During the Covid-19 pandemic, Anita Holford, co-editor of Music Education Works, spoke to seven music education and community music professionals about how they’re continuing to provide support and music services to young people during lockdown:
Ben O’Sullivan, of The Music Works, a Gloucestershire-based community music charity, about how the team planned its response; what its services and support look like now – including online music mentoring, a group for learning disabled DJs, songwriting, a special schools concert, and iPad tuition resources.
Helen Murray, of Nottingham Music Hub, about how the team are continuing to provide lessons for primary schools who would have had whole class instrumental teaching; the challenges for inclusion in WCET on and offline and how they’re addressing them; and continuing Saturday morning youth orchestra sessions.
Neil Phillips, of Awards for Young Musicians, about the challenges for inclusion in taking music activities online; working with hubs to support individual musical interests and preferences; thinking differently about learning goals and the pupil/teacher relationship – and how this has been affected by the pandemic.
Emma Coulthard, of Cardiff County and the Vale of Glamorgan Music Service, about how the service has benefited from being part of a Council; parents’ response to a new model and cost for music lessons; the challenges for inclusion; and thinking beyond goals, grades and concerts.
Steph Dickinson, of Pie Factory Music, an East-Kent creative youth charity, about how they’ve continued ‘band’ sessions online using Zoom and Charanga VIP Studio; the importance of daily Instagram challenges; and the increase in need for pastoral care and signposting to other services and support, in the absence of school.
Stuart Birnie, of Services For Education Music Service Birmingham about the three-phase plan the team put into place; how the pandemic has changed parents’ perception of the music service and communication with them; and involving local radio to reach young people with limited digital access.
Sally Cathcart, of The Curious Piano Teachers about setting up a regular support call for members, and providing training so that they could take deliver online; the importance of feedback, over advice; pupils leading their learning; and working online with pupils with special educational needs.