News & Views
Boost to music opportunities for rural children
Date posted: 04 September 2017
Sound Sense member NYMAZ awarded funding from Paul Hamlyn Foundation to extend innovative online music education project, Connect: Resound
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NYMAZ today announces that it has been awarded £273,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Education and Learning Through the Arts Fund to extend its digital music education project, Connect: Resound, over the next four years.  The funding will enable a significant number of Music Education Hubs operating in rural areas to embed NYMAZ’S proven method of online learning into their programme of music tuition, thus providing many more children with access to high-quality online instrumental lessons and live broadcasts of professional performances.

Heidi Johnson, director of NYMAZ, comments: “Connect: Resound is addressing the fact that children in rural parts of England are simply not being offered the same music opportunities. It is an enormous step forward for NYMAZ to achieve the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and will make a huge difference to our work. It will enable us to continue to combat this inequality by reaching many more rural schools and by facilitating training, networking and practice sharing for music education professionals interested in remote music learning.

 We will also be exploring other areas where music provision is limited. These include online music lessons for children with special education needs and disabilities plus how to teach whole classes and multiple schools at once using online technology. We are delighted to continue our partnership with technical lead UCan Play, and look forward to exploring these new areas of focus with them, and with our Music Education Hub partners.”

Music Education Hubs wishing to take part in the next phase of Connect: Resound will be invited to make expressions of interest in October 2017. NYMAZ will be making an open call, with priority being given to those with the most significant challenges to reaching young people in their localities, particularly through rural isolation.

The Connect: Resound live broadcast programme will launch in early 2018, with an exciting programme of music performances, across a range of genres and developed specifically for school age children, broadcast live online direct to classrooms  and school halls. 

A range of resources and CPD opportunities for instrumental teachers and classroom teachers and staff with an interest in online music education will also be available throughout the project.

 Anyone wishing to receive e-mail notice of the open call, and/or updates on the live broadcasts and the CPD opportunities can sign up to join the free NYMAZ Remote Music Learning Network at www.nymaz.org.uk/for-professionals/remote

About Connect: Resound

Connect: Resound (www.nymaz.org.uk/connectresound) promotes the way digital technologies can be used to create more music education and enrichment opportunities for children living in rurally isolated areas, where transport costs and times challenge traditional methods of provision.

 The project is led by youth music development charity, NYMAZ (www.nymaz.org.uk) and delivered in partnership with technical lead UCan Play (www.ucanplay.org.uk), Music Education Hubs, Music Organisations, orchestras and venues, as well as primary, secondary and special schools across England.

Connect: Resound was originally piloted in North Yorkshire in 2014/15 (funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts) and was then rolled out in 2015/16 to Cornwall, Cumbria, Durham and Darlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, with support from Arts Council England and J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust.  Research undertaken by project partners The University of Hull during the pilot and rollout phases demonstrated that online technologies could help Music Education Hubs to overcome the high transport costs and logistical challenges of reaching children in isolated areas.

Connect: Resound has also established a UK-wide network of practitioners and organisations working in the field of remote music learning, to share practice and offer Continuing Professional Development events. To find our more see: http://www.nymaz.org.uk/for-professionals/remote

Schools and Music Education Hubs interested in offering online instrumental tuition are invited to visit www.nymaz.org.uk/connectresound/download-resources to access the full research report as well as guidance on preparing for and implementing remote lessons.