In Harmony at Hawthorn Primary School

Since 2012 Hawthorn has been part of the In Harmony project, working with Sage Gateshead. Inspired by the principles of Venezuela’s inspirational El Sistema - every child in the school is taught a musical instrument and play in small or large groups (ensembles), which help them work towards joining Hawthorn Primary Symphony Orchestra!

The children have one individual lesson a week from one of our music tutors who have become part of the Hawthorn family. These tutors are excellent musicians who love teaching our children. Find out more about them on the tutor page.
Since the beginning of the project the children have had experiences most of us could just dream of. They have played on the stage of Hall One at Sage Gateshead, the concourse of Sage Gateshead, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, St James' Park and Jesmond URC, they have played in other primary schools and in their local community as well as to their wonderful and supportive parents in school. Everyone who sees them is amazed!

Several of them, who have been discovered to have real talent, have been given the opportunity to join in with the Centre for Advanced Training at Sage Gateshead on a Sunday – free of charge owing to a bursary from the Music and Dance Scheme - and this is proving life changing for some of them. Many of them have visited London to join in with other In Harmony projects, and in 2015 they had the opportunity to watch and meet the world famous Simon Bolivar orchestra from Venezuela and their superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

We've had so many visits from famous musicians! Lee Hall came to see the children when they very first got their instruments. Sting came a bit later on, and he and Lee gave us the money to our music cabin. Lars Vogt, a world famous pianist, Alison Balsom, an internationally famous trumpeter, and Kathryn Tickell, a famous folk musician, have all visit and performed for the children. In December 2014 Julian Lloyd Webber spent time with the mini string players and was astonished by the orchestra.
And it's not just famous musicians – Alan Pardew came along with his goalie Tim Krul.

During December 2014 Gina Southgate, an internationally renowned artist, spent three days painting pictures of the children while they played. These paintings were part of an exhibition at Sage Gateshead in March 2015.

But the real stars are the children themselves; it is incredibly emotional watching the children progress from when they first received their instruments in year 1, to the young musicians that they have become by the time they leave us at the end of year 6. It is just as moving to see how proud and supportive their parents are!