Mount Merrion Church in East Belfast is delighted to have received funding for their social arts initiative ‘Mount Merrion Music Academy’ from international businessman and entrepreneur Michael Watt.
The Music Academy is a not–for–profit project offering accessible, affordable, high–quality music tuition and education to the local community. The aim is that every individual would have the opportunity to learn an instrument and develop in creative and artistic ability, without financial, social or educational restrictions
As well as offering discounted and free music lessons, the project loans out musical instruments for free, hosts community recitals and performances and trains young people to teach and mentor others.
The Music Academy relies on outsourced funding from generous businesses, individuals and organisations.
Aaron Boyce, Music Academy Director (pictured with a pupil) said: “We’re so excited to begin this next step in our work among the local community and are incredibly grateful to Michael for choosing to partner with us. We’ve already been so blessed to see 40 pupils from the local area come through our doors weekly and develop as musicians, and we are beyond excited to see what happens in the coming months.”
Music Academy Pupil, Amy, said: “The Music Academy has benefitted me in so many ways– it has helped me grow in confidence within myself, and has helped me become more expressive and musically educated. This is an opportunity I may not have had, but thanks to the lessons being so affordable, I’ve been able to learn piano which has been one of my dreams for years. I love the Music Academy!”
Funder, Michael Watt
Originally from New Zealand, Michael is one of the pioneers of international rights to televised sporting events and the entertainment industry. He has dedicated much of his life to philanthropic endeavours around the globe and since the late 90s he has supported a wide range of charitable organisations and ventures across the Middle East, Africa, Central & South America, the Indian Sub– continent and Australasia. Trustee of Ronnie Scott’s Charitable Foundation and co–owner of the world–famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Michael Watt is also involved with a number of charitable organisations in the UK and is delighted to support Mount Merrion Music Academy. who provide music tuition for young people in Belfast.