Swindon Music Co-Operative Celebrate 21 Years

Despite the difficulties of the last year due to the Global Pandemic, Swindon Music Co-operative celebrate their 21st year in 2021.  With over 40 teacher members and some 1800 pupils of all ages and abilities, we provide a music service to parents, pupils and schools across Swindon and Wiltshire with exceptional customer service, full liability insurance, training for teacher members and support for all.

Sharon Cullum, (Business Manager), is one very busy lady dealing with parents, schools and teacher members in her daily work, while also making time to raise awareness of the Swindon Music Trust which she has recently taken over the running of.  Sharon states “I believe all children should have music in their lives and that no one should go without the opportunity to learn an instrument.  I want to give something back to the community and what better way to do it than with music.  There are parents out there who want to give their children these extra things but can barely afford to put food on the table so paying for extra’s like instrumental hire and music lessons is impossible.  That is where we come in with the Swindon Music Trust and my aim is to spread the word far and wide that we are here to help.”

The Swindon Music Trust is a registered charity formed to support young people with special educational needs, people from low-income families or disadvantaged backgrounds to fulfil their musical aspirations.  The Trust ensure all children have access to qualified, professional instrumental tuition, 1-2-1 in school, online and at home.  Many children miss out on the opportunity to learn an instrument due to financial constraints or special needs.  We feel passionately that all children should be able to access instrumental lessons and so we help to facilitate that.  

Like any charity, we rely solely on donations in order to provide this service.  If you would like to make a donation,  we gratefully accept a one off payment, a recurring donation, gift aid and passive donation (this means if you shop via Amazon, you can shop through their Smile initiative and Amazon donate 0.5% of eligible goods to the Swindon Music Trust). For more information please do get in touch on 07711262210 or email us [email protected] You can also make a donation on our website www.swindonmusictrust.org.uk We thank you for any amount you can donate, no matter how small and rest assured, your contribution will make a difference.

At the Swindon Music Co-operative, we are passionate about building community across many different music services, ensuring pupils have access to hire the instruments they would like to learn and collaboratively working in the Swindon Music Trust to provide funding for people who could not ordinarily afford music tuition.

Like so many small businesses, SMC, and all we do, came to a grinding halt last March, 2020.  With all lessons having been given on a face-to-face basis prior to COVID-19, a significant number of our teachers were able to switch to teaching using Skype and Zoom and provided a seamless transition to lessons online.  This was no mean feat!  As many of you will also have experienced, going from in-person-working to doing everything online not only takes time to set up but also is a lot to get used to.  Our teacher members have done a fantastic job of keeping pupils engaged and interested, despite these difficult times, and the feedback from parents has been phenomenal.  The continuation of music lessons has been a welcome break in the monotony of a sea of endless “Teams” meetings and pupils have adapted well to the new style of learning.  

We are also introducing Music Therapy as something we are offering moving forward.  Music therapy is a psychological intervention that uses the expressive elements of music as the primary means of interaction between therapist and client. Music therapy is performed by qualified music therapists, with registration to the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and can help support children and adults develop and improve on their communication, social interaction, emotional regulation, sense of identity and self-esteem. Particularly during this time and certainly, in the future, we feel this service will be needed more than ever and we are delighted to be introducing this string to our bow! Please get in touch for more information.

If you have any queries, whether for your child or for yourself, there is no such thing as too young to start or too old to give it a go.  If your child shows an interest in singing along to movies or the radio, having a go at the piano sitting in the corner or you played violin when you were young and would love to take it up again  (it really is like riding a bike, you know), whatever your interest or intrigue, get in touch for a chat and we would be happy to do what we can to help.  We have a wealth of teacher members to cater for all needs and specifications and while we are all safe at home, now could be the perfect time for you or your child to take up a new hobby and breath life into this very strange time we are living in.