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Endangered Species Instruments Initiative

"It is widely understood that lions, pandas and polar bears are all in serious jeopardy … Using the "endangered species" model employed by the World Wide Fund for Nature, campaigners have been highlighting the scarcity of bassoonists and paving the way for the promotion of other orchestral instruments that are under threat, such as the oboe, french horn, viola, trombone and double bass." By Vanessa Thorpe (The Guardian 2015)

Some orchestral instruments have been nationally identified as "Endangered Species" instruments as there are very few children learning them. The balance of instruments in our Youth Ensembles, and indeed in our orchestras of the future is therefore in jeopardy.

Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service had a number of instruments available not being used, many of them in need of repair, therefore, with the support of our repair technicians, Alison Cooper (woodwind) and Andy Beswick (brass) we have managed now to increase the number of players.

First came the bassoons, and with the help of a promotional video on our website, made with the support of Laurence Perkins, a professional recital bassoonist, we now have almost 50 bassoons being learned, taught by Rebecca Wong and Ceri Beaumont. (Read more in an article from the Music Teacher magazine page 1, page 2 & page 3). This work has now expanded out to the following instruments: Oboe, Trombone and French Horn. Plans to start double bass are also in progress.

We would be delighted to help your child take up one of the following Endangered Species Instruments.

Our main goals are that your child enjoys learning to play their instrument and continues to make good progress. We would expect them to join one of our ensembles, alongside their normal lesson when they have reached a suitable standard. This will continue to develop their ensemble skills and support the sustainability of these instruments and for the future of our orchestras.

Our ensembles run on:

Saturday mornings at Little Hill Primary School, Launceston Rd, Wigston LE18 2GZ and Wigston College, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire. LE18 2DS

Tuesday after school at The Hinckley Academy & John Cleveland 6th Form College, Butt Ln, Hinckley LE10 1LE

Thursday after school at The Charnwood Area Music Centre at The Cedars Academy, Stonehill Avenue, Birstall LE4 4JG.

To see a short video about our Ensembles, please click here.

For more information about our ensembles, please click here.

We will provide :

1st term FREE tuition and FREE instrument Hire

2nd term FREE Instrument Hire, small charge of £25 per term for the tuition and the opportunity to join one of our performance ensembles with FREE membership for the duration of the scheme.

3rd term FREE Instrument Hire, small charge of £25 per term for the tuition and the opportunity to join one of our performance ensembles with FREE membership for the duration of the scheme and there after access to the Endangered Species discount should they wish to continue playing in one of our ensembles.

Please click on a Heading below to find out more about the initiative and the instruments involved!

How the Endangered Species Initiative programme works!

Phase 1 (10 Week FREE trial and 1st term)

  • 10 week taster session on your instrument for FREE
  • Tuition free
  • Instrument free to loan

Phase 2 (10 weeks free trial finished going into 2nd term)

Phase 3 (Going into 3rd term – Completion of first year tuition)


The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble.

Instrument family: Woodwind instrument
Place of origin: Western Europe
Invented: Early 1800s
Related instrument: Oboe, Contrabassoon, Dulcian, Tenoroon
Other names: basson; fagott; fagotto
Developed: Early 18th century

Have a listen to the bassoon on youtube!

About the Bassoon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnGRSZm6n54

Flight of the Bumble Bee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZXippwOh8Q

Bohemian Rhapsody https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSxBnN1KJ-A

Pokemon go! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chdLpAPpiXc


Oboes are a family of double reed woodwind instruments. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. Oboes are usually made of wood, but there are also oboes made of synthetic materials.

Instrument family: Woodwind instrument, Wind instrument, Double reed
Place of origin: Western Europe
Invented: Mid 1700s
Related instrument: Cor anglais, Oboe d'amore, Bass oboe, MORE
Developed: Mid 17th century from the shawm
Classifications: Wind instrument, Woodwind instrument, Double reed

Have a listen to the oboe on youtube!

Kate Perry Roar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWviFsPnGI8

Despacito cover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEUEWdp7CDg

Super Mario Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ljxEX8hr9s


The Trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player's vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate.

Instrument family: Brass instrument, Wind instrument, Aerophone
Place of origin: Western Europe
Invented: Between 1500s - 1800s
Related instrument: Trumpet, Tuba, Euphonium, Sackbut, Buccin, Bass trumpet, Cimbasso

Have a listen to the Trombone on youtube!

Happy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxODzxY6AvI
Thriller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=limvzc1_oHo
All of Me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYV-JxDfdYM

French Horn

The French Horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B♭ is the horn most often used by players in professional orchestras and bands.

Instrument family: Brass instrument, Wind instrument, Aerophone
Place of origin: Europe
Related instrument: Baritone Horn, Mellophone, Tenor Horn, Saxhorn, Natural Horn, Post Horn, Wagner Tuba, Vienna Horn
Other names: Horn; de: Horn, Waldhorn, Ventilhorn; es: trompa or corno; fr: cor (d'harmonie); it: corno

Have a listen to the French Horn on youtube!

Star Wars Theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLDZrtwyY_Y&index=1&list=RDDLDZrtwyY_Y
Disney Medley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BK-akcT0mQ&index=9&list=RDDLDZrtwyY_Y
Uptown funk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEJ6NeEeaqg&list=RDDLDZrtwyY_Y&index=8

Double Bass

The double bass, or simply the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra.

Instrument family: String instrument, Bowed string instrument, Violin family, Pizzicato
Place of origin: Western Europe
Invented: 1500s-1900s
Related instrument: Cello, Bass guitar, Viola, Acoustic bass guitar, Electric upright bass, Viol, Bazantar, Diyingehu
Developed: 15th–19th century
Hornbostel–Sachs classification: 321.322-71; (Composite chordophone sounded by a bow)

Have a listen to the double bass on youtube:

Pirates Of The Caribbean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zook_bGHT3E
Flight of the Bumble Bee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLvC1046t7w
Its All About That Bass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyTTX6Wlf1Y

If you are interested in learning more about this scheme or would like your child to become involved, please complete the fields below and we will contact you shortly. By completing this form and clicking submit you confirm that you have read and understood our Fair Processing Notice (see link above) and that you give consent for us to use your personal data for the sole purpose of registering your interest in this initiative.

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Endangered Species Instruments Initiative - Expression of Interest

From time to time we take photographs or video/DVD recordings for publicity or archive purposes which may be published or used as display and publicity material on the Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub website, The Leicester-Shire Music and Cultural Trust website and / or brochures, leaflets and displays, newspaper/magazine articles, and in recordings of public performances. Please let us know above if you do / do not give consent for this.

Please tick to confirm that you have read and understood our Fair Processing Notice (above)