Associates – showcasing of musical opportunities

CALL TO ACTION – for Associates who teach peripatetically in Wiltshire Schools

This current academic year, we estimate that  900-1200 fewer school pupils (approx. 25%) have received instrumental / vocal tuition from our Associates than during academic year 19-20.

Bearing in mind the established importance of Music to Wiltshire children’s well-being, that should be of concern to schools as should its impact on the incomes of approx. 90 freelancers / small businesses.

One of the key factors which has affected this was the break in the usual cycle of tutors and music leaders being able to recruit new pupils in terms 5 & 6, often by providing showcases of various sorts in schools.

With advice from our new Expert Group for Progression and other colleagues, we’ve developed a plan and a set of resources which will mitigate against this gap in opportunity arising again

We encourage all Associates to start talking to their peers and schools NOW about potential showcasing of musical opportunities for pupils during terms 5 & 6 with a view to seeing more pupils taking up tuition for academic year 21-22.

This can be possible whether schools are fully open or not and we strongly advise you to be sensitive to the huge challenges faced by all schools and staff at the moment.

Where possible we will highlight and share schools’ plans and responses so others can benefit from solutions they’ve found.

We also encourage Associates and schools to:

  • Consider providing reduced price or even free taster sessions to those pupils interested as a potential bridge between the showcasing / inspiration and actually starting lessons (face to face or virtual).
  • Consider the potential for some online sessions / tuition between June and September if it is likely to sustain interest and lead to longer term engagement.
  • Secondary Schools and Associates may also wish to consider running introductory First Access programmes across part of the next academic year

 We hope to support new pupils who may wish to start as soon as term 6 this academic year but will need to know their school, instrument (and for those in eligible ‘categories’, any tuition subsidy requirements) by 12 noon on Friday 21 May at the very latest. We cannot, at this stage, 100% guarantee that we will be able to deliver a suitable instrument to the school / pupil at start of term 6.

What we will do

By the start of Easter holidays (Fri 2nd April) we will:

  1. Have a selection of example promotional videos made with a handful of Associates (see bulletin sent to Associates 09.02.21)
  2. Publish an online package of resources / advice to support all Associates in making their own short promotional videos – the package will include things such as…
    • Suggested ideas for structure & content
    • How to get good audio and camera angles
    • Alternative (COVID safe) ways to reflect the joys of playing music with others
    • Cheap / Free accessible editing tools
    • Saving, and file formats
    • Simple templates for opening and closing ‘slides’ for above (Associate logo etc.)
  3. Provide some virtual support sessions during the Easter break for Associates who may have questions & queries. Please note that with over 120 individual Associates, we are limited in the amount and depth of support we can provide.
  4. Have a quick online look-up so Associates can identify which other Associates have been working in same schools (using data from this year’s subs and last year’s (19-20) Assoc data returns).
  5. Provide space on Wiltshire Music Connect’s YouTube Channel (or a suitable equivalent) for all Associates’ videos to which they can link from their hub Directory page

And, by the start of term 5 (Mon 19 April) we will:

  1. Clarify the processes for requesting tuition subsidies (for those in eligible ‘categories’) and instruments for new starters in term 6 and a way of fast-tracking those requests
  2. Revamp / refresh of resources in our #Don’t Drop Music campaign toolkit