Published in January 2015, the report included a series of pledges from NYMAZ in response to identified Calls to Action. Below, we revisit these calls and pledges to see what’s been achieved and what’s still to be done. We’d welcome responses and pledges from individuals and organisations seeking to improve music provision in rural areas – let us know your pledge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL TO ACTION 1
We call upon Arts Council England and youth music organisations to value and support the role of non-formal, inclusive music provision as part of a rounded music education in rural areas.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will continue to advocate for and develop non-formal music provision in North Yorkshire within the context of the North Yorkshire Music Hub.
Where we are now: In 2015-16 NYMAZ led on writing and delivering an Inclusion Strategy for the North Yorkshire Music Hub. We continue to advocate for the value of non-formal music provision within Music Hubs where delivery continues to focus on school-based provision.
CALL TO ACTION 2
We call upon youth music organisations and Music Education Hubs to invest in workforce development in rural areas and make young people aware of employment opportunities within the creative industries.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will invest in appropriate and relevant professional development opportunities for both experienced and emerging music leaders working in North Yorkshire, ranging from one to one advice to bespoke training workshops and peer mentoring opportunities. NYMAZ will endeavour to roll out the Creative Industries Unmasked: On Tour model to further North Yorkshire Districts to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the creative industries.
Where we are now: In 2015-16 NYMAZ offered 44 CPD opportunities and engaged 246 individuals working in music education in a wide range of CPD/training activities, from one to one career coaching to practice-sharing sessions, bespoke training workshops and themed conferences. Topics ranged from online instrumental teaching, improvisation, fundraising, early years music to singing and signing. The NYMAZ website is being developed to offer more advice to young people about employment opportunities within the creative industries.
CALL TO ACTION 3
We call upon youth music organisations and Music Education Hubs to test and invest in appropriate digital technology solutions.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will promote the use of digital technology solutions to deliver music activities by rolling out learning and business models starting with the Connect: Resound Digital R&D Fund for the Arts project, both within its own network of partners and across Music Education Hubs nationally.
Where we are now: NYMAZ and its partners identified a successful model for delivering online instrumental tuition in North Yorkshire through the Connect: Resound action research project supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. We are now working with four other Music Hubs working in rural areas (Cumbria, East Riding of Yorkshire, Durham/Darlington and Cornwall) to roll out this approach, funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.
CALL TO ACTION 4
We call upon more funders and stakeholders to take account of higher-than-average per unit costs for activities in rural areas, have the confidence to invest in less attractive elements like transport and offer multi-annual funding agreements.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will advocate for the benefits of supporting non-formal music provision in rural areas and highlight the challenges to delivery through the dissemination of Gone in the Air, its findings and Calls for Action to funders and stakeholders nationally.
Where we are now: NYMAZ has continued to disseminate the Gone in the Air findings by presenting at music sector events and through media coverage.
Evidence suggests that stakeholders are taking account of rural considerations in their funding policies, such as the government’s recent national funding formula announcement, which is likely to benefit schools in rural areas.
Arts Council England’s Rural evidence and data review (March 2015), emphasizes ACE’s commitment ‘to rural proof its funding and programmes’. The review highlighted ongoing funding inequalities between applicants from rural and urban areas, saying:
‘Historical legacies of arts and cultural funding being concentrated in major urban conurbations such as London also has an impact on the distribution of funding. Based on the small-area rural/urban classification, the proportion of Arts Council England investment in rural areas via its NPO portfolio, Grants for the Arts and Strategic touring funding ranges from 3% of funding (Strategic touring fund) to 11% of funding (Grants for the Arts).’
In the review ACE say they will explore further why NPO touring appears to be under-serving remote areas of North Yorkshire, and whether any action can and should be taken to remedy these trends, as well investigating why Grants for the Arts application success rates are lower among individuals and organisations based in rural areas.
CALL TO ACTION 5
We call upon all music leaders and youth music organisations working under the umbrella of Music Education Hubs in rural areas to take responsibility for signposting children, young people and parents/carers to quality musical progression opportunities.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will continue to offer an online signposting resource on behalf of the North Yorkshire Music Hub, www.nymaz.org.uk/discover, and will work with the Hub to promote increased signposting across formal and non-formal provision amongst all music leaders.
Where we are now: NYMAZ will launch its redeveloped online signposting resource in July 2016, offering children, young people, parent/carers and support workers access to information about music progression opportunities across North Yorkshire. NYMAZ has also promoted this resource within the North Yorkshire Music Hub.
CALL TO ACTION 6
We call upon youth music organisations to enhance and support parental engagement in activities and advocate about the benefits of participatory music for children and young people in rural areas to more parents and carers.
Our pledge: NYMAZ will work with its delivery partners to devise effective ways to engage and support parents and carers in project activity. NYMAZ will also further develop its online signposting resource to offer more information to parents and carers about how they can support their child/ren to progress musically.
Where we are now: In 2015/16 many of NYMAZ’s music projects engaged with participants’ parents/carers. Evaluation showed that many parents/carers living in rural areas place a high value on the importance of music making for their child/ren through participating in NYMAZ delivery partner’s activities. When Parent/carers were asked: ‘Has your opinion on the value of music-making changed?”, comments included:
“Yes, S is now looking at some sort of music-related career. Richard [Music Leader] is inspirational”
“Yes - become more keen to encourage children to try new music.”
NYMAZ will launch its redeveloped online signposting resource in July 2016, offering parent/carers and support workers access to information about how they can support their child/ren to progress musically.