More than a thousand North Yorkshire children sign up for online music classes during lockdown - watch them perform here

More than a thousand children in North Yorkshire are getting music lessons – even during lockdown – as the county’s music service has moved online.

By Sue Wilkinson
Monday, 11th May 2020, 4:04 pm

The service started running after the Easter holidays for all pupils and now has 1020 signed up for weekly classes.

As well as giving pupils vital access to music teachers at home, our service is supporting teachers and the children of key workers by running class singing and music lessons to those still in school.

The tutorials provide vital structure and routine for the children signed up, as well as helping them build a skill.

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The children got together on-line to sing We'll Meet Again

There is evidence to suggest learning to play an instrument and read music benefits children in other areas of school life while gaining confidence, communication skills and concentration.

North Yorkshire County Council’s head of music, Ian Bangay, said: “It’s vital that students during this time have some structure, normality and something to look forward to.

“It’s possible that this is the only contact some children are getting outside of their immediate family and it means they know there’s still a world outside of lockdown.

“There’s a lesson every week and the children know they can work towards it.

“Music is an incredibly important service to North Yorkshire County Council and using our teachers and the resources we have, we’ve adapted it to work for students across the county during lockdown.”

The music service has also made its own contribution to mark VE Day, getting children from across the country individually to sing the great World War Two anthem We’ll Meet Again and to pull it together into a virtual choir.

“We are also offering the service to council staff,” said Ian Bangay. “We thought there will be a lot of people out there in the same boat during lockdown – bored, or alone – and this could give them some focus and help them pick up instruments they haven’t played in years.”

Parents of students who want to sign up for lessons get in touch with the music service who book the student in for a slot and email over a link to join a video meeting.

The teacher can also email over music or backing tracks.

Feedback from parents includes how much children have enjoyed the sessions and how they’ve seen their children motivated to practice at home.