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IPPG Charity Student Concert for Nepal

Due to the recent earthquakes in Nepal, my 2015 collaborative local community and RWCMD Junior Conservatoire student concert will have a charitable focus.    One of my adult learners, Dr. Emma Mason, is a trustee of the International Porter Protection Group, (  The IPPG is a small charity which is working closely with a number of other charities in Nepal (Community Action Nepal and Porters Progress UK) to provide not just emergency aid to the remote, mountainous areas in which they operate, but also to continue with their long term projects providing medical equipment and personnel and other support to the local communities.

Milly Earthquake

My private and Young RWCMD students all work very hard throughout the year, and this concert is an opportunity for them to perform in front of a small audience, and to raise some much needed funds for the Nepal disaster.  Performance time and seating space permitting, I have also asked other piano teachers if any of their students would like to join us to make this event as successful as possible.

I am charging a very small entrance fee (£2.50 each) to students and their friends and family, which could raise as much as £500, but IPPG desperately need as many donations as possible during this extremely difficult time.  You can donate to them online via or by cheque made out to the International Porter Protection Group.  Please give as much or as little as you can; every penny helps.

I am extremely grateful to Cardiff University School of Music, who have very kindly donated the use of their state of the art concert hall in Corbett Road for the occasion, and are also paying to staff the building with their very friendly and helpful security and portering staff.   The University Concert Hall seats 200 and houses two concert grand pianos (a Steinway and a Bösendorfer), one of which will be used for the concert.

Although this is a fundraising concert, due to the amount of children taking part (some of whom are nervous about performing) the concert itself is a closed event. This means that tickets are not available to the general public.  The students are all aware, however, of the effect that their hard work and musical achievements are having on the appeal for funds, and Drs. Emma and Nick Mason, both of whom are trustees of IPPG, will be present at the concert, along with their daughter Milly (pictured above) who will hopefully be performing.

Also in aid of these three charities is the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, which is held at the New Theatre in Cardiff on Friday 10th July.  Please buy tickets and come along!

Kendal Film Festival’s-on/kendal-mountain-film-festival/

Thank you for all your support,

Lynne and students

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Is It Worth It?

black girls code

Last Friday I got involved in the Guardian’s live chat on The Future of Music Education, and today I read Matthew Cainesroundup of the conversation.

It got me thinking all morning (as I often do) about the different reasons why children (and adults, but today I’m particularly thinking of children) learn musical instruments. It also got me thinking about the volume of parents who ask me, “Is it worth it for my child to do this?” And it’s that particular question that leaves me bewildered every time I hear it.

Perhaps the answer lies in the fallacy of ‘not being worth it’. Perhaps, if I fiddle about with the subject matter, I could demonstrate my bewilderment…

“It’s not worth your four year old playing with crayons, he won’t go to Art College.”

“Stop your daughter from joining that netball squad, she won’t be good enough to get into the Olympics.”

“Pack away that telescope, your son is not in the top percentile of young scientists who are likely to win a Nobel Prize.”

“Don’t let your daughter go to that creative writing group, she’s not that good at English, so it’s a waste of her time.”

Perhaps the above statements are technically true (it’s unlikely that every child in the netball squad is going to win an Olympic medal) but these (admittedly fictional) children obviously get something out of their groups or their activities. Should they stop because it might not be ‘worth it’?

The four year old playing with crayons is having fun, he’s being creative, and it gives him a sense of accomplishment when he’s finished each masterpiece.

The netballing teenager gains fitness, camaraderie, social skills, a sense of pride when her team wins, an ability to deal with failure when they lose, enjoyment, and an hour running around letting off steam.

The boy with the telescope achieves a sense of personal accomplishment and enjoyment in his wonder at the stars, confidence in his own abilities, and independence in his learning.

The girl attending the creative writing group is learning how to work by herself, and to practise independently. She feels pride in her finished articles, and her self esteem is boosted by the positive encouragement from the group leader and the rest of the group.

And the piano student?

Perhaps your son or daughter may not be the next Mozart, or Paul Lewis, or Nadia Boulanger, but they will achieve, and they will take many positive things away from their musical experiences.

It’s always worth learning an instrument, as long as it’s a process that is enjoyed.



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