A member of Radiohead has endorsed a charity-funded Lambeth children’s recorder group after seeing a video of their performance of ‘No Surprises’.
SWeet! Recorder Consort CIC was founded by recorder teacher Netty Rhodes in 2013 to teach the recorder to children from diverse backgrounds.
They aim to provide musical training for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who would otherwise be unable to access high-quality teaching.
SWeet! Recorder Consort’s rendition of hit Radiohead song ‘No Surprises’ caught the eye of Radiohead bassist, Colin Greenwood, who tweeted his support and said “the recorder was the magical gateway for my brother (Johnny Greenwood, guitarist) into music.”
Netty Rhodes, 48, said: “When you look at all the benefits that children are getting from having professional instrumental training, the very children who you would most want to be able to access that are also the ones who just can’t afford it.
“Every child who wishes to should be allowed to train professionally, and that should be government-funded.”
Musician and music technician, Robin Bigwood, edited the performance using Adobe Premiere Pro after Rhodes sent him clips of the children playing their separate parts.
He said: “They were absolutely brilliant.
“For children at that stage of the game, they’re still very much learning their instruments, to be able to do that was really something and so it reflects really well on them, but also on the consort itself and Netty for organising.”
Rhodes reported that she was stunned and grateful for Greenwood’s public endorsement of their performance.
Her two daughters, aged 9 and 13, also feature in the video.
Bigwood, whose wife is a recorder player, added: “I love Radiohead, and that was quite interesting and exciting for me, on a personal level. But more than anything, it’s just the fact that he acknowledged all the amazingly hard work that the kids have done, and also said very nice things about the recorder in general.”
The name ‘SWeet! Recorder’ is a nod to Streatham Wells primary school and the Italian name for the recorder, Flauto dolce, which means sweet flute.
The recorder consort, although embedded in Streatham Wells primary school, is open to anyone aged 8-18 in school in Lambeth who wants to learn how to play the recorder and achieve grade qualifications.
Recorders are some of the earliest woodwind instruments in history, dating back to 14th century Europe.
King Henry VIII loved the airy sound of the recorder, amassing a collection of 76 in his lifetime.
For SWeet!’s next project, Rhodes plans to teach the children how to compose and perform their own music in the future, with Bigwood saying he will be available to help them.
You can donate to SWeet! here.
Featured picture credit: Taylored Photography