Children’s Christmas concerts are brought to parents’ and carers’ homes

This story was published 23 December 2020

Primary school children in North Yorkshire have brought their Christmas music concerts to parents and carers, after covid forced the cancellation of the festive tradition in many schools this year.

School children performing as part of the Christmas concert

The pandemic has meant primary schools’ traditional Christmas concerts have proved difficult, if not impossible, to hold before a live audience in school.

But rather than deprive pupils of their chance to perform Christmas carols and festive music before an audience of families and carers,   North Yorkshire County Council’s music service set about creating a festive music video to showcase their new skills.

The video features Christmas tunes created by pupils in primary schools across North Yorkshire and links have been sent to families and carers.

Head of Music Services, Ian Bangay, said: “Sadly, many schools have had to cancel Christmas events this year, so we thought it would be nice to show some of the things children have been working on with us and created this video.

“Part of our role is to deliver whole-class instrumental lessons to primary schools, to give children a chance to try out different instruments and music.

“We’ve spent the last few weeks learning Christmas tunes, so we’ve recorded performances of this work in the classrooms and bubbles they are currently being taught in.”

The Music Service provides instrumental lessons to more than 90 per cent of schools in North Yorkshire, including whole class lessons at primary schools, as well as individual tuition.

During lockdown, music teachers with the service provided online instrumental lessons, delivering more than 1,000 a week. They also offered free lessons and resources to schools which remained open for key worker children during the first lockdown.

Ian said: “During the first lockdown, we were able to quickly move our lessons online. Being able to offer individual lessons in real time over Skype or Zoom meant we could do much of the teaching we would normally - we could even help pupils tune violins and other instruments online.

“We know lockdown was isolating and difficult for many children and families and being able to support them by continuing music lessons was particularly important.

“We received a lot of emails from parents who wanted to let us know how much they appreciated the service during lockdown. Some of them told us that the music tutors were the only adult their children saw all week who wasn’t a parent. It was great to know we could help through such trying times.”

Cllr Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills said: “With all the disruption children and families have experienced due to the pandemic, it has been great to be able to continue offering children in North Yorkshire the chance to learn an instrument and get involved in music lessons.

“We hope families and carers enjoy seeing the results of some of this work on the uplifting Christmas video created by the music service.”

For more information on the Music Service and how to start instrumental lessons go to; www.northyorkshiremusichub.co.uk