Happy birthday to Dereham music academy

A music academy in Dereham has celebrated 10 years of developing students' musicality by announcing its relaunch and that it is adding new strings to its bow.

JDT Music Academy was originally set up by Janel Spalding in 1991 as Janel's Drum Tuition but became JDT Music in 2001 to offer a wider range of musical tuition. Since then, Janel and her team of tutors have passed on a love of music to more than 500 students in guitar, bass, vocals, piano and keyboard, as well as continuing with the drum tuition.

Together they have broken three world records and seen students go on to study music in higher education. They teach too in three nurseries and eight primary and secondary schools across the county, provide music therapy sessions for Oak Farm Clinic, Sense and Autism Anglia and have become a registered Arts Award Centre.

At an event on Saturday, Janel announced that the studio was being relaunched as an academy, as a collaboration with DJ Lee Rudd. He has been running Rapture dance music events for nearly three years and will now be looking to train a new generation of DJs with his Rapture DJ Academy.

Lee said: 'I wanted to get involved with the future of dance music in East Anglia, so we intend to involve the local schools and charities where we can, as well as all the budding DJs from 14-15 years upwards and introduce them to the DJ world and dance music scene.

'The DJ Academy will also work alongside the Rapture events, so, when students reach the end of their tuition, they will have the opportunity to take part and play at a fully-organised Rapture event, where we have had international, world-famous DJs playing on a regular basis.' The DJ tuition will be held at JDT's studios on Rash's Green Industrial Estate.

About 200 people attended the event on Saturday in fancy dress based on the theme of favourite musicians. Past and present musicians provided live music, including Hollie Watts, who took her vocal grades at JDT and is studying now at the Academy of Contemporary Music, at Guildford, and Connor Miller, who is about to start studying music at City College Norwich, as well as performances from staff from the studio. Connor was also presented with the outstanding achievement award for his commitment to his music; another 23 students received special awards.

Most Read

Hingham Hog Roast was thanked for the food and Aletia Parker for the birthday cake. Special thanks were also given to Izzy and Harry Howe for their help over the years, and they were presented with a voucher for afternoon tea at The Ritz.

JDT, supported by Dereham Round Table and Dereham Lions as well as being funded for projects by Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council, has various major activities ahead. Next Easter, a group of 10 students will head to New York to perform in a number of venues with a mixture of original material and remakes of some well-known tunes. The Friends of JDT Music Academy have also put together a fund-raising group for the trip, as well as offering funding to assist young people to have music lessons.

The academy has received funding for up to 80 young people to participate in working towards bronze and silver Arts Awards with Janel over the next two years.

There are still places for this year's Chill-out Weeks for children aged from four to 12 (August 1-5 and 22-26). Rapture DJ Academy will be holding two DJ workshops within Chill-out Days on Wednesday, August 3 and Wednesday, August 24. More information from JDT on 01362 694817 or visit www.jdtmusic.co.uk