Violinist seeks £15k for mobile music school for disadvantaged youngsters

Petru Cotarcea. Picture: Petru Cotarcea

Petru Cotarcea. Picture: Petru Cotarcea - Credit: Petru Cotarcea

A violinist hopes to raise £15,000 to transform an old double-decker bus into a mobile music school.

Music tutor Petru Cotarcea, 22, wants to take the workshop on wheels on a tour of the most deprived areas of London, giving a music education to kids from Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets who have never picked up an instrument.

He’s launched an online fundraising campaign to buy a second-hand bus and kit it out with keyboards, brass and strings.

“After extensive government cuts, learning to play music is slowly becoming a luxury for many children and parents in the UK,” states the campaign webpage.

“We are looking to change this.”

Born in Bucharest, Romania, but now living in Prusom Street, Wapping, Petru first picked up the violin at age five, attending the private Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester nine years later.

His prowess with notes and melodies earned him a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, from which he graduated last summer.

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He said he fell in love with songs and symphonies instantly, a joy he hopes to spread with others.

“As part of my studies — and trying to survive — I’ve been teaching for many years now,” he added, an experience that has shown him swathes of the capital “lacking entirely” in access to the arts.

Many parents, he went on, approached him eagerly but could not meet the costs, as so missed out on the “universal language” helping children develop and bridge differences.

Now he’s given himself a month to raise the funds: £7,000 for purchasing a second-hand bus, £3,000 for refurbishing it, £3,000 for instruments and the remainder for running costs.

This, he hopes, will allow him to tour London, the Midlands and the north of England with cut-price classes and concerts starting in March.

Describing the importance of letting kids express themselves through music, he said: “[The bus is] a nice and fairly accessible way of doing so, especially in this age when they are trying to build walls and stuff like that.

“You can speak a language of understanding.”

You can donate to the project here.