“Reagan is musical!” says Mark Steele, music leader and ensemble director at the Sheffield Music Hub.
“Fro the first moment I heard him in a whole class First Access lesson, back in September 2016, his musicality shone through. His eyes lit up and his whole body lifted. When he was given a cornet a few weeks later it was like all his Christmases had come at once.”
The Sheffield Music Hub developed its Musical Stars programme for children just like Reagan. Just like 10,000 other pupils across the city, Reagan has received a fantastic opportunity to start a musical journey with the free First Access lessons that schools provide with subsidence from the Music Hub. However for the journey to really take off, and for Reagan to have the opportunities to progress, lots of hard work has been put in place.
Stradbroke Primary School have made a huge impact on the Musical Star journey of Reagan by enabling him to experience over an hour of his musical education during the school day each week.
“Reagan has had a difficult start in life and has experienced many challenges that an adult would struggle to deal with,” adds Mark.
“However, I’m amazed with the enthusiasm and positivity of spirit this nine-year-old has shown throughout the school year. The three key partners in his music education - his carers, Stradbroke Primary School and the Music Hub - all contribute financially and with their time and expertise to achieve the optimum musical outcome for Reagan.”
John Sitch, headteacher at Stradbroke Primary School, said: “It is fantastic to see the talent of a child like Reagan recognised and supported by the Music Hub. He is a delightful young man with bags of energy and a real thirst for learning.
“Reagan has experienced some difficulties in his young years and if music can help him deal with these issues, then I’m only too happy to contribute and support in any way we can.”
Reagan is now experiencing a programme of learning which is essential for a high quality musical progression to be achieved. He is participating in the whole class lesson at school, receiving a 30 minute specialist lesson with Mark and has now joined the Sheffield Children’s Wind Band at one of the many beginner groups which take place across the city. Another change was his move to baritone, a larger instrument in the brass family.
Mark, himself a tuba player, adds: “As the only baritone player in the class lessons, he copes amazingly with the pressure and kudos of being singled out for the first time as ‘talented.’
“The most effective learning always takes place when someone is enjoying themselves.”
The Musical Stars scheme launched in Sheffield last month, along with a campaign to raise £20,000 to fund the first 50 or 60 musical ‘stars’ the hub hopes to uncover.
Visit www.sheffieldmusichub.org to donate.