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Play It Loud

Play It Loud aims to galvanize the music education sector, bringing together a wide range of strategic partners and delivery organisations to collaboratively deliver a comprehensive, progressive and sustainable programme of activities, embedding musically inclusive practice both in North Yorkshire and nationally. Play it Loud targets children who may not otherwise experience music-making, prioritising those who are rurally isolated, Early Years children aged 0-5 years old, and those with physical and learning disabilities (SEN/D).

Our Connect: Resound programme supports Music Hubs throughout England to scale up and embed digital music learning, enabling them to increase access to music and progression routes for children in rural areas. Connect: Resound is also trialing new, inclusive settings for the digital learning approach.

Our other Cold Spot projects targeting rurally isolated children and young people include youth improvisation and musical theatre ensembles in the Yorkshire Dales, and songwriting projects in the North York Moors, exploring cultural identity through the folk stories and legends of the local area. Delivery partners include Blue Boxt Creative & Performing Arts, and Flash Company.

Our SEN/D strand sees the roll-out of innovative approaches to music-making that enable children with complex needs to participate in, and benefit from, high quality music. These include professional musicians in residence in North Yorkshire special schools; one-to-one music sessions using iMUSE technology, an interactive multi-sensory experience; monthly music clubs for young people with SEN/D and their families; and an accessible singing and signing choir for disabled and non-disabled children. Delivery partners in this strand include Live Music Now, Accessible Arts & Media, and Create Arts Development.

Our Early Years work focuses on enhancing the musical, communicative and emotional development of young children, while offering parents the tools to interact musically with their children in the sessions and at home. Projects target groups whose particular circumstances pose challenges, including young parents, rurally isolated families, military families, and those experiencing economic deprivation. Delivery partners for this strand of work are Musicport Festival, Harrogate International Festivals, and the Army Welfare Service.

Each ‘Play It Loud’ work strand includes professional development activities to strengthen the workforce, and to help ensure the work can continue into the future. As well as offering training to staff in the settings in which our work takes place, we provide a year-round programme of open CPD opportunities, many delivered through our professional networks focusing on remote music learning, SEN/D music, and Early Years music. These opportunities include our annual SEN/D Music Gathering, taking place in the winter term each year; a biennial Early Years Music Conference – the next one will be in March 2020; regular practice-sharing and networking sessions, each with a topic for discussion or an activity to try out; online resources such as live webinars, videos, documents and blogs; and twilight and half-day training workshops.