Maëlys is five years old and attends Bridgewater Primary School. She moved to the North East from Hawaii. Learning an instrument through the In Harmony programme has helped Maëlys to grow in confidence, make new friends and settle in.
“What really strikes me is how much Maëlys enjoys her music classes, and she comes out with a big smile on her face,” says her mum, Talia. “Playing music together with friends in a group enabled her to get used to a new school. She feels like she is part of something bigger.”
Through the In Harmony programme Maëlys is learning to play the cello, following in the footsteps of her Mum who is a professional cellist.
“Imogen [In Harmony tutor] teaches us songs, and they make me happy. We finished a poster of Vivaldi, and we heard his song Spring,” Maëlys says. “I play the cello. Sometimes I pluck the wrong strings, but then I have another go and pluck the right ones.”
Maëlys also enjoys learning at home.
“I have definitely noticed developments in Maëlys. Her sense of rhythm improved through games, which we then do at home together on flashcards,” says Talia. “After only five minutes, she was teaching me new patterns. She was writing out rhythms she wanted me to learn.”
Maëlys and Talia attend a weekly family music making session after school where they play together with other pupils and parents.
“I get home and get changed and have a snack. I go to Hawthorn Primary with other kids and try different instruments and play games,” she says. “I played the harp, but I normally play the drums.”
As part of In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead’s tenth birthday celebrations Maëlys will perform at a concert held in Sage One. Talia says,
“I think it’s exciting that In Harmony is ten years old. The children get to be on stage and play their instruments for everyone,” she says. “It’s a really good feeling when everyone claps for you. Music makes people happy, and you get to make people smile.”