Where do you get your children from?
When we are ready to start a new group we ask our local rags to help find interested children. We leaflet the area targeting Market Grounds, Parks, Schools etc We put up Posters in Libraries, Shops, Schools, Clinics etc and of course when you have a group playing they will advertise by entertaining in Parks, Shopping Centres and Markets etc
Where do you get free Accordions from?
You beg, borrow, call in favours, ask for help from clubs, suppliers. Your local club will hopefully be only too pleased to run a raffle to raise some money to help you. Aim for around 6 children to start with and build up a healthy waiting list. Parents will fund raise until they drop if they can see their youngster doing something which they could ill afford to pay for.
How advanced must I be to start a Group
Not advanced at all. A basic understanding of music, note values, timing etc.,. You will be surprised how quickly you will learn when teaching children. The main requirement is enthusiasm and a sense of fun.
How do I set the Group up
Find a venue say in a community centre, school, church and have your first meeting of Parents and children. Make it very clear from the onset that you will teach the children and be responsible for all musical decisions and that the Parents will be responsible for the everyday running of the group. They must vote in a Secretary and Treasurer with you as Musical Director/Chair. At this first meeting a name must be given to the Group. Remember it is easier to get Grants if the name of your town/area is in the title. State your aims and objectives for the Group. Sort out how much weekly subs will be for each member. (ours are £1.25) You will need to cover the cost of the hire of the room. Fund raising, grants and donations will cover the rest. Propose that a Bank account be opened. Minute the meeting and you are officially up and running. At this meeting you can give out the Accordions to the children and go through the basic workings of the instruments. (Parents will sign a form agreeing that the Accordion is on loan)
Do I need to have a Police check done on myself as I will be working with children
Yes this is advisable and on anyone liable to be working with the children. A child protection policy can be drawn up quite easily and adopted by your group. Your Secretary can help here. You can use ours as a guide, just change the bits you need to do to suit your group.
What music do you recommend to start with
Our children first learn to count the note values then on to a c to e piece HOT CROSS BUNS then on to c to g five finger pieces. All right hand only. E mail me for a starter pack as it is going to take some time to get everything on the site.