MANY activities have had to be put on hold for school children during the pandemic but Bolton Music Service has ensured that music lessons could still go ahead.

During lockdown, many pupils have missed out on the opportunity to make music in face-to-face settings.

Even when schools were open for the autumn term last year, teaching music was made much more challenging due to social distancing, increased ventilation and additional cleaning of musical instruments and equipment.

This led the service to transform the way music is taught during the course of the pandemic.

A wide range of digital options have been developed for teaching music, running choirs and ensembles online and creating a library of video tutorials for specific groups of learners.

This has ensured children can continue learning about music.

Carolyn Baxendale, Head of Bolton Music Service said: “We know how much benefit young people get from their music lessons and ensembles, and we feel that it is very important to maintain a sense of musical continuity for them, even if we are not able to work face-to-face.

“Music can have such a positive impact on mental wellbeing and has helped to keep a sense of community during these difficult times.

“We hope to be playing together in a face-to-face setting very soon.”

Bolton Music Service teaches around 8,000 children a week to play a musical instrument, working in almost all of our local primary schools and running 45 weekly out-of-school bands, choirs and orchestras and ensembles.

Cllr Anne Galloway, Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “The service has worked really hard to adapt teaching methods to ensure children can continue to play music together during the pandemic.

“With the help of schools, thousands of children have been able to continue learning music, practising at home and getting involved with choirs and ensembles online.”