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PHOTOS: Ed Sheeran Makes Surprise Visit To Brighton School

Photos: Chloe Hashemi

Popstar Ed Sheeran surprised pupils at Fairlight Primary School in Brighton last Friday (May 10) with an impromptu visit to see a music education project in action.

The trip was organised by music charity Create Music, which provides inclusive music education and performance opportunities for children, young people and adults across Brighton & Hove and the surrounding areas. 

During the visit Sheeran sat in on some music lessons, took part in Q&A sessions, and also performed a short set for the pupils and their teachers, including his hits Shape of You, Perfect and Bad Habits.

Before he left, he donated a set of guitars to the school and Create Music, which will be used to 'support other young people on their musical journey'.

Create Music is part of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and is the Hub Lead Organisation (HLO) for the Music Hub in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.

They currently teach over 6500 children and young people each week in individual and small group lessons, delivered in local schools and dedicated Music Centres. It works closely with the team at Fairlight Primary School to promote access to instrumental learning - from drums to ukeleles - and this has resulted in a sharp uptake in the number of learners in recent years.

Since February 2021, the charity has seen an increase of almost 400% in the number of children accessing music lessons at the school.

Create Music currently offers music activities, support and training to every school and college in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, with 90% of schools currently engaging in programmes.  

Peter Chivers, Director of Create Music, said:  

“It was just brilliant to have Ed Sheeran visit the Create Music project at Fairlight School and see first-hand how music education is supporting the development of children and young people in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. Ed shares our belief that lives can be transformed by the power of music and we are so grateful for his support and for the generous donation of instruments to help other budding musicians on their way.” 

Damien Jordan, Headteacher, Fairlight Primary School said:

“Ed Sheeran coming to Fairlight Primary School isn't an everyday thing, despite me claiming he was one of my celebrity mates! He was amazing with everyone he met - interested in them, chatting to them and he was very humble. He took time to listen to the children and encourage them. He told us how he struggled at school but how music helped him and encouraged him and how he now wanted to do the same.

"At Fairlight we have 60 children who do individual music instrument tuition every week with Create Music, as well as wider music lessons. During Ed’s visit the children taught him how to play We Will Rock You on a glockenspiel, which he loved! 

"The children left school telling their parents all about it and no one believed them. But it was 100% true - you had to be there to believe it.”

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