Kirklees Council is putting young people in Kirklees at the front and centre of Kirklees Year of Music 2023 (KYOM23) by increasing musical opportunities for them to experience making, playing and listening to music.    

Following extensive consultation with the music and education sectors, KYOM23 strategic leads, Kathy Coates-Mohammed and Stephanie Bartholet, of Shape North Ltd, have created a strategic programme of events and learning opportunities. These are specifically designed to enhance and complement existing provision, harness existing music teaching talent and reflect the heritage and diversity of Kirklees. 

KYOM23 Learning Programme has been developed in partnership with educational and arts partners at all levels and will be delivered in collaboration with Kirklees Council Learning Services, Musica Kirklees and the EVOKE Network.

The KYOM23 Learning Programme will offer four key elements: Continuous Professional Development & Learning – providing opportunities for Kirklees teachers to further develop music teaching practice; Live Performance opportunities for pupils, teachers and communities to experience the thrill of live music performance at school sites, in the community or at local venues; opportunities for learning to sing and play an instrument; and new Kirklees-specific high quality learning resources with music heritage and music practice resources. 

The Learning Programme was officially launched at Dewsbury Town Hall at the Musica Kirklees summer concert event on the 13 July, which featured performances from Boothroyd Primary Academy and Thornhill Junior and Infant School. Parents and attendees were introduced to the Programme by Kirklees Year of Music Board Chair Qaisar Mahmood, Head of Culture and Tourism at Kirklees Council Kath Wynne-Haigh, Kathy Coates-Mohammed and Stephanie Bartholet from Shape North Ltd. 

Carole Pattinson Cabinet Member for Learning, aspiration and communities said: “Music brings so many benefits to young people from improving low mood, to encouraging social interaction. It can help with learning and development across the curriculum, improve concentration and lead to a sense of achievement.  

“We have excellent, dedicated teachers and musicians working in the Kirklees district. They have worked tirelessly to continue offering musical education through austerity and during the Covid 19 pandemic – and we are extremely grateful for that. 

“However, a recent survey 1 found that 47% of young people in Kirklees had never played an instrument. At the same time, we know that there is a real desire amongst young people to experience music. In fact, 60% of those asked stated they wanted to experience music education through their learning at school and expressed the importance of music as part of their lives. 

“The KYOM23 Learning Programme is an exciting and important first step to redressing that balance, we want music to be part of every child’s life and to make sure Kirklees continues to be a place to make and hear world class music for years to come.” 

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “We know how important music is for young people’s development. The Kirklees Year of Music Learning Programme will provide a supportive and practical way for schools to build music into their lesson planning and help them achieve. By coming together as educators, music professionals, music groups and music lovers we can make sure young people are at the heart of an exciting Kirklees Year of Music and are able to enjoy the pleasure music brings, for years to come.”

KYOM23 invites schools, music educators, musicians and parents and carers to get involved with the learning programme by signing up to the KYOM23 Learning Programme. This will ensure access to the latest updates, opportunities and resources when they start to roll out from Autumn term 2022. 

KYOM23 will also be releasing information about the KYOM23 programme Strands and curatorial Themes which will help schools and music educators to write music into school development plans for 22/23 and 23/24.  

Sign up here: 

Find out more about the KYOM23 Learning Programme and watch the video from the launch event here: