Henley School of Music struggles to secure funding

Henley Music School, a local charity offering all forms of music education to all, regardless of age, ability, background or means, and like many other charities, is struggling to find a funding.

Laura Reineke, Founder and Director of HMS says: “HMS now has over 800 children and 100 adults involved in its activities. Every music room in the school is full and we have a list of students waiting for teaching space! We teach music in the classroom, run school music clubs, choirs as well as individual instrument lessons and now have contact with almost every primary age child at least once during their primary school education. . We offer free specialized piano lessons for people with autism, as well as free lessons for displaced Ukrainian citizens. Over the past 2/3 years, with COVID, the escalating cost of living, and people supporting the plight of the Ukrainian people, the battle to raise funds for running costs has been an uphill battle, and we are desperately low, to the point where I can’t pass scholarships (of which we already have over 40) or buy instruments until we get additional funds.

The charity has secured Trinity Hall which they plan to refurbish and use as a community centre, with music at its heart. This will include not only musical activities, but a kids homework club, child/teen counsellor, youth club, rehearsals, local food pantry, refugee support and a beautiful venue for all activities and community support. Laura adds: “We are only at the stage of putting all the legal aspects in place, so we have a massive fundraising campaign ahead of us which could amount to up to £1million! None of this can go forward without our day-to-day funds.

The charity needs around £60,000 a year to deliver its existing supply in the Henley area. Laura explains: “Overall we are going to be down to a loss of £23,000 this year if we can’t get funds quickly. So any offer of funds, help or ideas would be gratefully received. At Henley Music School we believe that happy children learn, everyone should have the opportunity to learn, enjoy and benefit from music education, regardless of their circumstances. That is why, with all our activities, we offer a free loan of an instrument and scholarships of up to 100%. It would be heartbreaking to see this stop, as we are passionate about putting no barriers in the way of music education.

As it’s back to school, registration is open for private lessons, school clubs, the Youth Orchestra (an intermediate orchestra inclusive for all), Sunday Strings and HMS Sundays. All information and registration forms are on www.henleymusicschool.co.uk

If you think you can help in any way, please contact Laura on [email protected]

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