Monty the Maestro and his Marvellous Magical Orchestra was an idea I conceptualised a number of years ago.
While I was studying composition at the Royal College of Music I also taught piano and composition. When I was teaching one day, a piano pupil came home from school, really very excited because they had been asked whether they wanted to learn a new musical instrument. My pupil had been given quite a limited choice of instruments to choose between and had just the cello, the clarinet and the flute as options but neither the child nor the parents knew anything about the instruments in question. Teaching a number of seven-year-old pupils across the year, this became a scenario I encountered more and more frequently and I quickly became the go-to for parents.
On a particular evening one of my pupils, Natasha, came home with the same old dilemma – she was being asked to choose between instruments, but this time between the clarinet and the French horn. With no information on either instrument both Natasha and Mum were baffled.
It was at that point that I decided to start Monty – a fun and engaging way to introduce each of the key orchestral instruments to children – so they wouldn’t find themselves in year 4 at school not knowing the difference between the flute and the clarinet, the violin and viola and the trumpet and trombone.