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Transparency is an important part of what we do at Make More Music. We want to connect experienced music teachers with budding musicians in a way that is both honest and meaningful.
That’s why this week Make More Music has begun the process of reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons. We want you to feel confident that we are working behind the scenes to do our bit: offsetting the impact on climate generated by travel to and from lessons.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint has nothing to do with the shoe-size of your music teacher. It’s a term used to describe the size of our impact on the environment, specifically the amount of carbon dioxide and methane gases that are generated by actions we take. These gases negatively impact the world around us, damaging our planet for the future.
The average carbon footprint of a person in the UK is between 6 and 10 tonnes per year. That’s pretty high – it’s almost double the world average.
Why are we reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons?
When music lessons moved to online learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions created by music lessons plummeted. You might be thinking: why? Learning an instrument doesn’t generate masses of emissions, does it? The answer is simple: students weren’t travelling to lessons, and teachers weren’t either. No travel means no travel-based nasties in the atmosphere.
When the world started to open up again, it really made the team at Make More Music think about the impact of music lessons on the environment in a new way. Whilst online lessons work amazingly well, those of you craving that face-to-face interaction need to travel to lessons. Although the bulk of the lessons currently take place in London – which has an amazing transport network – travel to and from lessons is inevitable. And with that comes an increased carbon footprint of music lessons.
We are really keen to take positive and impactful action to reduce this.
How are we reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons?
We’re working with Ecologi to reduce the carbon footprint of music lessons in two key ways:
- funding projects that directly offset CO2 right now;
- planting trees that will directly offset CO2 emissions in the future.
Our Make More Music forest is already growing fast! You can check out our current tree count below.
Our forest is made up of trees planted mainly outside of the UK. This is so that we can make the highest possible impact in reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons. But as a UK-based company we are also committed to planting trees in the UK too. Make More Music currently plants one UK-based tree per month, mainly with the Future Forest Company (FFC) and Protect Earth. Check out their excellent sites for more information.
How quickly can we help the teachers achieve climate positive lessons?
Here’s our current working timeline for reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons:
- January 2022: Become a climate positive workforce. We achieved this in January 2022, by offsetting the footprint for each employee, plus 10%.
- January 2022: Fund projects to directly offset CO2 on a monthly basis. We do this on behalf of the teachers we work with, so we can start reducing the footprint of their own music lessons immediately.
- January 2022: Plant trees that will directly offset CO2 on a monthly basis. Again, we do this on behalf of the teachers we work with, so we can start reducing the footprint of their own music lessons on a more long term basis.
We’re aware that we are far from perfect and this is just the starting point. Our long term goals include more ambitious steps:
- Throughout 2022/2023: Conduct research into the footprint of an average music lesson. We want to know what a music lessons “costs” to the environment so we can work towards offsetting that in full.
- 2023: Offset the footprint for each and every lesson. We will then compare the data from our research with the impact of the projects we fund and the trees we plant. This will eventually mean that we know exactly what we need to do to ensure that we are able to offset the footprint of each and every lesson delivered by the teachers we work with.
- By the end of 2023: Every lesson booked by the teachers we work with will become a climate positive lesson. We’ll go one step further so that we are not just reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons. Instead, every every lesson you take will be carbon positive. We’ll achieve this by going 10% over the standard carbon footprint of a music lesson.
If I take online lessons can I reduce the carbon footprint of my music lessons?
One of the biggest and most efficient ways of reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons is by taking your lesson online. We work with a huge array of superb teachers who are able to deliver lessons remotely.
“I’ve always travelled to lessons in my car, driving to numerous houses every night. But since working from home I teach all my lessons online,” says drum teacher Josh Hussey.
“We all have to do our bit, and making this small change has reduced my carbon footprint of music lessons hugely. And now Make More Music is starting to offset my lessons too. This means I can focus on the teaching, rather than the effect I’m having on the environment. It’s great to work with a company that is so conscious about emissions” he said.
Another approach is to go for hybrid lessons – taking one or two lessons in person each month, with the remaining lessons online. This way you get to maintain physical contact with your teacher, whilst still driving down the cost on the environment.
This is just the start
Please check out our ever-growing forest at https://ecologi.com/makemoremusic, where you can see the impact being made so far. It’s growing by the day, and that’s thanks to all the teachers and their students for taking lessons – thank you for helping to make a difference in reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons!
Interested in finding a music teacher?
You can now be confident that, when looking for a music teacher, Make More Music is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons you take. So if you’re interested in finding a teacher, contact us! We’ll get you paired with someone brilliant.
If you have any feedback on reducing the carbon footprint of music lessons, contact us. We want to learn and improve as much as possible – which is what we want for your music lessons too.
Stoke Newington drummer Az Khan has years of experience teaching, recording and playing live. Here we speak on how came to play and thoughts on online learning.
Gideon Waxman runs popular drumming resource Drum Helper. Here we get his inspiring insight into all things drums for both beginners and professionals alike.