East Sussex Music Provide Free Workshops and Food for Families on Low Income

Whilst many families were busy hunting chocolate eggs and looking for ways to keep the children busy during the Easter holidays, the team at East Sussex Music (ESM) were making lots of noise working hard at their Holiday Food and Fun Workshops.

The four day courses, which were free for families receiving benefit-related school meals, are part of a series of events that take place during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays, and are a core component of the organisation’s mission to make music accessible for as many young people as possible. The programme is part of the Government’s Holiday Activity and Food scheme, with vital funding provided by East Sussex County Council.

The event, which took place at the Performing Arts Centre in Lewes and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, provided primary and secondary school children with the opportunity to learn what it takes to create and perform a song using drum kits, guitars, keyboards and vocals, with expert training and advice provided by East Sussex Music’s professional team of teachers. Not only were De La Warr instrumental in providing a safe venue for this event to take place, but their chef and kitchens supplied lunches for the young learners at both sites.

In total, 60 places were made available for children to undertake the workshops, and the scheme was very well received. One parent remarked “A big thank you to the organisers and leaders on this course. I've just spoken to James and he said it was a really fun day and he enjoyed it. I'm so happy and grateful as he really needed something to get him out meeting other kids and sharing music. I do hope BHMA are planning more of these for the summer!”

Emma Collins, Learning & Partnerships Manager for Brighton & Hove Music & Arts (BHMA) and East Sussex Music Said: “It really is a pure delight to be able to run these workshops over the school holidays, learning music is an essential part of child development and a great way to have fun; there are endless positive benefits it can have on young people’s lives. Many people have been hit hard over the past year with lockdown, so providing meals is also a great support to those who may need it. We run these events regularly so please keep an eye on our website to find out when the next one will take place!”

For anyone wishing to pick up an instrument themselves, BHMA and ESM recently launched their new series of online courses for all ages. The Get Started programme provides one-to-one online music lessons on over 16 instruments, sociable group masterclasses and self-paced video course downloads. As the largest music service in East Sussex, they have over 20 years' experience teaching thousands of students, their music teachers are some of the best in their field, and have finessed a fantastic approach to learning an instrument online.

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