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Music Making Becomes Inclusive with Plastic Instruments

October 15th, 2017 | 1 min read

By Steven Greenall

Special Children Article: Music Making Becomes Inclusive with Plastic Instruments

Front cover of an SEN article about children in Anglesey.

When Gethin Thomas came across light and robust plastic instruments, he realised that at last he could give SEND pupils access to the delights of brass music.

Mr Thomas is head of music at Canolfan Addysg y Bont (CAYB), a special school in Anglesey, Wales. In his experience, music calms students down but can also excite them, helping them to feel emotion.

Having already started a successful samba band in the school, he decided
to create a brass band too. However, the obstacles were more daunting.

Brass instruments are large, heavy, expensive, and delicate, he had never played one himself and he knew that if a brass instrument is accidentally dropped, the damage can be irreparable. Nevertheless, he researched possibilities. ‘When I discovered the plastic pBone from Warwick Music Group (WMG),
I immediately decided to buy one,’ he recalls. ‘The kids just loved it.’

British-based WMG is a team of brass musicians. Their instruments are light, strong, and brightly coloured, making them appealing, cheaper, and easier to transport and play, especially for younger pupils and those with physical disabilities.

The original pBone is the world’s best-selling trombone. There are now two other instruments on offer: the pTrumpet and the new pBuzz – a light instrument designed for little hands, with a mouthpiece that makes the creation of brass sounds even easier.

For more information about how pupils in Anglesey were given opportunities to experience brass music with the accessible and adaptable pBone, read the article online [PDF].

Steven Greenall

Steven has over twenty years of experience working in the music industry. With degrees in Electrical Engineering and an MA in European Cultural Policy & Administration from the University of Warwick, where he now serves as a Course Tutor on their MA in Creative and Media Enterprises, Steven served as Executive Director of a non-profit international music association based in the United States from 2000 – 2007.

Steven is founder and CEO of Warwick Music Group now known as pBone Music, and started playing the trombone at the age of nine. Based in North Warwickshire, the company manufactures musical instruments that make the joy of music accessible. sustainable and fun including the world's first plastic trombone, pBone, which has sold over 250,000 units worldwide and won major international awards including the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019.

He was elected as a board director for the UK music industry trade body, the Music Industries Association, in 2019 becoming its chair in 2020, and is frequently interviewed or invited to present guest lectures on cultural entrepreneurship, music education, and the future of the music industry. At the request of the owner, Denis Wick, Steven joined the board of Denis Wick Products in 2021 subsequently being appointed their Chief Executive Officer in 2022, a role he performs alongside his role as CEO for pBone Music.

Steven lives in Warwickshire with his wife, Kate, their three young children, two ponies and a faithful labrador, and enjoys coaching his local youth rugby team.