052: Live classical music in schools with Apollo Music Projects

Apollo Music Projects brings live classical music to children who might not otherwise experience it. Over 13 years, more than 8,600 children have experienced the magic of live performance from classroom to concert hall, culminating in the thrilling spectacle of a full orchestra in concert.

I talk to David Chernaik about how this project was brought to life 13 years ago and how it has positively affected 8600 children.

The 3 main ways are:

  • Interactive
  • Self Confidence
  • Performance

Apollo Music Projects provides a unique opportunity for children to work closely with professional musicians, using the language of music to develop listening skills, communication and teamwork. Our programmes enable students to discover for themselves how to listen to and enjoy classical music, using their own imagination and experiences to enter a new world of sound, stories and feelings.

The programme introduces children to the instruments of the orchestra, the musicians who play them and the music they play, providing the opportunity to hear live music and the tools to understand what they are hearing.

The programme takes the form of a residency in each school. Over two terms, the musicians gradually introduce the different members of the orchestra, starting with small groups including a string quartet, brass ensemble and woodwind quartet. At the halfway point of the programme there is a series of chamber orchestra workshops, each attended by three or four schools. This is a chance for the children to engage in music on a larger scale, to meet musicians up close and to learn about the ways in which the different instruments of the orchestra interact and join together to make music. The programme concludes with a spectacular symphony orchestra concert featuring large-scale orchestral works using the full range of instruments.


David Chernaik (Chief Executive & Programme Director) is a professional conductor and cellist. He is passionate about music education and giving children of all backgrounds access to the life-enhancing experience of music, both performing and listening. He founded the Apollo Chamber Orchestra in 1989 and since then has given many concerts with the orchestra – including chamber orchestra, string orchestra, symphony and opera performances.


Email: info@apollomusicprojects.org

Twitter: @ApolloMusicLDN

Facebook: @apollomusicprojects

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