During these challenging times, we have been working to consider how we can continue to support not only our school members, but also our community of music educators and freelance practitioners.
With schools now open and our colleagues navigating a very different educational landscape, we are committed to ensuring that music continues and that we continue to extend our support to the professionals that make the BCP Music Education Hub what it is.
Since the start of the pandemic, SoundStorm as lead partner of the Music Education Hub has wherever possible, responded in ways that has prioritised the support of our freelance community. What is however clear, is that tuition can still take place through online platforms and as a community of practice, we can respond and innovate and in doing so offer continued support to our schools and students.
The return to schools has been welcomed by many but is not without concern. As a Hub partner, you will have been issued with an Individual Risk Assessment that you must complete before accepting any placement from us this term. It is important to note that schools will also be undertaking their own assessments which will guide exactly what we can and cannot do. At this early stage in the academic year, many have already postponed any inputs until October half-term however some, are cautiously welcoming us back, albeit with caveats.
We are keen to enable our freelance community to confidently take their tuition online – many of you are already there. In addition, we are also looking at how Music Hub funding may, in the medium term, be diverted into developing a range of digital resources, live stream offers and a range of other remote inputs that can still support learning and the school music curriculum.
SoundStorm does not operate a peripatetic service. We are however keen to support you to promote your online private tuition offer, and enable you to protect this source of income. We have been collecting information from each of you and will compile this on a dedicated page that we will circulate to schools who may be looking for Hub endorsed practitioners. You will need to complete this form and return it to the email address listed at the bottom of the form.
The response online from the music community, both locally and nationally has been impressive but at times, equally a little overwhelming. For the time being, Arts Council England have relaxed the Hub’s conditions of funding and given us some scope to explore new ways of working including the development of digital content. During Lockdown many of you developed a range of tuition videos and other digital resources.
As custodians of public funds, we are still committed to quality assuring these new offers; new videos and learning materials will be branded centrally by the Hub. The content, format and style will also be discussed in advance to ensure we maintain the standards that SoundStorm and the BCP Hub are known for. We also appreciate that many of our practitioners continue to face very different challenges regarding technology, developing content and having the skills to confidently take on this new challenge.
We suggest that the format for lessons will generally not exceed 15-20 minutes. Lessons might follow your normal structure but with reduced content.
In partnership with Strawberry Music, guidance is now available that will help you advance your skills in developing effective yet simple online lessons. Walter Brewster, is offering individual support with any technical issues you may be facing, be that PC or Mac and to share ideas as to how you might structure an online lesson (pre-recorded). You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can access Walter’s video tutorials by clicking on the picture. SoundStorm will provide you with the password.
We have made available individual grants for our community of freelance practitioners aimed at supporting you to develop skills that will further your practice and that will enhance the work you do for the Music Education Hub for the benefit our community. This could include but is not limited to
• Online courses
• License fees for online platforms/resources
• Support with technology, including software or hardware purchases
Awards are discretionary and will where possible be paid directly to the supplier. Alternatively, if paid directly to you, we will need to have a copy of a receipt of purchase and will request an update regarding your progress.