GUEST COLUMN: Could you be the next big thing? By Coun Liz Plant, vice chairman of children’s and young people’s comittee at NCC

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We are appealing for talented teenage musicians from across the county to get involved in an exciting new project involving our county youth arts team starting this weekend (Saturday January 30).

Young people aged between 14 and 17 from all districts in the county are welcome to take part in a new initiative where we have teamed up with music college Access to Music to lay on a series of taster sessions in music making.

And it really is your chance to follow in the footsteps of global superstars Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora – from right here in Nottinghamshire!

Access to Music is a national organisation which helps to nurture young talent and helped both Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora on the path to fame. Ed Sheeran studied on an artistic development course in London in 2009 to support his growing musical career. X-Factor judge and chart topper Rita Ora studied with Access to Music London on a music performance course before hitting the big time. Access to Music is the UK’s first choice destination for school leavers who want to follow their passion for popular music and creative media.

The Mansfield sessions with college experts will be hosted within the studios at the county youth arts base at the Old Library in Leeming Street, Mansfield, starting on Saturday January from noon - 5pm.

These sessions are being promoted ahead of Access to Music running full time music courses in Mansfield from September, with options in music performance and music technology. This will be the national music college’s first dedicated centre in Nottinghamshire.

Our County Youth Arts team has a track record of producing innovative projects within the creative industries, working with professional artists to help young people realise their full potential and some big names in the industry both in London and across the country. This latest partnership with Access to Music is extremely exciting and a wonderful opportunity for young people to enjoy a taster of the industry.

Open to young people aged between 14 and 17, this is the first time that the Access to Music group has hosted sessions in Nottinghamshire.

Follow-up sessions are planned on:

• Wednesday March 2: 6pm - 8pm: Access to Music Mansfield open event.

• Monday April 4: 10.30am - 3pm: Access to Music Mansfield taster event.

• Saturday April 30: 12.00pm – 2pm: Access to Music Mansfield open

• Wednesday June 1: 10.30am - 3pm: Access to Music Mansfield taster event.

• Wednesday July 6: 6pm - 8pm: Access to Music Mansfield open event. 

To book your free place online by visiting: www.accesstomusic.ac.uk or call 0800 281842.