All Together Now: Restore The Music

All Together Now: We take a look at how Restore the Music are helping to make music accessible to all children.

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UK Music’s series All Together Now takes a look at the projects and organisations that are helping to open access to the music industry for everyone. This time founder of Restore The Music, Polly Moore discusses  how the charity are helping children from all backgrounds get access to music. 

“The first time I walked into a music department, I was shocked to see that it did not contain one single instrument. I was completely staggered that anyone could expect the music teacher to convey the magic and brilliance of music without any resources whatsoever. Thus was Restore The Music conceived in 2013 – to address the inequity in music education in schools in impoverished areas where children from marginalised communities have little to no access or support in learning a musical instrument. This is especially prevalent in current times following the significant cuts in funding for music education and the arts.

Polly Moore, CEO of Restore the Music. Picture credit: Barney Curran

Restore The Music (RTM) is a national grant giving music charity that understands music as a powerful tool for change by way of its innate ability to unlock potential. RTM invests in the next generation, reaching them by providing restricted funding to school music departments in some of the most deprived and underserved areas in the UK, with the aim of enabling access to music for every child.

“Since inception 11 years ago, RTM has reached 100,000 pupils in 130 schools across the UK through funding awards totalling £2.4 million to access 30,000 musical instruments and resources.

“In the last funding round announced in March 2024, RTM awarded £180,000 in grants to the music departments of eleven state schools in London, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham, reaching 8,400 pupils with access to nearly 2,000 instruments.

“The Restore the Music Capital Grant Programme has just opened to applicants from primary and secondary schools in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle.

“There is a maximum allocation of £10,000 for primary schools and £20,000 for secondary schools, which is solely for instruments and equipment.

“With a focus on equality and equity, RTM Grants are only awarded to state primary and secondary schools with above average percentage of free school meals, with the average for an RTM Grantee school being 57% free school meals.

“The grant awards are one-off sums and schools must submit a pre-assessment form before being considered for an application.

“RTM contacts the eligible schools to discuss the current music provision and the potential for growth and specific outcomes with funding. This means the expenditure of every RTM grant award is tailored to each grantee school, with applications reflecting the cultural references and interests of each school’s demographic. Every application we receive is then carefully considered by the RTM UK Board of Trustees.

Pupils at Our Lady’s RC High School practicing the violin.

Jacob Blair, Head of Music at Duke’s Aldridge Academy said: 

“The growth and interest in music since we revamped the department is unbelievable! The difference the equipment and resources make! The department is now ‘the place to be’. We are truly indebted to Restore the Music.”

Students at East Manchester Academy making music on the piano.

RTM also creates events, such as the annual Battle Of The Bands and Steinway Masterclass to showcase, celebrate and give opportunities to the young musicians that have received support through their RTM grantee school. We also host an annual RTM music teacher celebration dinner to celebrate those dedicated teachers from each of our grantee schools.

Once a grantee always a grantee: as one of the RTM family we invite our grantee schools to attend all our events and participate in our community wide discussions and continued professional development. In addition, our grantee schools may be eligible for further funding awards, such as the Music Tech Grant, which is not available to first time applicants.

Apply now for a RTM Grant

A music education enriches and enhances lives for years to come. We are committed to getting musical instruments and equipment into the hands of some of the most underserved state schools in the country. Transforming young lives and futures.

Apply now and join the Restore The Music community of schools before applications close on  Monday June 3 2024.

More information on how to apply is available here:

RTM would like to thank our supporters and donors including Sony Music’s UK Social Justice Fund, Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Classical, Save the Music, Big Give, Story of Christmas, Blavatnik Family Foundation, The Childhood Trust, Steinway & Sons, Bowers & Wilkins, Casio, Fishmonger’s Livery Company, Taittinger, Soundstart Foundation. Ambassadors include: Sam Fender (solo musician), Gary Powell (The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things), Andrew Levy (The Brand New Heavies), Kara Mukerjee (VP, Warner Music Group), Mike Dolbear (drummer and founder of Young Drummer of the Year), Riopy (pianist and composer) and Alexis Ffrench (pianist and composer).

Find out more about UK Music’s campaigning on music education here.

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