Zoë Martlew, cellist & music education expert

“The Apollo Music Project works. I had the good fortune to attend a workshop performance day in Hackney with several hundred children from local primary schools who had been systematically trained in the art of listening to classical music through demonstration and performance from live musicians. Players introduced the children to the sounds of each instrument, playing excerpts and introducing basic structural concepts from the pieces to be performed, thus providing the audience – including teachers – with comprehensible means of navigating a piece of classical music which might otherwise simply float over their heads.

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The engaging manner of the players, the excellence of performance, and the sound quality of information imparted led to an impressive result. The children not only sat still and listened to about an hour’s music, but were also clearly enjoying the experience. They rushed up to chat to players at the end of the session when invited to ask questions about the instrument, about the musician and their life in music, and hear music played for them close at hand.

It’s no surprise to hear that these same children have now happily sat through entire Beethoven symphonies in concert, given these tools for listening. Once again showing that everyone, regardless of background, race or creed, has the potential to be touched by the great art music of our age given the opportunity to a) know about it b) experience it in live performance.

Apollo Music Projects is performing the greatest service in building audiences for classical music, laying foundations for its future existence and building bridges between performers and communities. It deserves recognition and support at the highest possible level.”