Making music and memories in lockdown
Videos helping children to hone their music skills at home have received more 5,000 views on YouTube.
In normal circumstances, DMS provides small group lessons to more than 4,000 primary and secondary school pupils across County Durham and Darlington per week. It also delivers whole school sessions, which see 18,000 young musicians try their hand at everything from brass and woodwind, to singing and the ukulele.
By using video conferencing technology, DMS, which is partly funded by us, Darlington Borough Council and Arts Council England, has been able to continue to deliver these sessions to pupils.
The team is also regularly uploading fun-filled music videos on its YouTube channel, with hundreds of families tuning in each day.
In April, the videos received more than 4,000 views, and this figure now stands at almost 6,000. Many children and families have also been creating their own music clips and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #DMShomesessions. Among the highlights so far has been a father and son duet of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' performed on the trumpet during the weekly clap for keyworkers.
Michael Summers, manager of DMS, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the response to our new YouTube channel and #DMShomesessions. When we moved our regular lessons online, we were keen to do something the whole family could enjoy together, while also serving as a useful tool for parents and carers teaching children at home.
"I am delighted the videos have been so popular and have also inspired other people to create and share their own. Music can be incredibly uplifting, and it is important we all find ways to relax, enjoy ourselves and look after our mental health during this difficult time."
Cllr Olwyn Gunn, our Cabinet member for children and young people's services, said: "In these unprecedented and uncertain times, when our daily lives have changed so dramatically, it is important we try to provide a sense of normality for children. By enabling youngsters to continue with their music lessons, DMS is doing just that. It is wonderful to see so many families engaging with the videos and making their own music together."