrey) daytime and after school teaching as well as Saturday morning. Mostly 1:1 with some small group teaching 
  • Voice: 1-2 days (Mid-SE Surrey) 1 to 1 and small group/choir teaching
  • Classical and Contemporary Guitar: 1-2 days (West and Mid Surrey) daytime and after school teaching as well as Saturday morning. 1:1 and small group teaching

Funding secured to support music opportunities for displaced children in Surrey

Surrey Arts is delighted to share the fantastic news that, in partnership with Big Leaf Foundation, just under £45k in funding has been secured to support displaced children in Surrey.  The funding from Youth Music will support a Syrian Youth Ensemble (Together at Home) and Music Connects, a project which brings asylum seeking children and local young people together to make music together.

Syrian Youth Ensemble 

The project will use music as a tool to increase life opportunities for Syrian refugee children who are now living in Surrey. Surrey Arts will equip the service to deliver one to one ensemble and performance opportunities with supported pathways into future music activities. 

The new programme will support the children with music and life skills so that they can access the diverse range of opportunities available to them through Surrey Music Hub and partners. The programme will fund specialist support for the participants and the embedded professional development ensures that this expertise is shared so that as a service Surrey Arts is better equipped to support more children from refugee backgrounds into the future.

Music Connects 

Music Connects is a collaborative song writing project for young people from local and displaced communities, who will work together across language and cultural barriers to write, perform and record a song reflecting the input of everyone in this diverse group. The project will be led by professional musicians from different musical backgrounds. 

Surrey Arts Inclusion Lead Jim Pinchen said “This funding is highly competitive and we’re delighted and grateful that Youth Music recognises Surrey Arts as an a key organisation to lead on this important strand of work”

This project is backed by Youth Music, thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

About Youth Music

Youth Music is a national charity funded thanks to the National Lottery via Arts Council England, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and support from partners, fundraisers and donors.

SMASH Activities 2021

This summer we are partnering with Active Surrey as part of Surreys Club4 programme by providing three weeks of music, dance and food holiday activities for children across Surrey. Each day there will be music and dance activities led by professional teachers and performers and participants will be provided with a hot meal and snacks as part of the course and explore how we can eat more healthily!

Participants aged 8 to 18 years old can register for single days or a whole four-day course and the activities will focus on:

Dance: Street / Jazz / World: Keep active and healthy, dancing to amazing music and performing.

Music: Rock Bands, World Percussion, Your Voice: Each day take part in music workshops exploring and performing in different styles. Play as part of a rock band, sing in the Your Voice choir and perform drumming from West Africa and South America.

Grand finale: Every Thursday at the end of the four-day programme there will be a performance open to friends and family. Participants will perform the music they have learnt and created during the course of the week.

Dates and venues

St Bedes School, Redhill: Monday 26 to Thursday 29 July

Cordwalles Junior School, Camberley: Monday 2 to Thursday 5 August

Three Rivers Academy, Walton-on-Thames: Monday 9 to Thursday 12 August

Times: 10am to 2.30pm

Cost: £45 per day or £135 for 4 days in one week

Free places are available for eligible free school meal children.

Find out about eligibility criteria for low income support,

To register please complete the registration form

Easter Music Programme for 2021

Usually at this time of year we are getting ready for the annual Surrey Arts Easter Music week, a fun packed week of a variety of residential and non-residential music courses and workshops. Unfortunately due to the current lockdown the week has had to be cancelled for a second year. However, following the success of last summer’s online music and art activities (SMASH) we will be running an exciting week of workshops and videos from Monday 12 – Friday 16 April. These activities will include music production & music composition, multiple singing workshops, arts workshops, piano tasters, Celtic folk strings and much, much more. Registration is required for the live sessions and you can watch the recorded video tuitions for free by following Surrey Arts on social media. The timetable and registration details are now available.

Special Pilot Programme of Award-Winning “Singing Playgrounds”

In 2021, Surrey Arts is bringing the award-winning project Singing Playgrounds to Surrey primary schools through a new Covid-19 friendly online resource created by Ex Cathedra Education. 

Schools will have access to an online resource including a series interactive teaching films, demonstrations, 30 KS1 and KS2 lesson plans, and instrumental backing tracks. At the press of a button teachers will have the Singing Playgrounds team within the classroom, on the whiteboard, leading and teaching the children.  

Singing together releases oxytocin (a feel-good hormone) while reducing cortisol (a stress-related hormone). Singing-play is a very special way for children to improve their wellbeing, develop musicianship and vocal skills as well as personal and social skills.  

Singing Playgrounds is brilliant. I wish I could wave a wand and have it magically appear in every primary school in the country now.’  Howard Goodall CBE, National Ambassador for Singing 2007-2011

Schools enrolling on the pilot programme will receive one year’s access to the online resource at a discounted rate of £50 (half off the usual £100/year). Your one-year subscription will start from the beginning of the Autumn 2021 term.

To enrol your school at the special discounted rate you will need to apply through Surrey Arts using the application form available here. Register now to begin a new subscription starting with the Autumn 2021 term.

Online Activities for Half-term

During February half-term Surrey Arts is providing an online programme of musical activities which will run from 15 – 19 February. Pre-recorded sessions will be released throughout the week via Surrey Arts’ social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) as well as a LIVE demo of musical instruments. No need to register, just join us on social media.

Monday 15 February
10am: Percussion – Make your own instruments!
Explore beat-making with everyday items you have at home and create different sounds. Learn a beat! Mix up your sounds!

12pm: Flamenco with a Middle Eastern Twist
An introduction to flamenco music and dance with a Middle Eastern twist with Sara Khoroosi, Fergus Paton and Waffa Paton.

2pm: Guitar ‘A single chord song’
Learn to play a song using just one chord with James Harrison.

Tuesday 16 February
10am: Introduction to piano jazz improvisation
Dave Marsden provides an introduction to Jazz improvisation with the blues scale in C.

12pm: Music from Africa
An insight into just a few of the immense rhythms and music from the vast African continent with Liz Ikamba and Muntu Valdo.

2pm: Percussion – Simple rock rhythm
How to make and build simple rock rhythm using just hands and feet with Surrey Arts’ drum tutor, Ginger.

Wednesday 17 February
10am: Introduction to drum-kit
Percussion tutor Sandro Granda introduces the 5-piece electric drum kit, providing a short breakdown and demonstration of each drum as well as a variety of rudimentary principles and techniques commonly used when playing the instrument.

12pm: A beginner’s guide to piano
Are you thinking about starting piano lessons or have a piano or keyboard at home but are not sure where to begin. In this video you’ll be shown some simple ideas suitable for beginners, to help you get going.

Thursday 18 February
10am: Guitar – A two chord song
Play a song by learning two guitar chords with guitar tutor James Harrison.

12pm: Music from Latin America
Sandro Granda and Franklin Quezada present Music from Latin America. Intro Song: Tinku, played in the Quechua language. Tinku means meeting-encounter. Outro Song: Orquidea, composed by Hugo Blanco (Venezuela), performed by Carlos Rangel.

2pm: Percussion – Big bash drumming
Description: An introduction to drumming through the fantastic world of Drumline!
Equipment: A pair of drumsticks and a practice pad/snare/table/chopping board/something to hit!

Friday 19 February
10am: Body percussion
Surrey Arts’ percussion teacher Mike Wheeler gives a demonstration and mini-lesson to help you get started with body percussion — use your body to build up a groove!

12pm: Music from the Middle East
Raghad Haddad and Bassel Haddad present Music from Syria and the Middle-East, with a number of guest musicians from the London Syrian Ensemble (performing Tahmil Hijaz) demonstrating many of the instruments discussed throughout the video.

2pm: Piano – Learn to play Happy Birthday
Learn to play a simple version of Happy Birthday, with Surrey Arts’ piano teacher Simon Gould

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