Our objective is to bring music to areas in the community where access is not normally available, particularly in economically deprived parts of the city and the surrounding environs. Our award-winning outreach programme includes local schools, hospitals and retirement homes, in addition to initiating the new concept of fun-packed family concerts in association with the City and County Councils.
For the period of 2018-2021 our community projects are delivered as part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Outreach Program.
Projects are designed for local primary schools and schools for children with special educational needs, taking music where few of the participating pupils will have had experienced it before. We have run projects with many of the city’s primary schools but in particular we concentrate on the primary schools of the Blackbird Leys estate, an area of social and economic deprivation with very high crime and social intervention rates. Specially trained musicians also work with the county’s special schools where the children, often emotionally disturbed or behaviourally challenged, reap the rewards of improved social and communication skills, powers of concentration, and self esteem. Successful series of musical open days held in collaboration with the Dragon School and the County Music Service provide local state schools with workshops and performance opportunities for all ability levels. The work we have done in schools has been recognised by special awards on a number of occasions
Almost since inception we have been present in local hospitals.
We run regular workshops through the year at the Centre for Enablement at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre for physically handicapped outpatients, at the renal wards at the Churchill Hospital, at the Cherwell and Sandbrook wards of the Fulbrook Centre for patients with age related conditions, and at the Oxford City Community hospital.
Nursing and care staff have identified significant therapeutic benefits from this work, and our workshops are always regarded as amongst the most valued visiting occupational therapy activities.
During the Covid-19 national lockdowns we haven’t been able to visit hospitals in person and so have developed a virtual juke box series. This gives patients access to a specially made playlist featuring a delectable feast of musical moments, from all-time favourites and crowd-pleasers to lesser-known gems. The link to the playlist is below: