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Teen duo get the young to enjoy classical music; EDUCATION WALES.

Byline: Sally Williams

A YOUNG Welsh musical duo - who play the piano and harp - are to tour Wales and the UK this spring to inspire and encourage young people to get into classical music.

Rosie Whiting, aged 18, who lives in Merthyr Tydfil, is in her final year at the Purcell School of Music in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

Together with Anne Denholm, aged 17, from Carmarthenshire, she is part of a group of sixth form students called Impulse, who go into schools and communities across Britain giving concerts and workshops to educate people in music.

Rosie, who started playing the piano when she was eight years old, explained: "I started because my sister and her best friend played piano and so I got jealous and demanded I learnt too.

"Anne also started playing harp when she was eight years old through the free instrumental lesson system run by Carmarthenshire music service.

"We both joined the Purcell School of Music for the Sixth Form in September 2008," she said.

"Next year I am going to study at Trinity College of Music and Anne is going to study at the Royal Academy of Music."

"We are in a student-led group and organise our own tours and concerts," she added. "I have organised the first ever tour of Wales for six days the week before the Easter holidays.

"We plan to go to four schools across Wales and give up to three concerts. In South Wales we are planning to go to Crickhowell High School, where I was a pupil, Llangynidr Primary School and Ysgol Y Lawnt in Rhymney, as well as a school in Carmarthen.

"We also intend to give an evening concert in Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil.

"The scheme is not only educational for the children we teach, but it is also hugely educational for the Impulse members too.

"We learn how to help children appreciate, understand, compose and perform music, as well as communication and organising skills."

For Rosie the pleasure from all the hard work comes from helping children realise that music is something that is "accessible" to them and that its not just for people who have lessons on an instrument.

"There is not a lot of chance to enjoy music for younger children whose parents were never introduced to it when they were young," she added.

"We get the young children interested by letting them come up with ideas for their own workshops.

"We use their ideas and help them to expand on them, often giving little classes on our own instruments to individuals who show an interest.

"The children can do as much or as little as they like depending on how much they feel comfortable with, but we provide them with a lively environment where they can explore their ideas and enjoy creating music."

She said the feedback from schools she visits is "100% positive", with every school visited over the past eight years requesting a return visit.

"We also get a lot out of the project," Rosie added. "Because the tour is nearly completely student-led we also learn important entrepreneurial and communication skills."

The Wales tour will run from Saturday, March 28, to Thursday, April 2, and features a concert in Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday, March 29, at 7pm

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NOTEWORTHY: Welsh music students, harpist Anne Denholm, left, and pianist Rosie Whiting, encourage young children to play classical music
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 26, 2009
Words:569
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