School children and young people across Brighton & Hove and East Sussex are being offered online lessons during the Covid-19 lockdown to help them keep making music.
The education music service run by Brighton & Hove Music & Arts (BHMA) and East Sussex Music (ESM) normally teaches over 5,000 pupils each week with instrumental and vocal lessons in schools. Physical lessons had to be cancelled when schools closed in March and social distancing measures were implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Virtual tutorials have now been set up for children to join live classes online. Over 2,000 children have signed up to take part in lessons with professional music teachers beginning from the summer term.
Peter Chivers, Head of Brighton & Hove Music & Arts said:
“Despite not being able to physically teach pupils, we want to continue to support young musicians with practising their skills while they are in isolation with their families at home. Playing music has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health and now more than ever, children and young people are going to need extra help and encouragement to stay motivated. By providing an online music service we also hope parents and carers can have some respite from the everyday stress of family life during lockdown.”
The music service is encouraging more parents to register so teachers can resume tuition to full capacity and encourage young people to keep making music. Pupils who haven’t previously taken part in school lessons can still participate in singing tuition or play an instrument available to them at home including wind, string, keyboards and percussion.
Lessons will commence online for 10 weeks from the school summer term and are suitable for ages 8 to 18. Previous musical experience isn’t necessary. Subsidised fees and bursaries are available for families on low income.
Helen Erikson, parent of music student Ilyanna said:
“We’re really glad we signed up for the online lessons. It was very easy to set up, even for the non-techy. It was great for our daughter to get that feedback again and the motivation to keep her skills up.”
Student Ilyanna added:
“I really enjoyed my online lesson. It was great to have face-to-face contact with my teacher again. I felt really supported in my playing and how to improve just like the lessons I am used to. The technology worked really well and I’m looking forward to my next lesson!”
Musician and Founder of Knight Classical, Alexandra Knight commented:
“Whether we play the piano or sing in the shower, music has the power to nourish our souls quite unlike anything else. In this time of global crisis, it therefore remains as constant and as vital a support as ever. As an alumna of BHMA, I was delighted to learn of this inspirational online teaching initiative and fully applaud all those who partake in it!”