Bristol Plays Music, the city’s award-winning music hub, has responded to the closure of schools and need for lockdown learning by creating a Virtual Academy, providing existing and new music students with individual music lessons.
The new Virtual Academy is an online music lesson programme, covering most instruments for children and young people currently learning at all levels, aged 7-18.
Bringing Bristol Plays Music tutors to homes via video calls, lessons will be 20 minutes long for primary aged children or 30 minutes long for secondary aged children, delivered individually online.
The move enables children already learning with a Bristol Plays Music tutor, either in school or at one of its music centres, to be paired with their regular tutor and continue their education from home, as well as inviting new pupils to start learning in lockdown.
Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, which also runs Colston Hall, and they have also announced that children of key workers or those financially impacted by the virus outbreak will be able to apply for free bursary places.
Phil Castang, Director of Creative Learning and Engagement at Bristol Music Trust explains:
“Our purpose is to support young people’s music education and discover the joy of music. That remains true even in these trying circumstances. We know that music is a vital part of a rounded education and also an important means of self-expression, so the Virtual Academy is a place for young people to continue with that experience and learning. “We were also keen to make that opportunity available at no cost to key workers and those financially impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak and will be subsidising those lessons as far as we can.”
Tuition is available in blocks of 10 lessons, starting at £100. If a child has already received funding from the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) and their school has agreed, this can be used for music tuition. Children of Key Workers, children in care and families financially impacted by COVID-19 may also be eligible for fully subsidised online music lessons via bursary places subject to funding.