practice makes perfect as some of the young musicians proved as they entertained a packed audience at Loreto Preparatory School with their special Musical Christmas Concert in aid of the Starlight charity.

From just six years-old tiny tot instrumentalists are encouraged to join any number of special ensembles including a recorder group, flute group, string group, percussion group and their full orchestra with each ensemble practising at least once a week, and girls playing on their own from anything from five minutes to over an hour most days.

Loreto Preparatory School's head of music, Jane Stiles, said: “My advice to parents is to start them on an instrument as early as possible and get them to practise when you can, if only for five minutes.

"Playing in an ensemble is fun and encourages both confidence and team work.”

The afternoon raised more than £200 for the charity which gives children with life limiting illnesses a holiday to put a smile on their faces.

Highlights included the recorder group playing Silent Night and 60 infants in the 'ducklings' choir singing Away in a Manger, which climaxed to rapturous applause.

Pictured are some of Loreto Prep's musical role models: On percussion Madeleine McCrink, on guitar Madison Grace and violinist Lydia Brooke.