Children in rural parts of England ‘not being offered the same music opportunities’

Remote music learning network NYMAZ has highlighted the lack of music opportunities for children living in rural areas of England.

NYMAZ has developed a project called Connect: Resound which tests how digital technologies can be used to deliver music education and enrichment activities to children living in rurally isolated areas.

Following a successful pilot project in North Yorkshire, Connect: Resound has expanded to work with music organisations across the country to deliver and further develop this unique approach to online music education, including North Yorkshire, Durham and Darlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cornwall Music Education Hubs.

The innovative project has now received funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

NYMAZ has been awarded £273,000 from the foundation and the Learning Through the Arts Fund to extend the project over the next four years, reports Music Mark.

The funding will enable a significant number of Music Education Hubs operating in rural areas to embed Connect: Resound into their music tuition programmes.

The result being that more children will have access to high-quality online instrumental lessons.

“Connect: Resound is addressing the fact that children in rural parts of England are simply not being offered the same music opportunities,” said Heidi Johnson, director of NYMAZ.

“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 can find out more at


by Laura Barnes, Musical Instrument Professional Magazine (MIPRO)

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