HARTLEPOOL has been awarded £120,000 for a music project to help prevent youngsters at risk of going off the rails.
The Exchanging Notes project will develop music activities to support young people who are at risk of being low achievers or excluded from school.
Courses will be delivered in areas of high deprivation, with sessions likely to include song-writing, singing, performance and recording.
Students from learning support units at English Martyrs, High Tunstall College of Science and Manor College of Technology will benefit from the four-year programme.
The grant was made by the national charity Youth Music, and will be delivered by Hartlepool Borough Council working with the Tees Valley Music Service and Apollo Arts.
Councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “I am delighted at the news of this grant award.
“Music has an important role to play in the lives of all children, whether it involves them learning to play an instrument, learning to sing or taking part in some other form of musical activity.
“Music can help children to improve their communications skills, while also teaching them the importance of working as team and getting on with other young people.
“During my extensive career of teaching music, I have seen at first hand the beneficial impact of music on the lives of children on many occasions.”
The idea for the project came after a pilot by Youth Music highlighted big differences in how youngsters benefit from music teaching out of school compared to in the classroom.
Matt Griffiths, executive director of Youth Music Youth Music, said: “We’re delighted to support this project in Hartlepool which I’m sure will be of great benefit to the pupils involved.
“We look forward to the results of the research with great excitement as it is the first time such a rigorous study of combined approaches between schools and music providers, who normally work in out-of-school settings, has been done.
“The results may well turn out to be of enormous significance to stimulate fresh thinking in music education and support the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education.”