Principal of Bromley music service discusses hopes for the future

PUBLISHED: 16:18 20 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:12 23 June 2014

A group of junior students during their rehearsal at the Bromley Youth Music Centre with Ian Rowe.

A group of junior students during their rehearsal at the Bromley Youth Music Centre with Ian Rowe.


An indepedent music service renowned for providing high quality education to young people hopes to bring music to a wider audience.

The Bromley Youth Music Trust, based in Southborough Lane, Bromley, offers children individual and group tuition and the opportunity to take part in ensembles, groups and concert performances..

Throughout the school day, teachers from the Trust work in school music departments delivering individual and group lessons. Additional lessons and rehearsals take place at their centre in the evenings and at weekends.

Principal Ian Rowe said: “This last academic year we have done something in the region of 67,000 hours of teaching, either in schools themselves or also at our club.”

Ian believes that every child should be given the chance to learn a musical instrument and participate in bands, orchestras and choirs and wants to make that happen during his tenure.

BYMT’S motto, is “music changes lives”.

Ian said he plans to extend this and wants to see “music changing more lives”.

“We are really trying very hard to make the opportunities available to more students, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

“I think it’s all about opportunity at the end of the day.”

Ian credits the opportunity that he himself was given at a young age for helping him pursue a musical career, after he was given the chance to play the cornet for free.

“Very quickly I was in lessons and I was in a group, then I was in a band,” he said.

“Thanks to the support of Bromley Council and Arts council England, we are able to offer first access musical instrument lessons to all children in Year 3.

“A lot of young people shouldn’t make the assumption that they know what they can and can’t do. They will only know that if they have been given the opportunity to try it.”

The Bromley Youth Music Trust has been a leading partner of the Bromley Music Education Hub since 2012, meaning that they are able to provide music services across Bromley, where there are a total of 89 schools.

“We’ve got a bigger responsibility really in looking at the music development across Bromley.

“One of the real powers of the music hub is developing network meetings where music teachers can meet together and discuss what they are doing and help each other.

“We can put forward what our vision is and get the input from the teachers on the ground who are delivering it.

“If we are all working together then we are not giving confused messages to students as well.”

The trust currently has six full wind bands and five orchestras, and have a busy schedule for the coming months with a combined concert featuring the Training Band and Senior Band on Saturday evening at Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts and a performance from the Bromley Youth symphony orchestra on June 29 at the same venue.

Ian believes music is hugely beneficial for the students and plans to continue work in Bromley schools.

“It’s developing the social skills of working in a team, and also the sense of resilience, trying to work through a piece of music.

“Being able to learn from your mistakes is a key part of music making and a key part of life.

For more information about the Bromley Youth Music Trust and the work that they do please visit

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