I am very upset to hear that Bromley's education department are considering winding down to nil the funds for the Bromley Youth Music Trust.

I've lived in Bickley for most of my life and was a member of the Bromley Youth Orchestra from the age of 8 until 18.

I benefited greatly from being a member of the orchestra and feel that it is very important that children can continue to enjoy and learn from the trust.

I very much enjoyed playing the cello in the orchestra, quartets and trios and meeting other children. Without the orchestra, music would have been far less enjoyable and practise would have seemed less worthwhile. The orchestra encourages children to persevere in their music. I feel, as do many others, that playing an instrument helps develop the mind. It certainly, teaches skills that cannot be learned in the same way elsewhere. It is important that children are not deprived from this vital opportunity.

Not only does it encourage children to play music, but also it introduces a different

aspect of playing from playing alone or with a teacher. Playing in a group teaches different skills from playing alone (such as working in a team). Those skills are important later in life - not only in music.

Playing in the orchestra provides an opportunity for children to meet people with similar interests and gives them a chance to meet friends. Many children feel self-conscious at School if they learn a classical instrument whilst few others do. It is important that they Can meet others with similar interests so they do not feel so different from other children of their age and can then learn an instrument with less of

a feeling that they are unusual.

The orchestra also provides the children with a constructive way to spend their spare time. Without this opportunity children may be become bored and cause problems in the town (such as graffiti).

I am now 29 and continue to enjoy playing in orchestras as a hobby. There are many orchestras for older people who benefit from having members who have had experience of playing in orchestras as children.

If Bromley is to carry on providing an environment where children can learn and develop, then it is, vital that it enables a trust such as the Bromley Youth Music Trust to continue.

Madeleine Wroe

Fellows Road

London NW3

November 29, 2001 16:57