Thank you for all your support during 2021. Despite the restrictions of the pandemic there is much to celebrate about what was achieved during the year.
We started the year in lockdown with our tuition being delivered online. As schools re-opened our tuition has gradually built back up to the point where we have recruited additional teachers to fill demand.
Kent Music Summer School took place in July and August against the odds. We started taking bookings in May, several months later than usual, and by the time KMSS started we had taken more bookings than in 2019. It was great to see young people playing in ensembles again after so long.
Our music centres and music labs have been gradually re-opening since September providing opportunities for children & young people to have instrumental & vocal lessons, singing in choirs and play in groups and ensembles. The centres and labs were closed for so long and it is going to take a while to fully re-build, but we are well on the way!
Our professional development courses have mostly taken place online, though some have been delivered face-to-face this year. We have also continued to run network meetings for classroom teachers across the county. This has been a lifeline for teachers, giving them a chance to get together to learn and to share their knowledge and expertise.
Our inclusion work has continued throughout this year including our Open Orchestras project which has been taking place in Meadowfields School and which we hope to roll out to more SEND schools in 2022.
As we head into Christmas our county ensembles will be in full swing with courses and concerts by Kent Youth Wind Orchestra, Kent Youth Choir and Kent County Youth Orchestra. Whilst audiences will be limited to family members these will be the first concerts in front of a live audience for two years and something to celebrate during the festive season.
The team at Kent Music have been fantastic during this difficult period and it is thanks to them that children & young people in Kent have continued to receive a music education. I am delighted that our response to Covid-19 was recognised this year with a highly commended award at this years Kent Enterprise in Business Awards.