Handbook 1. What is The Saturday Programme?

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1. What is HMDT Music’s Saturday programme?


The Saturday Programme is HMDT Music’s Saturday music school which aims to enrich the lives of young people through music making, and consists of six exciting different programmes: The Music Box, The FledglingsCYMH Instrumental School, I Can Sing!, Music Treehouse and The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy.

HMDT Music, twice winner of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Education, has been running its Centre For Young Musicians Hackney (CYMH) since 1995. In 2010, it added the Performing Arts School I Can Sing! to the Saturday offering and in 2011, its under 5’s programme The Music Box. The Fledglings joined the Programme  in 2012 and the most recent addition to the now extensive Saturday Programme is The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy, which opened in January 2013. 2014 saw us working with the Brook Street Band and the London Cello Society, and in 2015 we held our 20th Anniversary concert at the Wigmore Hall with performances by the CYMH choirs, Brass Band and string Trio, ICS! Junior 2s and the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy.

The Saturday Programme now has around 400 students aged 1-25 and also offers programmes for parents. It is a vibrant and exciting Saturday offering and alongside the continually expanding regular classes and programmes, is a spectrum of individual projects often involving guest visits, work with leading artists, and a broad range of performing experiences both within the Programme and at concert halls and theatres. Its staff are all experienced music teachers and professional artists who foster a keen appreciation and understanding of different types of music. The Saturday Programme runs on 30 Saturdays during each academic year and also sometimes runs Holiday Courses during half term periods and during the Summer holidays.

The Music Box (TMB) family learning programme for under 4s and their parents offers them the opportunity to explore the foundations of music in a fun and interactive way. Participants work with a variety of music from many different cultural traditions, allowing young children to explore basic rhythms and melodies, and helping adults to gain the confidence necessary to experiment in music making with their children.

The Fledglings Foundation Course is a one year Foundation Course for Reception class children, offering an introduction to music through singing and movement leading to end of term performances. Working with a coaching team of Music Director and Accompanist, children are introduced to a range of vocal repertoire, encouraged to try solos and contribute ideas, and given a range of tools to develop their confidence and team-work.

I Can Sing! (ICS!) is HMDT’s Performing Arts School which offers students ages 5 – 16 an opportunity to experience the excitement of musical theatre training and performance. Students train in a variety of stage disciplines to become musical performers. They meet new friends and together with leading professional artists gain the skills and confidence necessary to perform to a high level. Unlike similar schemes, ICS! reinforces the ensemble performing tradition and focuses upon repertoire ranging from classic Broadway to original HMDT Music commissions, emphasising an appreciation of the rich American Broadway tradition.

CYMH Instrumental School (CYMH) offers students ages 5 upwards, an extensive curriculum including group and individual instrumental tuition, singing, musicianship and ensembles, as well as the Orchestra and Choirs of CYMH.

The Julian Joseph Jazz Academy (JJJA) offers talented young instrumentalists and vocalists an amazing opportunity to work with some of the world’s top jazz musicians to develop their creative talents and performance skills, through exploring the American roots of Jazz. Students are required to audition, and there is also an Essentials Programme for those students who may need additional training before joining the rigours of the Senior Academy Programme. The JJJA curriculum focuses upon instrumental interaction within small ensembles, understanding the importance of how to use the voice to enhance musical and improvisational skills, and it develops an understanding of the foundations of The Blues as an American artform offering an array of opportunities to work with international jazz artists in focused Masterclasses and Specialist Workshops.


Drop into the Saturday Programme to pick up some leaflets to pass on to your friends or to your child’s school.


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