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Report champions out-of-school music

Report champions out-of-school music

Published at 8:34am 27th January 2015. (Updated at 5:02pm 27th January 2015)

Access to music outside school can help reduce isolation for young people living in rural areas, according to a new report.

It's also warning that the benefits of participatory music are still being undervalued.

North Yorkshire youth music development charity NYMAZ claims that making music can boost life chances by enhancing social and personal skills.

The 'Gone in the Air' report highlights the difficulties faced by organisations providing informal music activities outside of school in rural areas.

Heidi Johnson, Director of NYMAZ, said: "We share the same principal barrier: limited transport options which curtail young people's access to music opportunities, alongside the prohibitive travel costs for specialist music leaders going to these isolated areas.

"Gone in the Air is intended to offer robust guidance to funders and delivery organisations about how music projects in rural areas are supported and managed - after all, every child should have the right to take part in out-of-hours music and to reap the rewards it brings, no matter where they live.

"We are disappointed that there seems to be a stronger emphasis on Music Education Hubs focusing their work in backing music teaching in formal education settings.

"In rural areas, we can evidence the absolute importance of out-of-school, informal provision and call for it to be more highly valued and better supported."

Richard Ormrod leads a community jazz ensemble called RAMJam, for young people aged 9 to 19, which meets weekly at Settle's Victoria Hall.

He said: "Any kind of creative stuff that happens in school is fantastic, but I think children are always kind of aware that they're in school and they're doing school stuff.

"I wonder if maybe for things that happen outside school, especially if there's a bit more freedom for them to experiment and be creative, that they might get a chance to own it a bit more and take it a bit further."

The report calls on organisations to do more to engage parents in activities, to help point young people towards opportunities which do exist and explore new ways they can use new technologies.