An exciting project that aims to re-engage pupils through music is being piloted at a school in Braintree.
Music Mentoring is being trialled at Tabor Academy with a view to potentially being rolled out elsewhere in the county.
The programme is run in collaboration with Essex Music Education Hub (led by Essex County Council) and seeks to use music as a tool to boost the self-confidence, motivation and achievement of students, particularly targeting disadvantaged pupils and those who have become disengaged at school.
About 20 pupils initially received individual drumming and singing lessons but, such has been the positive impact of the project already, that the school is now funding free instrumental lessons for all pupils.
A research element of the project will finish at the end of the academic year, enabling its effect on the motivation and engagement of pupils to be fully assessed before it is potentially run elsewhere in the county.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Music can play an important role in a young person’s development and help improve their engagement and attainment in other subjects.
“Regardless of their background, we believe all children should have the opportunity to access music lessons. I am therefore delighted that this project is being piloted at Tabor Academy and is already proving such a success.
“As a council, we are working closely with the county’s schools to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. Motivation and engagement are a crucial part of that and music programmes like this are another good way we can look to tackle the issue.”
The Music Mentoring programme forms part of the MusicNet East project, which is funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music and is a collaboration between Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Music Education Hubs.