PUPILS at Westlea Primary School have learned the ancient skill of playing the spoons, thanks to a musical charity and a top percussionist.

Youth Music Swindon teamed up with Jo May, a musician from Swindon who studied at Royal College of Music and went on to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to help pupils engage with the musical arts.

They were shown how to play the wooden spoons, helping them to learn about about rhythm, teamwork and creativity.

Marcia Scales a charity trustee said: “Rather than just launch the charity we thought we’d make a special day for the children. We wanted something everyone could take part in and Jo’s classes are perfect for that!”

Morgan, one of the pupils at the school said: “I liked it a lot, my favourite song we played was Coming Round The Mountain!”

Another pupil Daisy, said she now wants to learn the piano: “I loved the spoons, it was really fun! At the end we got to make our own song and rhythm.”

Youth Music Swindon, which was formerly known as the Friends of Swindon Young Musicians aims to fund and support disadvantaged young people who show musical talent.

Services include helping them to further their talent with music-focused trips and higher grade exams, as well as helping to upgrade pupils' instruments and give general support and encouragement.

Deputy head teacher and trustee of the charity, Sarah Sumner said it is all about giving the children new experiences: “It’s giving them something outside the curriculum and we’re always looking for something different.

“A lot of our children don’t have a lot of extensive life experiences, and might not have the same opportunities as children in another area. So its really for school to provide those opportunities, just to show them there are so many things out there. The charity is relaunching to provide music opportunities in schools and communities for young people that are really going to take them forward.

"It’s not just for somebody who is very high end and buying them a really expensive instrument, that’s not what it’s all about.”

Visit friendsofswindonyoungmusicians.com for more.