What is outreach?

Our outreach work involves bringing music to others outside of the university and supporting young musicians in the area, offering something back to the local Durham community that is always so keen to support us. At Music Durham we aim to coordinate projects that are rewarding for everyone involved, including our own students and societies. In recent years, Music Durham members have brought music into primary schools, care homes, and Durham prison. This coming year, we are looking forward to spreading awareness of different opportunities among students and the local community.

Who does outreach benefit?

Our previous and ongoing outreach projects have benefitted a wide range of people, from the youngest to the oldest across Durham. Many of our members and societies frequently work in and with schools, teaching young people about music through a variety of performances, as well as offering support in music lessons. A number of our societies also prepare performances for local care homes, and we frequently provide musical entertainment for SCA Tea Parties for the Elderly. On top of all of this, busking allows us to brighten the day of anyone visiting the city, particularly bringing a little extra festive cheer to shoppers during the Christmas period.

Why get involved?

Outreach provides an exciting opportunity to use your musical abilities and talents to enrich the lives of other people, making it an incredibly fulfilling activity. For anyone interested in music education, voluntary work or the charity sector, getting involved with outreach projects also constitutes valuable experience which can be added to your CV.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a music student or simply love being involved with music as an extra-curricular activity, there is way to get involved and use your talent to have a positive impact on someone else!

GCSE Composition Support

We currently have close partnerships with two secondary schools in the local area. Our students are in a perfect position to be able to support and motivate younger musicians, at the same time strengthening their belief that music is something they can take to a higher level if they wish. With that in mind, our students regularly help out in GCSE music classes.

St Leonard’s Catholic School

We are looking for volunteers to offer composition support and advice to GCSE pupils studying with the AQA exam board. You don’t need to commit to every time slot every week, just get in touch to confirm when you are available.

Tuesdays: 11:25-12:15

Thursdays: 13:15-14:15

Whitworth Park

We are also looking for volunteers to offer composition support and advice to GCSE pupils studying with the Welsh exam board. You will only be needed in first term and you don’t need to commit to every time slot every week, just get in touch to confirm when you are available.

Secondary School Ensemble Project

For anyone looking to set up their own ensemble as a form of outreach, this is the project for you! Whitworth Park currently have a school band but would love for an individual or group of Durham students to set up another ensemble of any kind to rehearse on a Tuesday night. You will have a lot of freedom here to do what interests you, and encouraging young people to get more involved with musical performance will be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Primary School Singing Project

Pittington Primary are looking for students to volunteer for one afternoon each week. Volunteers will work with pupils over the course of one term to gradually build up singing skills through a range of activities including clapping, singing rounds, learning songs in basic parts, how to sing and rehearse well, and conducting.

There are no set times agreed for this project, so there is a good degree of flexibility to make this work for you. Get in touch to register interest.

Teaching Children and Beginners

Both of these opportunities are run in partnership with Enter CIC, a centre based in Ferryhill that works with local children who otherwise would not have access to music and theatre opportunities. The centre is only 20 minutes away and easily accessible, with buses running regularly between Durham and Ferryhill.

Instrumental Teaching

If you love playing your instrument, why not pass on that joy to someone else? You will have the opportunity to teach an absolute beginner how to play an instrument, introducing them to a new hobby that may become one of their keenest interests.

There is plenty of flexibility here with regards instruments and timings, so get in touch to arrange!

Learning to Read Music

There are plenty of children at Enter CIC who, whilst passionate about music, would benefit from some extra music tuition. This might be absolute beginners who have never been able to read music, or young people who have a basic understanding but want to improve.

Again, there is flexibility to arrange a time that fits around your academic commitments, just get in touch!

Opportunities for Performers and Ensembles

SCA Tea Parties for the Elderly

Through this project, students are able to share the joy that music brings with elderly people in the local community. SCA’s service users and performers alike have thoroughly enjoyed this experience in previous years.

Confirmed dates for Michaelmas Term are:

Wednesday 17th October

Wednesday 7th November

Wednesday 21st November

Wednesday 12th December

all from 2:30-4pm. Performances will ideally be 20-30 minutes in length to round off the tea party, and performers will always be welcome to free tea and cake!

Get in touch at music.coordinator@durham.ac.uk to arrange to play.

Enter CIC

The centre provides a ready-made performance space – the perfect venue for small, informal concerts that bring music to elderly people in the Ferryhill community who would otherwise struggle to get into Durham city centre because of mobility issues.

Local Schools

The schools we have partnerships with always welcome visits from our students looking to teach children about music through performance. At the same time, these performances help to foster a love of music among young people. These schools would often also love for their pupils to be able to work with our ensembles directly, giving them the opportunity to get involved in university ensemble-style rehearsals.

If you need help making initial contact with schools, or want to discuss ideas, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Sign Up

If you are interested in any of our outreach projects, or have any ideas of your own, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you! Equally, if you are a member of the public or community organisation looking for musicians, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Fill in the contact form to let us know how you want to be involved or email music.coordinator@durham.ac.uk.