Thurrock Council is one of the new Music Education Hubs announced on Friday (4 May).
Across England, 122 hubs will provide instrumental lessons, bands, choirs, orchestras, and other music-making opportunities in and out of school for all children in their local area.
The Arts Council announced the nationwide network of hubs that will deliver high-quality music provision over the next three years.
The council will receive more than £741,000 funding over the next three years.
Although it will mean a reduction in funding between 2012 and 2015, it does allow for new and exciting opportunities for students.
Several national organisations — including the Royal Opera House, the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills, Orchestras Live and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra — have already expressed a commitment to support the development of music in the area, working with the council’s music service and other partners.
The hub will focus on delivering programmes to enable every child in Thurrock the chance to learn a musical instrument for a minimum of one term, while continuing to offer and develop ensemble opportunities and support schools in developing choirs or vocal ensembles.
Cllr John Kent, Leader of the Council, said: “This is tremendous news and I’m really pleased the government has recognised the innovative and important work being done by the council’s music service.
“This is just another example of the way we at Thurrock Council endeavour to make pupils’ school lives as interesting and exciting as possible. The more exciting and interesting the lessons are, the more the children engage and therefore the more they learn.
“We have made no secret of our determination to raise attainment levels across the borough’s schools and this is recognition of that. Congratulations to the education team and the music service in particular.”
The funding should secure the future of the service’s large-scale and high-quality performance opportunities for Thurrock children such as the primary music festivals and the Thurrock Young Musician of the Year.
The Thurrock Music Education Hub will start on 1 August.