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James Rhodes leads instrument donation appeal

1 July 2014

Primary schools in the UK have until 11 July to sign up for free musical instruments as part of James Rhodes’ ‘Great Instrument Amnesty’.

The concert pianist’s ambitious plan is to encourage the public to donate unused instruments that might be ‘languishing in cupboards and attics’ to the cause. These instruments will then be distributed to schools via the dedicated registration website. James wants to involve state primary schools in every county and schools will be selected based on need, as well as their commitment to making their music education sustainable.

The motivation behind this campaign is James’s belief that too many children are missing out on the opportunity to learn and instrument and progress on it, due to instruments and lessons being an unaffordable luxury. ‘Music has become something of a lottery for children - excellent in some schools and simply inadequate in others,’ says James. He wants to ensure that children are able to learn an instrument at the age when it matters most.

Oxfam will be collaborating with James Rhodes for this project, which is linked to a three-part series due to air on Channel 4 later this month. These programmes will follow James as he pilots his amnesty at a primary school in Basildon, Essex, before preparing to roll it out nationwide.

Those interested in pledging an instrument can drop it off at any Oxfam shop.

Schools benefitting from the amnesty will be invited to take to the stage at Oxjam, the charity’s music festival, which helps raise money to fight poverty around the world. Participating schools will also receive an education pack from Oxfam, featuring guides and lesson plans.

To watch James’ video appeal and to register your school, visit the project's website.

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