NEWS: No Barriers Music Hub | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The last twelve months should have been a typically busy time for music educators, with a massive range of events and musical activities taking place for young musicians in the region. North Tyneside music education hub are one of many groups in the North East who have been forced into adapting to their new situations, and this month they kick off an admirable programme of music making sessions which will offer valuable advice and practical skills to young people in the area.

Music hubs have made the kind of progress that we couldn’t even have imagined a year ago.” says North Tyneside Music Hub’s Jenny Williams. “And it’s not an exaggeration to say that we are starting to find silver linings everywhere. From finding new and creative ways to develop youth voice, to a massively improved digital offer, everything we have had to embrace in the last year has the potential to change the way we work in the future, and for the better. And it’s not just in the world of music education. The way in which everyone in the arts sector has stepped up to keep opportunities going for young people has been quite simply stunning.”

And thanks to continued funding from Arts Council England and Youth Music, music education hubs have been able to introduce and develop new activities too. “North Tyneside’s Youth Music funded project, Standing Upright, works with a core group of young people to develop musical skills, build confidence and find their own unique identity through music. Open to all, the group meets weekly (currently online) and engages with a wide range of industry specialists and partners, including Skimstone Arts.”

Their next online event is the No Barriers creative workshop week in February half term (15th–19th February). “Designed in part by the young people on the project, each day will have a different focus, from well-being for young musicians, to music technology and song-writing skills, to talks and workshops with a range of industry specialists. And any young person (aged 12-24) from the local area with an interest in music or the creative arts is welcome to attend.”

Jenny is optimistic about the future of music provision in the area, and confident that budding musicians will have the tools and resources to learn their craft. “While much might seem dark in the music world right now, the next generation is still out there. Music education hubs, alongside many other organisations and specialists, are working harder than ever to make sure that the voices of young musicians continue to be heard and their talents nurtured. And if the experience of a global pandemic has taught us only one thing, it is that there are a multitude of ways, some yet undiscovered, to provide young people with musical opportunities that meet them where they really are.”

For further information about the Standing Upright No Barriers Creative Workshops Week (February 15th-19th), please email standing.upright@ntlp.org.uk. And to find out more about other activities and opportunities for young musicians via your local music hub, email ntmeh.music@ntlp.org.uk

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