Discover the impact of working with Artsmark Partners…

The Artsmark Partnership Programme connects educational settings with cultural organisations on your doorstep. They currently have over 1000 Artsmark Partners in every corner of England to help support delivery of excellent arts and cultural education.

As one of the Artsmark Partners our Head of Service, Tim Rogers, discusses, in a second of two blogs series, how Artsmark Partners can support schools with their music education and how Lancashire Music Service has adapted their music offer during Covid-19.

Lancashire Music Education Hub (LMEH) is one of the 123 Music Hubs that were set up in 2013 to support young people, schools and teachers to access high quality music provision. All Hubs have a Lead Partner and in Lancashire, this is Lancashire Music Service, which is part of Lancashire County Council’s Services. Music Hubs work with a wide range of organisations and partners to provide musical activities and deliver core and extension roles, providing opportunities for pupils to access whole class ensemble tuition (WCET), take part in ensembles from samba bands to symphony orchestras and beat boxing to brass bands. They also organise large-scale “wow” events and continuing professional development opportunities for teachers and schools. Hubs are provided with funding from the Department for Education and are monitored by Arts Council England. In essence, Hubs provide a one stop musical wrap around service for schools and young people across the country. In Lancashire, we support just over 600 educational settings and last year provided over 25,000 young people with weekly lessons and music activities.

How we’ve adapted our approach during Covid-19

During the Covid -19 pandemic we reacted quickly to the emerging situation and were very fortunate to have a well-established award-winning digital partner, Charanga, who provide online resources for schools and pupils. Since March, 57,000 young people across Lancashire accessed Yumu, the Charanga digital platform, which enables teachers to upload lessons and resources for pupils to work on at home.

Our team of music consultants quality assured online resources and signposted schools and pupils to local, regional and national events through our weekly digital newsletters enabling them to access high quality educational resources at the click of a mouse. We also increased our communication channels and established a Lancashire Music Service YouTube channel where teachers uploaded lessons and “how to” guides. This provided a great platform to celebrate performances by our Hub Ensembles too, and you can see and hear our lockdown concert here (please subscribe and like!)

We took the time to develop our online lessons for pupils and commissioned to provide a safe, secure and high quality platform for lessons. Online lessons were a huge learning curve for teachers and pupils, but feedback from teachers, parents and pupils was overwhelmingly positive and now 13% of our tuition is continuing online. Our consultants contacted all schools and offered support to develop their School Music Education Plans (SMEP), giving many teachers the opportunity to discuss their individual challenges.

Hubs have a strategic overview of an area, and one of the best things they are able to provide is networking opportunities for colleagues across secondary, primary and SEND schools. We provide a range of forum opportunities through Zoom and social networking channels such as Facebook, and this has been a great way for teachers to connect and share ideas and often provided an invaluable contact point for any ‘isolated’ teachers.

Why work with an Artsmark Partner

“Working with Lancashire Music Service has allowed our children to access specialised music teaching for a variety of instruments (woodwind / brass / guitar / strings and percussion) and to develop their creativity and musical skills. It complements the work we do with the wider music curriculum in school – allowing children to use skills learned with the LMS teachers to be used within class lessons and to support the work of our choir and band. It has also allowed us to access big musical events which the children love!”

Paul Bowden, Headteacher, Slyne-with-Hest St Luke’s Church of England Primary School

As you can see, working with a local Music Hub can really help support schools in so many ways, including their Artsmark journey at every level. From providing progressive opportunities for pupils and access to large-scale events to specialist consultants, teacher CPD and networking opportunities, where schools can share outstanding practice across a wider platform.  So, whatever your musical needs or starting point, just get in touch with your local Music Hub who will be happy to support you, especially in these challenging times when we could all do with a little bit of help. For more information, please visit our website.

Click HERE for the blog on the Artsmark Website