The extraordinary benefit of learning collectively

June 27th, 2005

Jupiter is a manufacturer of brass and woodwind instruments.
This is what Jupiters website says

Since 1930 the JUPITER company has been dedicated to helping schools and culture. This simple definition still represents the primary goal of the JUPITER brand today.


To that end Jupiter have been involved in a project called SoundStart

SoundStart began in September 2001, when 30 young pupils from Elmwood Primary School in Croydon became the first to try this unique musical experiment. Unlike most music tuition that takes place outside the classroom, Soundstart takes a whole class from beginner to concert in one term. Jupiter brass and woodwind and their UK distributor Korg UK, working with Croydon Music Services, gave each child an instrument of their choice ? a wide range from flutes to saxophones, some of which the children had never seen or heard before.


And the benefits…. well, as one child explained "Do you realize if we weren't doing this music project we could be out nicking cars?".
Or how about this

All this is translating into better results for the school overall. Poor attendance and lateness have been virtually eradicated. Homework completion has gone up from 67 % to 97%. There has been a significant decline in children involved in "disruptive behaviour" in and, especially out of class, with three/four incidents a week down to less than one a week.


From the Jupiter website is a list of benefits:
Great enthusiasm from pupils, teachers and parents
Supports the school's music curriculum
Enhances music's status in the school
Provides development for teachers
Proved to be fully replicable in other authorities
Comprehensive resource material and support provided
Publicity opportunity for schools
Benefits for schools in the community and with parents
Leads to increased take up of Music Service tuition
Help to create "life-long enthusiasm" for music.
Having just read the article – I am reminded that as we always argued at SMLXL finding innovative ways to support and engage individuals and their wider community is the future of brands that want to be successful.
As we say in our little book of engagement marketing

Engagement Marketing could help sell a product, an industry, a region, combat a social issue. Engagement Marketing is about connecting large or small communities with engaging content to a commercial or social agenda


It creates a better more rewarding context for people to want to be involved. The brand or institution becomes dynamic rather than static – it plays a more relevant role in peoples lives.
Korg UK and Jupiter who have put a great deal of effort into this project have equally benefitted. It is a self assured and mature approach to marketing. Aligning several key objectives through one inititiative.
I think you should read this article below because it demonstrates what can be achieved if one moves from push based marketing strategies to trust and engagement based initiatives. The benefits for all are obvious.
As Glen Urban said:

Evidence is building that the paradigm of marketing is changing from the push strategies so well suited to the past 50 years of mass media to trust based strategies that are essential in a time of information empowerment


Brendan Le Page who initiated the scheme in Croydon says

There's no doubt in my mind that a good musical experience should be given as a right to every schoolchild. They shouldn't even have to want it. We don't offer reading to pupils who want it. It would cost something like £200 per child for a one-year project of sufficient depth to be worthwhile. Compared with the cost of other ways of dealing with poor behaviour, low self-esteem, barriers to learning, and anti-social behaviour, this is truly a drop in the ocean, but it would release a tidal wave of positive energy.


So the schools win, the kids win, the parents win, government ministers win, and the company that supplies the instruments win, by now having the permission to talk to heads of music and government about their initiatives. And to sell more products.
This initiative has changed lives, and changed schools for the better. Jamie Oliver would be proud.
Jupiter and Korg have gone from just selling instruments to saying and delivering on the position "we care about music education." The results are there for all to see.
Or you could carry on spending large amounts of money interrupting people with messages that are out of context, that do not engage in media which is proven to be increasingly inefficient.

Can Music do for their minds, what Jamie Oliver did for their stomachs?
Music has the power to change lives. As one 16 year old at an inner London school said to his teacher

"Do you realize if we weren't doing this music project we could be out nicking cars?".

That music project was SoundStart, which now has over 3,000 kids involved across the UK.
SoundStart began in September 2001, when 30 young pupils from Elmwood Primary School in Croydon became the first to try this unique musical experiment. Unlike most music tuition that takes place outside the classroom, Soundstart takes a whole class from beginner to concert in one term. Jupiter brass and woodwind and their UK distributor Korg UK, working with Croydon Music Services, gave each child an instrument of their choice ? a wide range from flutes to saxophones, some of which the children had never seen or heard before.
"SoundStart supports the school's music curriculum" says Brendan Le Page of Croydon Music Services who created the scheme, "It enhances music's status in the school and provides development for teachers"
However the benefits of the scheme have been seen across a much wider area than just the classroom. It has become increasingly well known of the positive benefits learning music has on overall education but what is becoming clearer is the behavioral benefits learning music as a whole group in class can have on the school overall.

"The SoundStart programme has bought great joy to Arbury School in Cambridge" says Trevor Barlow of Cambridgeshire Education Authority.

"The collective spirit of the group is wonderful and the spring off benefits to this school and community will be tremendous."
At St Teresa's School in Newcastle, SoundStart has caused some children to change their whole attitude to school. Headteacher John Harrison said SoundStart has revolutionised the way the children viewed school:

"A sizeable number within the class were known for their negative impact on the life of their classmates and the school as a whole. The class contained some children suffering from specific learning problems. They did not suddenly turn into angels or hit high academic standards, but they allowed a new conversation based upon mutual trust and achievements'.
All this is translating into better results for the school overall. Poor attendance and lateness have been virtually eradicated. Homework completion has gone up from 67 % to 97%. There has been a significant decline in children involved in "disruptive behaviour" in and, especially out of class, with three/four incidents a week down to less than one a week.
All the kids on the scheme are really enthusiastic:
"School became more exciting"
"It stopped me arguing because I wanted to keep busy in music."
"I learnt to ignore people in class because I wanted to play the Euphonium.
"I liked walking to school with my instrument. I liked it because people looked at me and knew I was a musician."

Ash Hill School in High Wycombe's SoundStart band has now performed on Radio 5 Live. "In June 2003 we were approached to take part in SoundStart" says Debra Mansfield Headteacher.

"At the beginning of the autumn term Year 5 were introduced to flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, euphoniums and percussion and the Year 5 'band' was created.
"Monday mornings were, to begin with, a time to be away from my office, as the sounds emerging from the hall opposite were at times excruciating. However, before long you could decipher distinguishable notes and the singing and rhythm work was fantastic. It was wonderful at the beginning of the summer to hear Queen's 'We will Rock You' being blasted out.
The pupils were thoroughly enjoying the sessions and took great pride in looking after their instruments. It was wonderful to see our twin boys, who have special educational needs, lovingly cleaning and polishing their euphoniums. It was these passing observations that really brought home the value of the project. We all know about the research that playing a musical instrument has a positive impact on learning, but we have noticed other benefits too.

One little girl, the constant fiddler and fidgeter, again with special educational needs, has developed a strategy for listening and being still in band which she has carried across to other lessons in the classroom."
Some schools, such as Grantown Primary in Scotland are now in the second stage of the scheme with their American-style big band. After the first year of tuition, funding had to be found to buy new instruments as the originals are passed down to new primary six pupils. Parents and teachers got together and over ?7,500 was raised.
Mairi Robertson, Headteacher at Grantown said, "The committee of parents have put in a huge amount of work to get the whole project set up. I am really looking forward to hearing the band play their first concert."

Mrs Helen Dickson, chairwoman of the SoundStart project in Grantown said, " We were very keen to carry on the project so that it just did not come to a halt for those pupils who have progressed so much on their chosen instruments over the past 12 months. Many of the children are keen to carry on and some want to try out a new instrument this year. I feel so excited and enthusiastic about the whole project and hopefully it is the start of something big."
SoundStart has also caught the attention of government ministers. In March 2004 two Sound Start schools played on stage at the Barbican in London in front of an audience that included ministers David Milliband, Estelle Morris and David Bell Chief Inspector of Schools.

Rob Castle Managing Director of Korg UK who provided the instruments talks of the benefits of the scheme for schools in the community "We are very proud of the success of this partnership with Croydon Music Service. Sound Start has been greeted with great enthusiasm by pupils, teachers and parents and we hope it will help to create a life-long enthusiasm for music and maybe change some lives"
"There's no doubt in my mind that a good musical experience should be given as a right to every schoolchild". says Le Page " They shouldn't even have to want it. We don't offer reading to pupils who want it. It would cost something like £200 per child for a one-year project of sufficient depth to be worthwhile. Compared with the cost of other ways of dealing with poor behaviour, low self-esteem, barriers to learning, and anti-social behaviour, this is truly a drop in the ocean, but it would release a tidal wave of positive energy."
In the words of Mathew a pupil from the first scheme in Croydon "I think getting into windband is the best thing at school that has ever happened to me"
For further information log onto www.jupitermusic.co.uk

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