January 7, 2009

The Peter Stevens Music Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:32 pm

The Peter Stevens Music Project has been set up to work in partnership with Hackney Music Services, in consultation with Creative Partnerships to increase the music provision at Daniel House, a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for secondary pupils in Hackney.

The school has developed a whole range of creative projects and programmes over the last 5 years including the production of 52 minute documentary “Beneath the Hood” (recently broadcast on the community channel), large scale environmental work with Freeform, poetry with Apples and Snakes and theatre work with Cettie.

The Peter Stevens Music Project will be the next stage of the creative journey of the school, building a solid foundation of excellent music tuition for young people with limited or no previous access to this kind of provision.

Daniel House has a student roll of between 40 and 50 students, where all pupils have statements of behavioural problems, and as such have been either temporarily or permanently excluded from mainstream schools.

Following initial discussions with Daniel House’s Headteacher, Kevin Doherty, the music teacher, Afjal Miah, and Hackney Music Services it became clear that a weekly visiting instrumental /technology tutor would be of great benefit to the school and their students. With the memory of Pete Stevens as a catalyst for change, the Peter Stevens Music Project will provide continued and sustained music provision to an environment that has had limited experience of developing high quality music. The Peter Stevens Music Project will aim to create a new and exciting way of providing musical provision that is sustainable and curriculum related.

The partners:

The Hackney Music Service seeks to enhance the musical experiences available to pupils through instrumental tuition. As well as focusing on the individual, instrumental tuition provides the opportunity of a wider musical experience through participation ensembles, bands, orchestras and choirs. For more information please visit: http://www.learningtrust.co.uk/schools/music/Instrumental_tuition.aspx

Creative Partnerships works to give school children throughout England the opportunity to develop their potential, ambition, creativity and imagination. It achieves this by building sustainable partnerships between schools and creative and cultural individuals and organizations that impact on learning. For more information please visit: www.creative-partnerships.com

Peter’s family and friends have generously contributed to fund this project. We have had one extremely generous donation and fund raising continues in a fairly informal way. Cheques can be sent to Pete’s Mum: Alison Ritchie - please email for the address.

 

Background: 

The Peter Stevens Music Project was established in 2008 to celebrate and remember Peter, a talented musician, who tragically died from bowel cancer at the age of 26. Peter played guitar and sang in a band, The Robot Blues. Besides performing, he could also talk about music for hours.  On one of his final days in the hospice he talked for a whole day about how theatre and music should be accessible to young people living in the most difficult circumstances - how music could change lives.

Family and friends of Peter have set up this website in his dedication, sharing memories and connecting those who knew him. What the website does not tell is that, unrelated to the cancer which eventually took his life, Peter also had a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis.  Neurofibromatosis is a complex disease and Peter had none of the most serious effects of it.  However, throughout his childhood he had the learning difficulties and behavioural problems, which are also associated with it.  In primary school he was statemented and right through his education to A levels and University he received support.  His distractibility and inability to concentrate made school life tough for Peter, but his passion for music helped him deal with these problems.  

Peter’s spirit lives on in his wonderful friends and in their love for him.  His friendships revolved around music.  We hope that by bringing more music into the lives of the young people through the Peter Stevens Music project it may light a spark in them that will enhance their lives.

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