An innovative music programme with the Salvation Army in the USA has proved a hit with children from New York City. The children took part in a ground-breaking initiative at the Star Lake Salvation Army Summer Camp in Bloomingdale, New Jersey.
The 35 children picked up a musical instrument for the first time and, within just a few days, played the U.S. premiere of a new composition called ‘Create a Buzz’ specially composed for a new musical instrument for young people – pBuzz, which has recently been launched in the US after its UK success.
The brightly coloured pBuzz was developed by a team of British musicians from Warwick Music Group who also created the world’s first plastic trombone. It is specially designed for children’s small hands as a fun first-step in taking children on what, hopefully, will become a life-long passion for music and for playing musical instruments. The affordable and playful pBuzz also aids a child’s sensory and fine motor skills, encourages self-expression, stimulates imagination and creativity, building confidence and nurturing their natural music talents.
The Salvation Army’s ‘Music Makers’ programme was part of Music and Arts Week at Star Lake Camp. The camp’s youngest group – all seven to eight-year olds – spent a week understanding the art of writing music, understanding music and playing music. The main tool used was pBuzz.
Edward Mylechreest, Regional Music Leader for the Greater New York Division of the Salvation Army said: “We now have 35 kids who have gone back home having experienced the joy of playing music all week.
“We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Teaching these young kids has been incredible. pBuzz went down an absolute storm with the kids who loved using them. In the space of just five days, we were able to accomplish so much with these fantastic resources.”
At the end of the session, the children performed ‘Create a Buzz!’, composition by Jonathan Bates with live brass band accompaniment from older campers.
“The Music Makers were so proud to be the soloists and to get to play with the highest-level band at camp. This collaboration between Warwick Music Group and The Salvation Army is wonderful and I am so glad that the music was made readily available for us to use.”
Plans are now proceeding to incorporate pBuzz into the NYC Salvation Army’s regular teaching programs in the Fall.
“Many of the students have now been asking when they will be getting pBuzzes sent to their churches and community centers so they can keep playing. We think we have really hit on something that has resonated with the kids,” said Mylechreest.
Warwick Music Group is the developer of the world’s first plastic trombone – pBone – and all-plastic trumpet – pTrumpet. pBuzz was developed by them to encourage younger players to take an interest in brass music and the new, colourful and light in weight award-winning instruments have now been adopted worldwide by schools, bands and by individuals.