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Posted on: 8 September, 2020

Arts education; now more important than ever

As students return after extended periods of disrupted schooling due to COVID-19, arts subjects such as music are at risk of being downgraded in importance in the curriculum. While it’s important that core subjects such as Maths and English are given they attention they deserve, giving young people the opportunity to engage with creative subjects such as music has the potential to help them cope with the challenges around returning to school at such an uncertain time. 

A young musician plays the violin
What are the benefits of learning music? 

Research has shown that engaging in creative activities such as making music can help young people to process difficult situations and have a range of therapeutic benefits – not least, fun!  

Learning music specifically, though, has a range of benefits for young people, including:

  • Improving concentration and memory
    Learning to play an instrument or sing demands attention and focus. Listening and learning from your tutors, remembering exercises and melodies, all improve the your ability to concentrate and memorise. Even better, you can see immediate results; as you get better and concenrating, so do your musical skills!
     
  • Helping maths skills
    Strange as it may seem, music and maths work in extremely similar ways! Even when learning something as simple as a rhythmmathematic principles like ratios, proportions and fractions are being learning instinctually. 
     
  • A confidence boost
    Learning to work with your chosen instrument or voice provides countless moments of personal gratification for learners. Whether learning your first scale or mastering a complex melody, these are feats mastered and to be proud of. This has so many benefits, including encouraging a self-motivational spirit as you challenge yourself to new heights.
     
  • Improving social skills
    Playing or singing together, whether it’s online or in-person, is all about teamwork. By regularly collaborating with others, working together to create music, you can leanr and improve collaboration, group dynamics and problem solving, and even become more empathetic. Not to mention, it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded new friends!
     
  • Creative expression – the joy of music!
    Music is a wonderful creative outlet, giving learners a means to express themselves and unleash creativity in a positive and practical way. Meanwhile, listening to new music of all kinds can provide inspiration and relaxation, opening doors to other times and places, new ways of expression and creativity.
     

All the above reasons, and so many more, are why at Kent Music we’re trying to make our online courses and classes accessible and engaging for as many young people as possible across Kent, to ensure that they can keep being creative this autumn. 

four young singers perform together
To make sure we keep offering the highest possible standard of music education, we’re returning for the autumn term with a brandnew Online Music Centre.  

While the Kent Music team is working hard to ensure that face-to-face lessons and groups can run as soon as possible, we couldn’t just stop teaching! Instead, we have developed a virtual way for students new and old to join in and play, sing and create together.  

Mirroring Kent Music’s established Music Centres which provide regular spaces around the county for musicians of all ages and levels of experience to learn music both in groups and individually, our Online Music Centre offers both a range of courses and high-quality instrumental and vocal tuition. 

Running until half term, the courses will include orchestral groups, instrument-specific ensembles, an online Music Lab, and a wide variety of favourites from our in-person music centres. 

Meanwhile, our online lessons are returning after a hugely successful summer term where our online teaching received 95% positive feedback. The lessons are open to existing and new students in the autumn term this year, and our talented teachers can provide tuition on a wide variety of instruments as well as vocal lessons.

 

 Online is for everyone! 

While learning online is certainly different to learning in-person, it certainly has its advantages! In some ways it is even more accessible for students, removing limitations of travel and having to carry instruments with you.  

Kent Music are also offering financial assistance in various forms to allow more people to access music education this autumn. Online ensembles have a reduced-cost membership fee compared to our in-person music centres, while Financial Assistance is available to cover the cost of music lessons and instrument hire.

 

 Parents, carers, and students were overwhelmingly positive about Kent Music’s online teaching offer in the summer term, saying:

“I’ve been really pleased with how the online lessons have panned out…I feel that [my child] has still been making good progress and that the lessons have been beneficial. Her teacher…has done an amazing job of adapting her teaching to manage the challenges of online delivery. Having weekly contact has helped my daughter stay focused and kept her motivated.” 

“Excellent teaching – my daughter is making wonderful progress” 

“I have made surprising progress during lockdown and having tuition online has definitely encouraged me to practice and carry on.  As I only started in January, if I hadn’t had lessons, I would have lost any learning that I had gained at the start and would have effectively had to start again. Thank you to [my teacher] for his enthusiasm and commitment in wanting his students to learn and progress and providing this opportunity.” 

“She’s enjoyed the online lessons and said it’s as effective as sitting next to her teacher in class.” 

“Just as good as an in-person lesson, sometimes better” 

We look forward to making music with you all this autumn!

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