One hundred children aged 7-11 visited City Hall on Friday 27th January to collect their music scholarships in a ceremony which featured award-winning musicians and advisers to the Mayor of London. Kensington and Chelsea Today, strong supporters of the Mayor's Fund for Young Musicians were there to report.
The £400,000 scholarships are being awarded by the Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians (MFYM) to help children who ‘show outstanding potential and commitment to learning an instrument’, but who might otherwise struggle to afford music lessons.
With the Mayor’s Music Scholarship, talented children will receive weekly tuition, will be provided with a mentor and be offered performance opportunities and membership of ensembles.
Friday’s ceremony was attended by double MoBO winner and Mercury Award nominee Soweto Kinch, Oscar winner Rachel Portman OBE and bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, and was addressed by double MoBO winner YolanDa Brown and the Mayor’s advisor on culture and youth, Munira Mirza.
MFYM Chief Executive Ginny Greenwood said, "Thanks to the enormous generosity of individuals and businesses around London, every single Mayor’s music scholar will receive up to four-years of intensive musical learning. These are the most talented students who would have to stop learning without our support. By 2016 we hope to be funding up to 1,000 young scholars.”
MYFM hopes to raise up to £1 million in 2012 through a series of fundraising events.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is MFYM’s Founder Patron, said, “We know that learning a musical instrument can have a powerful impact on a child's life, helping in their social, emotional and academic development. Sadly, too many families in London cannot afford to pay for music lessons, even for very talented children. By investing in these scholarships and partnership programmes, the fund will be enriching the lives of thousands of children and also make sure London remains the top city in the world for all kinds of music. I wish these talented young people every success.”