Case Study: Connecting isolated young people with music opportunities

Connect: Resound is an action research project exploring how digital technologies can be used to deliver music education and enrichment activities to children living in rurally isolated areas.


Living in the countryside means that transport times and costs can often limit the musical opportunities open to children and young people. Connect: Resound set out to explore how digital technologies can be used in rurally isolated areas to provide instrumental tuition, access to live music performances and teacher training.


Connect: Resound responded directly to the recommendation made in Darren Henley's 2011 Review of Music Education ( ) that future research should '…examine how technology could enable better teaching of music (particularly in rural communities)’. 


Led by Music Education Charity NYMAZ, the project brings together music teachers, orchestras and music ensembles, and children and young people from schools in rural areas across England to transform access to music education, providing real time, online opportunities for one to one and  small group instrumental tuition, and for experiencing live music performances. 


The Connect: Resound approach was developed in partnership with music education technologists UCan Play, and with researchers from the University of Hull, together with Music Education Hubs and schools.  


The project connected instrumental teachers with pupils in rurally based schools, delivered real time lessons over the internet, using a multiple camera approach, professional microphones and an audio/video streaming device to ensure that the sound quality was as good as possible and that pupils and teachers could see each other well enough for the details of instrumental lessons - bow hold, position of instruments, music notation, embouchure and so on - to be seen.


We have also worked with music organisations, orchestras and ensembles to develop bespoke live music performances specifically for a school age, online audience, broadcasting live concerts from the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and many others, as well as behind the scenes programmes about the music industry hosted by rock and pop acts.  This programme enables schools who may have few opportunities to engage with live music to embed it within their programmes of work, with the live concerts supported by education resource packs and ideas for incorporating the live music experiences into all aspects of the school curriculum. 


The project was piloted in North Yorkshire, supported by the Digital R & D Fund for the Arts, and then rolled out to rural music hubs in Cornwall, Cumbria, Durham and Darlington, and the East Riding of Yorkshire thanks to support from Arts Council England, the John Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust and Music Education Hubs.  Rural music hubs across the country have since engaged with the project, will also provides consultancy and CPD for this wishing to incorporate online approaches to their music education offer. 


We would love to hear from other organisations working in similar areas of work.

More information:

Telephone: 01904 543382 


Why the contribution is important

NYMAZ commissioned research, published in its Gone in the Air project (2015), which shows the importance of informal music activities in terms of young people’s life chances. Living in the countryside means that transport times and costs can often limit the musical opportunities open to children and young people.

Instrumental teachers in rural areas spend a significant part of their working week travelling. Our research revealed an average of 476 hours is spent on the road per Hub per week. That’s 18,564 hours per year! By incorporating Connect: Resound’s tried and tested method of online instrumental tuition into their weekly schedule, teachers can spend less time travelling and more time teaching.

by NYMAZ1 on July 06, 2017 at 01:27PM

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