what our customers and students say about us...

ANNIE ARGYROPULO-PALMER – MUSIC SUBJECT LEADER – UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL

‘Just a quick email to say thank you very much for your hard work teaching our students remotely these last two three weeks. We really understand the stress and challenges involved with the sudden change in delivery method, with the technology, with engaging students and the additional stresses and strains many of you also face with childcare and other practicalities. We are really grateful for all you are doing. In particular, a special thank you to those of you who have gone above and beyond to deliver additional resources to enable our children to engage remotely – doing extensive work sourcing and delivering instruments for students to take home or researching software for families to download.

I would also like to pass on thanks and praise from our parents, many of whom who have contacted me to thank us and you for your swift move across to remote delivery, your clear communication with them and your high quality delivery over Teams. We are very pleased to have significantly higher uptake on remote lessons than in the first lockdown, and hope we might still have a few more families we can encourage to make the most of this provision – particularly as government laptops slowly trickle through, internet dongles/sims cards become more plentiful, etc.’ 

ABIGAIL HAZEL – SCHOOL COUNSELLOR – HALLFIELD SCHOOL

‘Very informative handbook to go through and enjoyed the interactive elements, found them useful to hear from others also.’  

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

KATHARINE BRYANT – DEPUTY HEADTEACHER – THE OAKLANDS PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘Heavy, but very informative. I feel really confident in being DSL now and I know where to get support if I need it – thank you.’  

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

NAZREEN MALIK – ASSISTANT HEAD – HODGE HILL GIRLS’ SCHOOL

‘Due to the nature of the materials the course was very intense, however the presenters were very knowledgeable and took their time to fully explain and answer questions thoroughly.

The course materials were very detailed and concise and I am sure will be invaluable as I start this journey into an area that is completely alien. It was great to go over specific examples and talk through the best way to approach the concerns.’  

SAIQA LIAQAT – DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION – CORE EDUCATION TRUST

‘Knowledgeable trainers who were brilliant at upskilling and sharing their expertise.’  

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

PAUL YEOMANS – HEADTEACHER – SPRINGFIELDS HOUSE SCHOOL

‘Excellent well paced course that in current circumstances was very informative.’  

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

KATE BUTCHER – PARENT

‘Just wanted to let you know what a superstar one of your guitar teachers was yesterday. Pete Byrchmore went above and beyond his usual excellent lesson by enabling my son to still have his guitar lesson even though he wasn’t in school. With less than 2 hours notice he was able to offer him a TEAMS lesson so he didn’t miss out. This was superb and really made a difference to his day.’

CHLOE MORECOCK – CLASSROOM TEACHER – MANEY HILL PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘Extremely well run – particularly liked the sharing a screen. Worked very well as a Teams session – I don’t feel like we missed out on what would have been a face to face session Really liked the breakout rooms – felt able to speak to my group and received great feedback and support I hope these meeting continue to run even after external moderation is removed as a great support to teachers.’  

ASSESSMENT COURSE

SOPHIE GREY – PARENT

‘I just wanted to show my appreciation to my children’s music teachers who have been tirelessly providing outstanding online lessons during both lockdowns. They have been the only teachers my two girls have had weekly contact with and this has been so helpful for their wellbeing. My daughter Poppy has Cello lessons and my daughter Daisy has violin lessons. Thank you to SFE and particularly these teachers.’  

LAURA CHANDLER – ASSISTANT HEADTEACHER – CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC PRIMARY

‘As always the session was informative and supportive. The course ensured all delegates were up to date with current EYFS guidance and future steps. They enabled it to be interactive via teams, which gave us all a great opportunity to talk / share ideas. I look forward to the summer network. Thank you again.’  

EYFS COURSE

ANONYMOUS

I wanted to quickly drop an email and share some lovely news. One of our year 11 students who takes lessons is a looked after child so there was a meeting last week with social workers etc. The feedback from the meeting is that the student is only engaging in music and he has said music is what is keeping him going at the minute, in particular his instrumental lessons. I just want to thank SFE for all your hard work with this student and congratulate you on being such a positive influence to what can be a difficult child. Thanks for all your hard work’

FIONA CLARKE – CLASSROOM TEACHER – ST WILFRID’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘A very busy morning with an abundance of important information, links and ideas. SFE are always very knowledgeable and extremely supportive. Despite being on line, it was good to have the opportunity to talk to other practitioners and share practice and ideas.’  

EYFS COURSE

GARY-LEE MCKINNEY – YEAR 4 CLASS TEACHER – COLEBOURNE PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘SFE has brought active music sessions into over 70+ households during lockdown. Each session is met with great enthusiasm by the children and appreciation from the parents. Key skills such as rhythm and tempo have been taught alongside developing each child’s physical coordination as they take part in call and response activities. Throughout the session Jag praises and motivates the children well and they are always keen for their next session. Alongside his musical skill he also had a good set of additional resources that he calls upon some of which we have adopted into our own practices.’

CHRISTOPHER JOHN BULLOCK – CLASSROOM TEACHER – ARDEN PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘Good, safe and friendly platform to share ideas and best practice and well facilitated by someone with excellent subject knowledge.’

CURRICULUM COURSE

JULIA WISE – DEPUTY HEADTEACHER – TIPTON GREEN JUNIOR SCHOOL

‘Really well presented. It was very informative and interesting. Thank you.’

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

ALISON WALKLETT – HEAD TEACHER – NEW OSCOTT PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘I just wanted to say thank you for the excellent resources you have provided for schools and families during the lockdown and school closure period. I have used the offline activity ideas as a weekly fun challenge for our pupils (10 weekly challenges so far) and they have been loving them. Thank you for the ideas – they have really helped!’

NICOLA GABBITAS – CLASSROOM TEACHER – GLENMEAD PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘So so helpful. The moderator was really knowledgeable and offered great advice to move the child forward. Thank you. Great website links and info around new EYFS reforms.’

ASSESSMENT COURSE

ANIEL SUNDER – CLASSROOM TEACHER – ASTON TOWER COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘The information provided was clear and allowed me think about my stance as a teacher, especially being half way through my NQT year.’

CURRICULUM COURSE

JUDITH RANDRASANA – PARENT

‘I would like to reiterate my thanks to you all for offering Hafaliana the opportunity to be part of such event (Spring Schools’ Proms) it gives her more confidence in herself. 

Yesterday I was just enjoying the concert, but today I was quite emotional thinking back about it. When I signed Hafaliana for the concert, I thought it was an event for only “Special Schools”, I realised this morning it is a concert involving thousands of children from all schools around Birmingham! We are not just proud but really grateful for her being part of that. Thank you all to make it happen indeed.

A special thank you to Amy for being a marvellous teacher who always finds ways to make it fun and enjoyable for Hafaliana.

Well done Amy. I’ll reveal the secret to you: the incentive to get the best from Hafaliana is the opportunity for her to perform in front of an audience, she loves that, and her motto is “never give up”.

EMILY – TIGER TIGER

‘I just wanted to send you a message to say how amazing M and my dad found Tiger Tiger – when I called my dad after work he was absolutely buzzing about it and it sounded incredible!! Both M and the other service user who went got so much from it. I had a tear in my eye when my dad was talking to me about it all and how much M communicated non verbally. I really hope it is successful for you all because it is such a wonderful opportunity you are giving to adults like M. I really hope there is one session in a half term so that I can go with M!!! Congratulations on this amazing project. Best wishes, E xx’

MICHELLE MOORE – MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY CHOIR

‘I joined the community choir having previously been involved with the Dementia Choir. I enjoyed that experience so much that I was hoping there would be an opportunity to continue!

What I enjoy about being part of the community choir, is simply the opportunity to do something that is fun and uplifting.

We are a really diverse group and I love the camaraderie, the respect for one another and the development….it may not have sounded like it, but Emma has done an amazing job in really getting us to think visually about music, so that we can collectively produce a more cohesive sound as a group.

This is an amazing accomplishment given that many of us including myself don’t read music and only ordinarily sing into shampoo bottles in the shower! Our confidence has also grown immensely and again that’s down to Emma’s skill encouragement and tireless patience!

Singing in short makes me feel grounded, happy and energised. I work in quite a pressured environment and singing is a wonderful release! Wednesdays are the highlight of my week even though I do some fabulous things most other nights too!! I think in terms of me as a person, the choir has simply given me a new love, it’s like the Friday feeling on a Wednesday! When I think of choir, I smile and that says it all really.

Professionally, I’m very aware of social prescribing and how well singing fits into this discourse, the community choir is an amazing opportunity for personal development in an environment which is diverse, supportive and fun!

I am feel incredibly privileged and thankful to be given this wonderful opportunity , to be involved in all of the projects that we have and will be, to receive such great teaching and leadership from Emma and of course more latterly to be joined by the wonderful pianist Maria!’

NATHAN SPOONER – HEAD OF MUSIC – WASHWOOD HEATH ACADEMY

‘I just wanted to say a massive thank you for you work in creating two flash mobs at Washwood Heath Academy. One with the National Youth Orchestra and one of your own making.

The response from the school was overwhelmingly positive, with students and staff alike commenting on what a positive, exciting and fun atmosphere it created. Since both of the flash mobs the interest in Asian Drumming has skyrocketed, especially with the girls in our school, something that previously hadn’t happened.

Just wanted to say a massive thank you and I hope that we can continue with more performances at lunch time and breaktime over the next year!’

ANETA PYCHOVA – YEAR 4 CLASS TEACHER – GEORGE DIXON PRIMARY SCHOOL

‘Mr Saini has been always prepared for his Djembe lessons which take place every Thursday afternoon. Children look forward to every Thursday and Mr Saini teaching Djembe lessons because they like exploring how to play the drum. His lessons are always well structured.

During lockdown since January to March 2021 Mr Saini actively tried to find different ways how to continue teaching Djembe lessons online to Year 4. For the first three weeks in January we tried to find online solutions how to deliver the Djembe lessons but unsuccessfully due to technical issues experienced on both sides. However, Mr Saini came the next week to school and delivered Djembe lessons to these children who were in school and at the same time we had an online lesson for these children who were at home. Mr Saini carried on delivering online lessons until the beginning of March 2021.

Now the school is opened to all pupils and children enjoy Music lessons delivered by Mr Saini.’

sophie fleming – year 2 music co-ordinator – COLMORE JUNIOR SCHOOL

‘A huge thank you for inviting us to the event on Thursday. The children had a fantastic time and they got so much from the whole day. They loved the drumming workshop and the campus tour (our tour guide was brilliant with the children). It was great for our children to see older children perform a wide range of instruments. An inspirational day all round. I had children saying ‘I want to learn the keyboard next’ and ‘I’m going to study here when I grow up’. What more could you ask for?!’

Catherine Harborne – PARENT

‘I have been meaning to contact you for weeks to say a big thank you to you and the Music Service for everything you have done to encourage and help Elly develop her love of music, orchestral playing and the cello. I am so impressed with the Service and how encouraging they are in helping our young people to become music lovers and I certainly think that if Elly hadn’t become involved with the Music service from a young age that she wouldn’t be studying music now. I took her to the Royal Welsh in Cardiff last week and so far she is absolutely loving it, and I’m sure she will continue to thrive and happily continue her musical career there. I just wanted to thank you for everything.’

DES WILSON – HEAD OF MUSIC – BORDESLEY GREEN GIRLS SCHOOL

‘I just want to say thank you for investing again to allow year 7 pupils in Birmingham to experience a performance from the CBSO. I took 115 girls on Monday from Bordesley Green, and have to say that the overwhelming response was incredibly positive, and many have been asking to listen to some of the pieces again in lessons. They were also inspired by Mirga, whose energy certainly makes her a role model in the classical world for girls to aspire to emulate. Thanks again, keep up the great work.’

Ofsted – MANSFIELD GREEN E-ACT ACADEMY OFTED REPORT 2018

‘The curriculum is enriched with many additional, high-quality learning experiences. For example, a specialist art teacher works with pupils. Pupils participate enthusiastically in performances with a music specialist, and all pupils in Year 4 have the opportunity to learn the violin.’

matt o’neill – Assistant head

‘The students at Baskerville Special School absolutely love their music sessions with Amy. They are going to perform their drumming composition in the next school concert!’

OFSTED

‘Exciting and vibrant topic work combines subjects across the curriculum. Pupils enjoy developing reading, writing and mathematics skills through subjects like history, geography and science.’

ASSISTANT HEADTEACHER

‘Great opportunities for an honest discussion across schools and to see successes from other schools and to see and compare and share good practise tips.’

SAFEGUARDING COURSE

pshe Course delegate

‘Fantastic course, great introduction to PSHE roles/responsibilities with little knowledge beforehand.’

KS2 TEACHER

‘I cannot praise it enough, the children were very excited and talked about it all day and have asked if we will be doing more science like this.’

JACOB BAGBY – FRENCH HORN & TENOR HORN PLAYER 2005-2012

‘More than anything this is just a thank you and a testimony to the music service and the staggering work you all do.

I’ve just finished my first year of freelancing after graduating from the RCM and have been incredibly lucky to have performed with most of London’s major orchestras, including London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Opera House, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have played Principal Horn with English National Opera and London Chamber Orchestra.

The further I progress in my career, the more and more I get back to thinking that I just wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the opportunities that the music service gave to me. I didn’t ever take regular private lessons on the horn, I just had my 20 minute lesson a week on the French Horn with Andy Sandham, he tutored me from never having played the French horn to into successfully auditioning for all of the major conservatories in the UK (taking up my place at the RCM) within two years, which in my mind is absolutely staggering!

But I also had the incredible ensembles (BSTBB, BSBB, BSCO, BSSO and BSBE) conducted by people like Mike Seal, Bob Vivian, Martin Orgill Pete Fisher and James Cunningham, all of which I am absolutely certain played a huge role in providing me with the proper experience and ability going into my college career and beyond.

Really this is an email saying such an enormous thank you to the Birmingham Music Service and advocating its staggering staff and overwhelming capacity to procure talent.’

MARIA ALDRED – DEPUTY HEAD TEACHER

‘A huge thank you for firstly organising our wonderful concert this afternoon and for coming to perform for the staff and children at Holy Family. It was brilliant! The children were enthralled by the whole experience and learned so much about the brass family and about enjoying a musical experience. My year 1 children loved it and were talking enthusiastically about the music and instruments.

We are going to write and draw pictures tomorrow. A big thank you and your team for coming to delight our children and staff too. It was perfect and gave all our children a delightful, positive experience of music. I look forward to hearing about what else we can get involved in.’

Holy Family Catholic Primary School

SIMONE SCHEHTMAN – parent

‘Thank you for all your work in building such a positive spirit in so many of the children of this City. My parents up from London were again astonished at the passion and standard of the orchestras and ensembles in the last performance and said they don’t recall seeing any London Borough with such a high focus and standard of childrens’ performance.’

lucas houldcroft – pupil

‘I’ve been able to improve my playing immensely thanks to orchestra peers and tutors pushing me, I have made a number of friends and have had amazing opportunities throughout the year to play some great music in some of the UK’s most renowned concert halls.’

RICHARD COOK – parent

‘Thank you very much, you really made an impression on him last night, the singing lessons have really helped build his confidence. When he started he had just moved to a school where he knew no one and was having a tough time.

He absolutely loved his first lesson and I hadn’t seen him that happy in a long time. Last night was a similar response and he even said you were better than his last teacher, which I didn’t think was possible, as they got on so well.’

DEBBIE POOLE – CLASS TEACHER – BASKERVILLE SCHOOL

‘Our students do not easily collaborate so to work together, editing and improving to make music, has been a positive challenge and they are visibly learning and enjoying the experience. It’s the layering of their combined efforts which is lovely to witness.’

DEBORAH KERMODE – PARENT

‘Ewan loves Brass Attack, he was high as a kite after his performace last week. I can’t thank the Music Service enough for the opportunity you provide to let an 11 year old boy play on the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire stage, its truly transformational’

Sangeeta Ambegaokar – parent

‘Theo is absolutely loving his lessons with you, and thank you so much for all your help with the song.’