Scheme to allow every child to play instrument

Could we see more local bands of the calibre of Purple Mafia after the Arts Council's cash injection? (1202231AM)
Could we see more local bands of the calibre of Purple Mafia after the Arts Council's cash injection? (1202231AM)

Children in North Yorkshire could have exciting opportunities to develop their musical talents, thanks to a £1.7m grant from the Arts Council.

The three-year funding boost has been given to the county council so it can create a “music education hub”.

A spokesman for the council said this would help to “reinvigorate music education across the county both in and out of school”.

Arts Council England, which now gives out funding on behalf of the Department of Education, is investing more than £171m between August 2012 and March 2015 in a network of music education hubs across England.

The council spokesman added: “Budgets remain tight and the challenges considerable, but the hubs, which will involve a range of partners, are intended to deliver greater focus, better value and greater accountability.”

The aim is to ensure that every child aged between five and 18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, as well as perform in an ensemble or choir and “take their talent further”.

In North Yorkshire the work over the next three years will be focused in four areas:

l The Wider Opportunities scheme, providing free class instrumental tuition and the provision of musical instruments to schools.

l One-to-one or small group tuition for those who want to develop their playing further.

l A wide range of ensembles outside school, including for early years, either in one of the six county music centres, or in after-school ‘academies’ with smaller ensembles for gifted and talented pupils.

l Singing – develop singing in primary schools so that it becomes a regular part of everyday school life.

County Coun Arthur Barker, the executive member for schools, said: “Music-making should be open to every child as a life-enriching activity. We are delighted that this funding will enable us to build on the excellent music provision that children in North Yorkshire have long become accustomed to.”