Kent Music successful in bid to lead music education across Kent & Medway

Kent Music has been successful in its bid to become the Lead Organisation for the new Kent & Medway Music Hub, as part of an ambitious national programme to provide high-quality music education for all children and young people, following an announcement by Arts Council England today.

Supported by Arts Council England with funding from the Department for Education, Music Hubs support, deliver and enable access to music education for children and young people through partnerships with organisations including schools, further education providers, cultural organisations and local authorities. Each Hub is led by a Hub Lead Organisation (HLO), which is responsible for the Hub’s relationship with Arts Council England and receives and distributes funding, leading the music education strategy in the Hub area.

In 2023, Arts Council England confirmed that there will be 43 Music Hubs from September 2024, replacing the existing 118 Music Education Hubs. A bidding process followed to identify the 43 new Hub Lead Organisations that were announced today.

Kent Music has led the Music Education Hub for Kent for the past decade and now assumes the role as Hub Lead Organisation for the geographical area of Kent & Medway. In leading the Kent & Medway Hub, Kent Music will set new milestones, expand its impact, and nurture the talents of children and young people across the area.

The education charity is uniquely positioned, having worked in Medway for half a century, and has strong connections with Medway Council, the University of Kent and other local organisations. It also runs the successful Medway Towns Music Centre in Rochester where 200 people learn to play instruments, sing in choirs, and play in groups each week.

The new Kent & Medway Hub will come into being in September 2024. Kent Music’s focus now will be to engage with schools, teachers, music organisations and other potential partners and to listen to what they need from the Music Hub, ahead of consultation and publication of plans. These plans will include:

Supporting schools to deliver a high-quality curriculum as well as instrumental teaching, groups and choirs.

Embedding an inclusive approach, ensuring that programmes offered by the Music Hub cater to diverse needs.

Supporting a wide age span ranging from early years to supporting progression from school into universities, music colleges and careers in the creative industries.

Peter Bolton, Chief Executive of Kent Music said, “We are thrilled to have been successful in our bid to champion and facilitate opportunities for high quality music education across Kent and Medway, working collaboratively with our partner organisations.  In particular we are looking forward to working with colleagues and partners in Medway.

“Over the next six months, we will be conducting a detailed needs analysis of Medway in consultation with schools, cultural organisations, public bodies and other organisations that provide services for children and young people. We will publish a detailed strategy towards the end of the year, enabling us to fulfil the commitments set out in our bid and deliver on our ongoing mission to develop musical opportunities that support the aspirations of children and young people in Kent & Medway.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “Music education is enormously powerful – it can enrich young people’s lives, help them connect with the people around them, and start them on the pathway to fruitful and fulfilling careers.  We are excited to announce this investment in a new generation of Music Hubs, which will support the brilliant work of our dedicated music teachers across the country, and help bring high-quality music education to even more children and young people in every part of England.”

Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We are so pleased to bring forward a new generation of Music Hubs in the South East, ensuring all children and young people can learn and make music. They will do so thanks to the investment committed by the Department for Education, including an additional fund to invest in musical instruments, equipment and technology so that children and young people’s creativity can flourish. We are thrilled to help nurture the musical interests of all children and young people in the South East, no matter who they are, or where they live.”


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