Children's artistic and musical skills are to be encouraged over the course of the coming Arts & Kids week. Anita Pati reports.
More than 5,000 children will receive free music lessons through an initiative by the Prince of Wales Arts & Kids Foundation this week. To celebrate Arts & Kids week, running from 1 to 9 October, the charity has enlisted the help of Yamaha and Classic FM "to bring the arts alive for children".
The charity, an offshoot of Arts & Business, has engaged its 900 member arts organisations to run nationwide events, including story readings, steel- pan bands, family sculpture days and poetry workshops.
Mike Ketley, senior director at Yamaha UK, said: "The development of eager young musicians is the key aim of the three partners in this exciting initiative. Young people are huge passive consumers of music; our mission is to extend this interest to participation."
Throughout the week, Classic FM will plug the scheme on-air and direct listeners to the website, where children can apply for lessons at a Yamaha music academy local to them.
Yamaha is also sponsoring Vision, a five-piece band from the Guildhall School of Music that will tour 36 schools, reaching more than 8,000 pupils. The band will perform at one-day events for Key Stages 2 and 3. There will be breakout taster sessions, where children will discuss music and play instruments after the performance.
Arts & Kids is running a related initiative called Land of Illustrations, sponsored by property company Land Securities, to coincide with the week.
This venture is headed by the illustrator Quentin Blake, who is also patron of the charity. Blake hosted a one-day workshop earlier this month to prime 52 art teachers in illustration skills. The hope is to inspire children in years five and six to draw pictures of local landmarks. These will be displayed at 12 Land Securities shopping centres.
"Children are losing their creativity and there's been lots of evidence to suggest that 11 and 12-year-olds suddenly stop being creative," said Jonathan Tuchner, a spokesman for Arts & Business.
"Painting and drawing are just two of the ways that kids can rekindle their creativity."