08 Feb 2022


Full report available here: Connect: Resound Summary Report by NYMAZ - Issuu

Digital innovation can help overcome inequality in music education but requires investment, according to youth music charity NYMAZ.

In a report published today, the charity says that strategic funding and support for digital innovation is instrumental if the music education sector is to achieve a significant step-change in giving every child and young person the opportunity to make music.

The report summarises the achievements of Connect: Resound, a trailblazing online music education programme led by NYMAZ, together with UCanPlay, and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation Education and Learning Through the Arts: More and Better Fund, as well as Music for All.

The programme has supported Music Education Hubs across the UK so that they can provide online instrumental tuition to children and young people. It has also staged a diverse programme of livestreamed events, available at the click of a button from their classrooms. According to Sarah McWatt, NYMAZ’s director, the programme has exceeded all expectations in the eight years it has been operating:

“We have been able to reach more than 420,000 viewers across the UK through our livestreamed events and we’ve also delivered training to almost 8000 professionals in the sector. As you would expect, we saw huge demand during lockdown and the development of digital skills accelerated at an incredible pace,” she added.

Yet Connect: Resound – which has also been supported by Youth Music and Mayfield Valley Arts Trust - started life in 2014 as a pilot in North Yorkshire. Its aim was to level the playing field; to make sure that those living in rural isolation in North Yorkshire could undertake online musical instrument tuition and enjoy a wide range of diverse live music performances.

But it was soon realised that Connect: Resound had potential to achieve so much more:

“The latest phase of Connect: Resound has enabled us to go much further and to explore how online music education can benefit pupils with special educational needs, looked-after children and those – for whatever reason – are simply unable to access mainstream education,” said Sarah.

“We’ve proved that delivering music education opportunities online can be critical to removing barriers and supporting inclusive and diverse instrumental teaching and learning. Online needs to be part of a hybrid approach but the sector requires ongoing support to innovate. Of course, the overarching challenge is how best to address wider inequalities and societal digital poverty, especially in rural and displaced communities and with those who suffer economic hardship.”

NYMAZ will continue to champion and support digital innovation, building on the success of the last eight years, and is one of the founding partners of a new national alliance for Digital Innovation in Music Education. It is set to work alongside Music Mark, Music for Youth and Wiltshire Music Connect to raise awareness of how innovative digital technologies can benefit children and young people’s music education and learning.

For more details, see https://bit.ly/DIMEmusic

Tags | Advocacy | Campaigns | Digital | Press release | Rural isolation

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