Hertfordshire Music Service trumpets financial support for music lessons during COVID-19
The additional financial help will the service remain inclusive and accessible to all young people
Hertfordshire Music Service has created a new COVID-19 relief fund to ensure as many pupils as possible can continue music lessons during these challenging times.
The Arts Council England Music Hub funding will allow the service to offer a 25 per cent reduction of fees to families in need of help paying for lessons, ensuring the cost of fees is not a barrier to accessing high quality instrumental music tuition.
Aimed at supporting families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the fund is in addition to Hertfordshire Music Service's (HMS) means-tested remission of fees programme, available to families in receipt of certain benefits, on low incomes or eligible for free school meals.
Cllr Terry Douris, cabinet member for education, libraries and localism said: “Hertfordshire Music Service recognises that supporting children’s emotional wellbeing has never been more important than during these uncertain times, with so many challenges facing young people, families and schools.
“We hope this additional support to families, who may be experiencing greater financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus, will ensure their children can continue on their musical pathways, which is so important for their education and mental stability.”
The additional financial help will ensure its services remain inclusive and accessible to all young people in Hertfordshire.
There are three levels of subsidy available (100%, 50% and 25%) for families in different situations. Help is available for families who may receive statutory benefits, as well as families who are currently not eligible for benefits but need additional support at this time.
Ben Stevens, director of music for HMS said: “Hertfordshire Music Service is committed to supporting as many students as possible to continue their musical journey at this challenging time.
"We know that supporting children’s wellbeing is essential right now and we believe supporting young people to express themselves through music-making of any kind has an important role to play.
"We are proud to have made new funding available to support families facing financial hardship.”
A bursary scheme is also available to players in Hertfordshire’s county level ensembles (County Youth Orchestras, County Youth Choir, County Brass and Wind groups).
Bursary allocation covers up to 50 per cent of the cost and is not solely dependent on household income; special consideration is given to those involved in multiple musical activities, or those families with siblings also taking part in groups.
Full details on the HMS financial support and how to apply are available on the HMS website.