During the summer term, I’m running the Arts Award ‘Discover at Home’ online programme for Coventry Music. As a music service, we’ve had to find innovative ways of keeping our children and young people accessing creative opportunities when our ensembles can’t meet, and many pupils haven’t been in school; we’ve delivered online instrumental lessons and ensemble work, but as we had newly become an Arts Award centre just before lockdown, I was keen to hold to our original plan to deliver some Discover Awards before the end of the school year!

Arts Connect West Midlands provided us with materials and logbooks as a starting point, and I recruited around 20 children and young people from across the city; some via the schools we work with, others who would normally be members of our music ensembles and others who simply saw the opportunity advertised on our social media and asked to join us. I’ve been delivering Arts Award in schools for over a decade now, and I’m a huge advocate of its student-led independent learning and leadership development in the creative arts; having put students through every level from Discover to Gold, I’m really excited to see a new Coventry Music cohort begin their journey this summer.

Our online Discover students are developing their knowledge of different art forms by researching online, listening to music, visiting ‘virtual’ art galleries around the world and honing their own skills in visual art, music writing/performance and dance. They are researching artists and musicians who inspire their playing, and finding out about their training and working lives. We’re sharing work via our social media channels and will do an online sharing of all the work at the end of this term, so students can complete their logbooks. I’m enormously proud of what they’ve achieved so far, and it’s given me lots of ideas for how to support further Arts Awards work remotely in the future.

Cathy Scott-Burt 

Coventry Music Service