Up to 30 pupils a time in Year 4 at Westways Primary School in Crookes are learning to play the supersize instruments, each of which is larger than a cello.
Although the string instruments are only half-size, they still take up plenty of space in the school’s storerooms.
And at almost 1.7m in height and almost two stone in weight they are substantially more sizeable than the average eight or nine-year-old child!
So teaching the youngsters how to hold them upright is often lesson one for music tutor Jack Lowe.
“Most parents are put off the idea of double bass lessons simply due to the size of the instrument!” said Jack.
“But double bass is an excellent instrument to learn as it bridges the musical genres of orchestral, jazz, folk and popular music.”
The lessons are part of a trail-blazing trial scheme in partnership with the city’s school music provision service Sheffield Music Hub.
Each week, 30 half-size double basses are manhandled into the school hall and Y4 students receive a 45 minute lesson with Jack.
Once students have completed Year 4, they are then given the option to continue small group 30 minute ‘legacy sessions’ in Y5 at a subsidised rate, in order to continue their musical progression.
Really keen players are also invited to join the school orchestra.
“We’re now almost two years through the trial scheme, and a total of 110 students have had the opportunity to learn the double bass for at least one school term each,” said Jack.
“This year twelve Y5 students have chosen to carry on learning through the legacy scheme and we’re hoping to build on this number next academic year.
“I can’t thank teacher Fiona Bowen, and all the Westways school staff, enough for agreeing to store 30 double basses in their school!”