Henley Music School Struggling for Funding

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

Laura Reineke, Founder & Principal of HMS says: “HMS now has over 800 children and 100 adults involved in its activities.  Every single school music room is fully booked, and we have a list of pupils waiting for teaching space!  We are teaching class music, running school music clubs, choirs as well as individual instrumental lessons and now have contact with almost every primary aged child at least once in their time at primary school.  We offer free specialist piano lessons to people on the autistic spectrum, as well as free lessons to displaced Ukrainian citizens. Over the last 2/3 years, with COVID, the cost of living escalating, and people supporting the plight of the Ukrainian people, it has been an uphill battle to raise running cost funds, and we are desperately low, to the point where I can’t pass any bursaries, (of which we have over 40 already existing), or purchase any instruments until we have secured some more funds.”

The charity has secured Trinity Hall which they plan to renovate, and use as a community hub, with music at its heart.  This will not only include musical activities, but a homework club for children, a child/teen counsellor on hand, youth club, rehearsals, local larder, refugee support and a stunning venue for any activities and support for the community.  Laura adds, “We are only at the stage of tying up all the legal aspects, so ahead is a massive fundraising campaign which could amount to up to £1m!  None of this can go ahead without our day to day funds.”

The charity needs around £60,000 a year to deliver their existing provision to the Henley area. Laura explains, “Broadly speaking, we are going to plummet down to a £23,000 loss this year, if we can’t secure funds soon.  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, love and benefit from music teaching regardless of their circumstances.  Which is why with all our activities we offer a free loan of an instrument, and have bursaries of up to 100% available.  It would be heart-breaking to see this stop, as we are passionate about making sure that no barriers are put in the way of music education.”

As it is the start of the new school year, registrations are open for individual lessons, school clubs, Youthful Orchestra (an inclusive intermediate orchestra for anyone), Sunday strings & HMS Sundays.  All information, and registration forms are at www.henleymusicschool.co.uk

If you feel you can help in some way, please contact Laura on henleymusicschool@gmail.com