A NEW scheme aiming to help children and school in need of musical instruments has been launched.

The Welsh Government’s Instruments for Kids project is calling on members of the public to donate unused items to local authorities.

The pilot was launched at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a special performance by members of the temporarily named Not New Novello Orchestra, led by David Mahoney using instruments already donated by Assembly Members.

Kirsty Williams AM, the cabinet secretary for education said: “Whether we stuck at it or just gave it a go, most of us have memories of learning to play a musical instrument as a child.

“We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn an instrument.

“That is why, together, we are making a commitment to finding new and innovative ways of making sure children across Wales get access to music. Instrument for Kids is part of this.

“We hope that Wales’ love of music will inspire people to dig out and dust off their old instruments in November for us to give them a new lease of life and pass on to children to enjoy for many more years to come.”

The pilot follows a campaign earlier this year by Welsh Government and National Assembly for Wales where more than 50 instruments were donated by Assembly Members and staff.

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, the leader of the Welsh Local Government Association and Newport City Council, said: “As a former teacher, I know first-hand how music can not only enrich children’s learning experiences, but provide pleasure and enjoyment to people throughout their lives.

“Many of us will have had the chance to learn to play musical instruments from an early age, and what better way to pass those skills on that dig out our unused instruments to help the next generation of musical maestros and have-a-go newbies.”

Mr Mahoney, the founder of The Novello Orchestra and member of Only Men Aloud, is just one of several Welsh musicians supporting the campaign.

He said: “Music is such a big part of Welsh culture and every child in Wales should be given the opportunity to pick up an instrument and give it a go.

“The benefits of music making are endless and this scheme will provide a perfect opportunity to introduce musical performance to those who may not otherwise have been exposed to it.”

People across Wales are being encouraged to donate their once loved, but no longer played instruments across Wales from Monday, November 20 to Friday, November 24 – which is Music Instrument Amnesty Week.

For details, go to facebook.com/educationwales/.