National music education charity Orchestras for All (OFA) has today announced that for one year only, access to their transformative Modulo Programme for state secondary schools will be free of charge to all participants, offering vital support to music teachers and young musicians throughout the UK.
“With Covid-19 having radically changed the music-making landscape, music departments across the country are currently facing huge challenges to play music together safely. We also recognise that financial constraints remain as one of the main barriers to participation in the arts. Now more than ever, Orchestras for All believes in the importance of music-making for young people, and its ability to transcend educational ability, socio economic status and disability. By offering a free, flexible programme of specialist coaching, digital resources and performance opportunities, we invite music teachers to sign up and create a nationwide musical network that can keep music alive in our schools during these challenging times.” Nick Thorne, OFA Executive Director
The Modulo Programme, which usually costs schools £300 per year, supports music teachers working in state secondaries to set up a small ensemble – a ‘Modulo ’– and make music together. Whether beginner violinists or experienced electric guitarists, all instruments and skill levels are welcome.
Over the past seven years, the Modulo Programme has brought thousands of young people together to perform live as a massed pop-up orchestra, opening up the benefits of musicmaking to many who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance. Reacting to the extra challenges of Covid-19, this year’s programme is focused on supporting teachers to keep music-making going in their schools, providing any state secondary schools who wish to participate with the following:
• Rehearsal resources full of rehearsal plans, activity videos, and backing tracks
• Online rehearsal sessions and masterclasses from BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia
• Attendance at virtual and, Covid-19 restriction-pending, face-to-face pop-up orchestra days at inspiring venues
• Brand new ensemble arrangements with parts for all instruments at all skill levels from beginner upwards, including keyboards, ukulele, guitar and percussion
• Support for ensemble leadership skills
OFA is here to support schools wherever they are on their musical journey. The programme has been redesigned this year to offer extra flexibility, enabling teachers and young musicians to participate in the aspects that best support them to make music. All activities have been designed to work within social distancing guidelines and will suit any school looking to kickstart music-making.
Whether online or in-person, Modulo activities have a proven impact on the young people they involve. Maisha, a violinist who took part in online activity in August 2020, said:
“I really enjoyed the online sectional because I got a lot of help. I liked being in small groups because I haven’t had a music lesson in so long – like a proper one.”
Jen Redmond, Digital and Learning Manager at OFA’s partner orchestra, BBC Philharmonic
“We‘re delighted to be able to work with Orchestras for All to support schools across the country to get back to music-making. We’re looking forward to meeting young musicians at all skill levels, whether online or in person, and can’t wait to work with them to make music together!”
Anyone interested in finding out more is invited to join a free CPD webinar introducing the programme, content and some top tips for leading an ensemble on 2 December. To register your interest, please email email@example.com.