A new approach to music education has launched in five rural areas of England. Connect: Resound will see music education hubs created in Cornwall, Cumbria, Durham & Darlington, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. These hubs will offer training and resources to music teachers in the respective areas.
Funded by Arts Council England and J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Connect: Resound was trialled successfully earlier this year in North Yorkshire. By offering online lessons the hubs allow teachers and pupils to overcome the obstacles of transport times and costs that prevent many in rural areas from receiving music tuition.
‘The importance of music: a national plan for music education states that all children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument – we are striving to make this a reality,’ said Heidi Johnson, director of project coordinator NYMAZ. ‘The funding from Arts Council England and J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust will enable the music education hubs to embed high-quality online learning methods into their business plans.’
The North Yorkshire pilot proved successful, with over 70 per cent of students saying they enjoyed the lessons ‘very much,’ while almost 75 per cent said they wished to continue learning their instrument this way. Four out of five of the students in the trial had no other access to instrument lessons near their homes, illustrating the need for rural hubs.
Researchers from University of Hull conducted the study, which also found that the online lessons were just as effective as regular lessons. The project is supported by technology developed by Ucan Play.