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Free digital platform is music to the ears of teachers and pupils

EVERY child and young person in Wales will have free access to a new bilingual digital music platform to help them discover their first musical notes.

Charanga Cymru is a digital platform which is now available free of charge to all schools in Wales as a teaching and learning resource to support the National Plan for Music Education. The bilingual platform has been developed through partnership work between the Welsh Government, Charanga and the Welsh Local Government Association.

To help teachers become familiar with the new platform, a resource pack for six weeks of work will be provided initially for each of the progression steps in the Expressive Arts Area in the Curriculum for Wales. Children can enjoy singing, listening and responding, improvising, and creating new music. The resources offered will grow as we work with more Welsh artists and contributors.

The platform includes an extensive training and professional development plan for teachers and practitioners to ensure that they feel confident to use the platform to support the delivery of music tuition during classroom learning. The content includes videos and personalised teaching and learning features.

For the first time, this platform will be available free of charge to schools across Wales, thanks to Welsh Government funding. Normally, schools must pay a subscription fee to access Charanga – a service that is already widely used in schools across the UK.

All teachers in Wales will be able to register and access the platform from 27 October.

The launch of the platform supports the National Music Service for Wales in widening access to music tuition and education, ensuring more children and young people can benefit from opportunities to learn to play an instrument as well as singing and making music in our schools and communities.

The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “Charanga is recognised internationally as a fantastic digital music education resource. I’m delighted we’re able to build on this success with a fully bilingual version that is bespoke to Wales, which includes culturally-rich content and contributions from Welsh musicians. I’m delighted that every teacher and pupil will be able to access this engaging resource free of charge which will inspire our young people to develop their musical talent.

“This is the latest step in our implementation of the National Plan for Music Education, and an important way in which we are making access to music education available to all, regardless of their background or where they live.”

Councillor Ian Roberts (Flintshire), WLGA Spokesperson for Education said: “As the new National Music service for Wales is rolled out, this is just the start of what we will have to offer children, young people and communities across Wales over the next three years as part of the National Music Plan. Charanga is a special resource that will support the teaching of music to children and young people in the classroom and give them this first opportunity of what music and instruments can give them.”

Mari Lloyd Pritchard, Co-ordinator of the National Music Service for Wales, said: “It is important to emphasise that this is a digital platform that is special to us in Wales. It is not simply a translation of the platform in England and Scotland, but there is content that is completely Welsh and that shows the wealth of experience and fresh talents we have here.

“Not everyone has the confidence and musical expertise to be able to teach music in class, but Charanga is suitable for everyone. Our hope is that this, coupled with the invaluable support of local music services, will become an integral part of the school’s musical life.”

Mark Burke, Founder of Charanga said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Welsh Government, WLGA, CAGAC and teachers across Wales to develop this innovative platform. Providing access to high-quality educational technology will greatly support the Welsh Government’s investment in professional development for teachers and its ambitious plan to put musical instruments into the hands of thousands of children. The team here at Charanga is delighted to be a part of it.”