Meet the charity that aims to bring music to children living in rural Yorkshire

A charity from North Yorkshire is playing a significant role in expanding music opportunities for children who live in remote places.

Sarah McWatt, Director, NYMAZ
Sarah McWatt, Director, NYMAZ

One of the key aims of NYMAZ, which is based in York, is to ensure children in rural areas don’t miss out on opportunities because of logistics and access.

NYMAZ, which is funded by Youth Music, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Arts Council, believes music can change lives.

Sarah McWatt, the director of NYMAZ, wants to enhance personal and social skills, raise aspirations and improve career prospects.

A spokesman said: “NYMAZ believes that all children and young people should have access to high quality music-making opportunities, whatever their circumstances or geographic location.

“As such, they work with local partners to offer music-making activities across North Yorkshire, spanning everything from jazz and folk to DJing, samba and musical theatre.”

The spokesman added: “With this in mind, they have become a pioneer of digital musical learning through their Connect: Resound project. This gives children access to real-time instrumental tuition over the internet.”

NYMAZ also runs professional networks to enable musicians and practitioners to develop their skills and share best practice, with a focus on early years music.

It helps to provide virtual musical tuition through Skype. The charity also invites schools to tune into live performances.

Ms McWatt said: “We’re removing barriers to accessing music. It’s all about connecting with local champions who you know will engage with the children.”