This year over 7,500 school children in Derry have taken part in one of the most ambitious and exciting learning programmes ever to be rolled out in Northern Ireland, as part of the UK City of Culture Music Promise programme.
Since September 2012, classrooms have been filled with music and song as every child aged between three and eight joined in the Musical Pathways to Learning programme.
This week marked the end of the 2013 programme, and MPL tutors and teaching staff from the Western Education and Library Board celebrated with a special Christmas show in Foyleview Special School on Tuesday.
They were joined on stage by pupils who have benefitted from the programme throughout the year - just one of over 120 special end of year showcases that have taken place in 89 schools throughout December, as MPL Co-Ordinator Claire Cunningham explained.
“This has been an amazingly successful year for the Musical Pathways to Learning (MPL) programme and it was so lovely to take part in this concert today,” she said. “When we embarked on rolling out MPL right across the city the numbers of children involved were daunting to say the least, but it has all been worth it. We have enjoyed so many highlights throughout the year.”
The MPL programme is a scheme which enables children to develop through music using progressive programmes and stimulating activities, including songs, rhymes and games.
Music Promise strategic director with the Culture Company, Dónal Doherty, led in the development of the specialised learning tools that have been impacting on so many children.
“I am absolutely thrilled at the success of MPL this year, and the stories we have heard over the course of the year bear testimony to the effectiveness of the programme.”