Council fine tunes plan to digitise music service

Aberdeen City Council education service today shared plans to make its Music Service accessible to all.

The Education Operational Delivery Committee agreed to progress plans to use digital technology, which has been a building block of service transformation across the council. Digital content will support children and young people as they practice between lessons.

Officers will consult with pupils, parents and instructors to determine the scope of a digital anytime offer that can be made available to learners.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, music lessons were delivered through video links and placement of assignments in a digital classroom.

Despite the restrictions this approach was well received by some pupils who for the most part continued to make good progress.

The Music Service invested time in providing digital content, including the creation of an online site for each instrumental team and videos created by instructors.

Another key strength developed over the last 18 months has been whole class singing online.

Education Operational Delivery Committee convener, Councillor M. Taqueer Malik, said: "Our council has been pioneering in its use of digital technology -- and there is a great opportunity to harness its power in delivering content to support those who engage with the Music Service.

"During the pandemic we discovered new ways of working, which in this case brought people from across the city together online.

"We look forward to seeing how the plans progress and ultimately helping increasing numbers of young people to engage with a Musical Instrument."

A total of 1,431 young people are already registered for the service and a report from officers said the announcement in June of free music tuition across Scotland was likely to lead to a significant rise in demand for the service.

For session 2021/22 each Associated School Group has been allocated a minimum amount of instructor time and the full range of instruments will be offered across each secondary school.

Officers were instructed to take an update back to committee within a year. The committee also agreed that the council writes to the Scottish Government to seek reassurances over funding for the Music Service in years ahead.