Sunderland children enjoy the sound of music as week-long event returns to city

The city’s schools will once again be alive with sound of singing, dancing and instruments as Music Week returns to Sunderland.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:37 am
Children from Southmoor Academy enjoying Music Week.

Organised and funded by Sunderland Music Hub, Music Week will hope to inspire young people just starting secondary school to take up an instrument, learn to sing and get involved in other music activities in their new school.

Taking place this week, a key aim is also to promote music as a subject following the impact of the Covid pandemic.

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Oxclose Academy is one of 13 schools taking part in the initiative. Ben Thornley, Head of Music at the school, said: ​​“As with many things, I believe that the pandemic has exposed the extent to which music is taken for granted. The assumption from those without any involvement in music is that music will always just somehow be there - but then it wasn't any more.

"In a school context that means no carols at Christmas, no shows in the summer, and no diversity in the students' hourly lessons. For many students, the last 18 months of learning has either taken place at home or behind a desk in a single classroom, which has resulted in a lack of interaction, communication, creativity and a decrease in confidence.”

Music Week events will include performances by the school’s music teachers, student demonstrations and opportunities for Year 7 students to try out different instruments – all aimed at reintroducing students to the joys of making music and hopefully picking up an instrument for what may be the first time.

Music Hub Manager Lizzie Nixon, said: “Music plays such a crucial role in the lives of children and young people. Studies show that singing or learning an instrument has positive impacts on children’s confidence, well-being and ability to form friendships and after such a challenging period we want to help children and young people to access the range of brilliant musical opportunities their schools have on offer.

"Sunderland is such a talented musical city and we want to make sure that all children and young people have the opportunity to experience the joy of music.”

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