Hazel Farrow runs weekly music sessions for KS1 and KS2 levels incorporating violin, choir and musicianship.  In June last year, the PLACE choir sang, young violinists performed and instrumentalists played at a special end-of-term PLACE concert at Charterhouse in Bedford.

Lessons are fun, yet thorough, and are led by our PLACE music teacher, Hazel Farrow, who is also a strings specialist.  Hazel studied viola to postgraduate level at the Royal Academy of Music.


PLACE runs an ensemble violin class on a weekly basis.  It takes place on Tuesday mornings and is integrated alongside KS1 and KS2 musicianship sessions and the PLACE choir.


It is hoped that the next starting point for this class will be at the beginning of the autumn term 2017.   The Beginner Violin group serves as an introduction to the violin.  It is planned that this course will (ideally) run for one full academic year.  It is aimed at learners who have a serious interest in taking up the instrument long term.  Except in individual cases where a youngster has already acquired some experience, new learners will not be admitted to the Beginner Violin group mid-way through the year.


This class provides an opportunity for established young violinists to play regularly in an ensemble.  It is also an arena to develop notation skills and performance experience.   Violin parts are differentiated and the usual range of ability is pre-Grade 1-Grade 2 levels.  The ensemble is open to PLACE youngsters who did not acquire their skills through the PLACE scheme, providing they meet the basic criteria.  To participate in this group, learners need to be proficient at playing with a reliable tone and using all left-hand fingers.  It is not necessary to be able to read music initially, as the simpler parts can be taught by ear. However, exposure to notation increases throughout each year.

Beginner & ensemble violinists perform in informal concerts each term


PLACE’s violin scheme has now run for several years and we are beginning to see the continued progress of our learners.  Most recent young PLACE violinists have chosen to continue with individual lessons – either with Hazel or with other local teachers.  Some are learning weekly, others fortnightly, some alone and some shared.

A few learners have chosen to follow the Associated Board exam route and have been successful in their Grade 1 examinations after around one further year of tuition. Others have opted not to do exams and are playing at an equivalent level or beyond.  One has a go at switching from violin to viola.

The excellent Bedfordshire Music Trust has witnessed a large increase in the numbers of home-educated learners attending Trust courses!  Several of our ensemble players also attend the weekly “Friday Flyers” orchestra run by the Music Cooperative.  We have been well represented on the Bedfordshire Music String Orchestra holiday courses and at the annual “Fiddle Fiesta” run by the Bedfordshire Music Cooperative too.  In summary, there are many wonderful, wider opportunities to which young violinists can aspire.

For more details and to register your child for a current PLACE violin group, please visit the PLACE website www.PLACE-Programme.org

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