Don’t Stop the Music
DON’T STOP THE MUSIC
Merton Music Foundation is raising funds to support Merton’s young musicians who have been affected by Covid-19
Don’t Stop The Music is a new fundraising initiative from Merton Music Foundation, the borough’s leading music
education provider, to help support local students whose music lessons have been put on hold due to the financial
or emotional impact of Covid-19.
Every week pre-lockdown, back when nobody had even heard of Coronavirus, PPE or furloughing and facemasks
were nothing more than part of a skincare regime, MMF tutors delivered around 1,500 music lessons, in addition to
whole class teaching to 2,340 pupils and 25 band, ensemble and orchestra rehearsals.
With social distancing affecting the very core of how MMF engages with the young people of Merton, its team of
dedicated staff and tutors leapt into action to launch, from scratch, a brand new, trailblazing E-Learning platform
which was up-and-running in a matter of weeks of lockdown taking hold of the country. Throughout the summer
term, using Zoom conference calls, MMF has delivered an impressive 700 online music lessons each week and close
to 150 sign-ups to the online version of its Music.
As we enter the fourth month of social distancing, it’s no surprise that a substantial number of families are sadly
finding themselves unable to continue funding their children’s music education, something which MMF is
determined to minimise.
Cue Don’t Stop The Music, MMF’s Covid-19 emergency fund, which aims to support up to 10 of Merton’s young
musicians for whom financial or emotional difficulties, as a result of the pandemic, are making access to music
As Elisabeth Wigley, MMF’s Chief Executive, explains
“We recognise that many of the families of Merton’s young music students are experiencing unprecedented hardship and challenges and we want to ensure that music can still be a part of their lives. The wellbeing and mental health benefits of music are well-documented – the continuity of being taught by a familiar and friendly face as well as learning, playing and being part of a wider community of musicians is a safe and creative space. Now, more than ever, children and young people need security and a little bit of ‘normal’ in a world we barely recognise.”
MMF hopes to raise £3,000 by Monday 20th July and each pound donated will be match-funded by the Greenwood Bursary Fund, in memory of former Director of Education for Merton, Ronald Greenwood. With £6,000, MMF would be able to help up to 10 young musicians by offering a minimum of 75% bursary for tuition as well as 100% bursary for Music Centre membership. Parents can visit mmf.org.uk/dontstopform to see if their child is eligible to apply.
In MMF’s 29-year history, this much-loved local arts charity has engaged with thousands upon thousands of Merton’s school-children, whether it’s through music lessons, school projects, its bustling Music Centre or, the feather in its cap, the biennial Music is for Life concert at the Royal Albert Hall which brings together over 1,500 young singers and instrumentalists alongside community choirs from all corners of the borough.
Programmes Director, Soo Bishop, adds
“Our Don’t Stop The Music campaign can’t help every child but the money it raises will go directly to help local children who may otherwise let go of their creative ambitions before they’ve really got started.”
To donate, please visit Merton Music Foundation website
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