Play On

Play On is a partnership project between Philharmonia and the music services of the London boroughs of Hounslow and Kingston. Running since 2011, the project addresses several key musical needs via imaginative and inspiring activity.

Philharmonia Education: Play On

A short film about Play On, a unique project bringing together pupils and staff from Hounslow and Kingston music services and musicians from the Philharmonia Orchestra which culminated in a performance on 12 June 2012 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.

We speak to project leader Tim Steiner, Head of Houslow Music Services Oonagh Barry and Philharmonia viola player Gwendolyn Fisher about this creative project.

Initially focussing upon the challenge to encourage continuation of instrumental learning beyond whole class tuition, the project has moved on to address the difficult period of transition between primary and secondary schooling. Play On has involved the following:

  • Setting up four creative ensembles in primary schools across the two boroughs, coached by music service staff with input from Philharmonia musicians
  • Four specially tailored schools concerts at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, by the full Philharmonia Orchestra, presented by Tim Steiner
  • A performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall by the primary school ensembles, devised and presented by Tim Steiner and involving music service staff and Philharmonia musicians
  • A performance at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, by the secondary school ensembles and involving music service staff and Philharmonia musicians

In addition to encouraging pupils to continue instrumental learning, and providing technical assistance, the creation of ensembles helps build self-esteem, and increases discipline and engagement within a positive and enjoyable learning environment. The opportunity to hear a professional orchestra, and then perform alongside Philharmonia musicians in high-profile venues, has served to broaden the experiences of the pupils, building confidence and aspiration.

Play On is funded by the Greater London Authority via the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians.