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About The Foundation

The Jean Freedman Foundation: Preserving and Promoting Music in Schools

When Jean Freedman, a longtime member of the North Camden Chorus, died recently her children thought of a way to honour her love of music. After a long teaching career as a music teacher in primary schools, Jean had given lessons from her home in singing and piano to children and adults. How lucky she was that as her age increased and her voice no longer carried her through auditions, that she was able to become a member of the North Camden Chorus. In her earlier life she was a member of the London Symphony Chorus and regularly sung at the Albert Hall and Festival Hall taking part in many of the proms. As she got older her voice wasn’t as strong but she still maintained her complete love of all things musical (classical that is!)

  Mary and Allan, Jean’s children, decided to start a foundation that combined her deep love of music and children by supporting music in education. Allan, as a retired head teacher and consultant in the East Riding of Yorkshire area, was acutely aware of funding cuts that have slashed music programs. 

They decided rather than to have flowers at her funeral or donations to a charity to instead start a Music Foundation in her memory. Approximately 30 friends and family attended her funeral and gatherings over two days and nearly £1000 was raised - an incredible amount! Everyone who knew Jean thought it was a wonderful idea and knew how pleased, happy and proud she would have been.

The next week Allan was working with a group of head teachers from East Riding and York. He asked them what the music provision was like in their schools. As he suspected the majority had no money for employing music specialists and it was a common picture that less and less musical activities were happening. 

One head teacher, Steve Woodhouse from Holme On Spalding Moor told the group about a music specialist, Kim, he had employed at his previous schools. Co-incidentally she had messaged him just the night before asking him if he had any work for her. His answer was he had no money to pay for her music sessions even though he would love to employ her. Holme on Spalding Moor has a special place in Allan’s heart – he taught there for 7 years when he came up from London in 1986; his daughter, Lucy (now a teacher) went to the school from the age of 4 to 9 and he met his wife at the school as she was a student on teaching practice. All these factors clearly made HOSM the first choice for the Jean Freedman Foundation to fund.

Fast forward 5 months and 60+ year 3 / 4 HOSM children have had 12 sessions on a Friday afternoon with Kim playing Boomwhackers , which are lightweight, hollow, colour-coded, plastic tubes that are great fun ; singing and getting involved in musical movements. Those children that play instruments ( violin, Guitar, Wind Instruments etc.) have been encouraged to play them alongside the Boomwhackers. The first ‘concert’ playing to their parents is coming up this week on Friday, April 26th

Money raised –– Schools who have applied – How to apply - Registered Charity and other information 

So far a total of £5,112.40 has been raised. This is made up of contributions from friends and family; a collection from the North Camden Chorus; the sale of furniture, paintings, books and music scripts from Jean’s flat in London; a donation from a registered charity that supported the cause; rebates such as water, council tax, telephone, state pension etc on Jean’s flat that have been put straight into the Foundation; money from Allan’s work as an Educational Consultant when undertaking 1-1 sessions; money from hotels Allan uses when they have offered refunds for mistakes that have been made.

Payments from the Foundation have been made to :- 

Project 1 - Holme on Spalding Moor £1440(Underway)

Project 2 – Riston C of E School £1200 (Starting on 10/05/19)

Project 3 – Carlton in Snaith Primary £1020 (Starting asap) 

At present there is one other school (Project 4) who will receive £1500 when the funds are available …..very soon. Plus there are three other expressions of interest from schools that have been sent the Funding Application proforma. 

Any schools that want to apply need to contact Allan on his email   allan.scarlett@gmail.com expressing an interest. On receipt of that email Allan will forward them the Funding Application Proforma. Once the proforma Allan will discuss with the other trustees the suitability of the proposed project and let the school know quickly whether they have been successful or not. The current level of funding per school is approximately £1500.

Key points for the proforma. The project needs to….

  • Be able to show that the project couldn’t go ahead unless this funding was given to the school
  • Show that it will have an impact upon children’s musical opportunities and skills
  • Have some form of substantiality
  • Be able to start the project in the next term or earlier after receiving the funding

In addition any school being successful in applying for funding needs to agree to committing to contributions of articles, newsletters, photos, videos to the new website that is being set up. 

At present the Foundation is in the process of applying to become a registered charity so that it can grow and develop hopefully. A group of Trustees have been set up.

The short term goal is For Projects 1-3 to be successful and allow many children to access the skills of learning to play an instrument and singing whilst getting pleasure, enjoyment and self-esteem from the experience.

The medium term goal is – For many other schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to successfully apply for the funding to set up / develop music projects in their schools 

The long term goal is -  For the schools to be able to revive music in the curriculum to the benefit of all. For concerts, events , musical shows etc involving groups of schools together celebrating what they have learnt to an audience. Possibly to set up awards of musical achievement for the Jean Freedman Music Foundation.