Never has ‘getting back to reality’ been such a pleasure. The MT team has come back from the Music Education Expo on a mission to spread word of the inspiring debates, seminars, industry developments and wonderful new products that surrounded us last month at the Barbican. And it looks like we’re not the only ones – the response of delegates has been overwhelming, and we’ve drawn together some of your tweets on page 8.
Aside from the speakers, who excelled themselves, my personal highlights were as follows: the inspirational warm ups from Dominic Peckham and Ollie Tunmer (both of whom won over a hall of 300 people in a matter of seconds); the ﬂowering of shiny plastic ‘brass’ instruments in the trade stands ; the summing-up from the music professionals in our Saturday debate (Jane Werry: ‘Get rid of the sodding EBacc and give every borough a music advisor. We don’t need music to live, but it is what makes life worth living’); and discovering that Sir James Galway is a magpie for all things purple (The ISM pencils went wonderfully with his jacket). Also, I won’t forget seeing the children of the London Russian Music School in action – predictably virtuosic, sensitive and precocious on the ivories, one young student, wearing the smallest tux I’ve ever seen, morphed from a miracle of the concert platform into a lethal sonic weapon in the time it took him to run from the Steinway stand to the nearest drum kit.
I’d also like to say something about the two ﬁgures who received lifetime achievement awards at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. Christine Croshaw, who is described by her students as a ‘magical musician who is always ready with the right words’, is a professor of piano at Trinity Laban and a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming. She is also the nicest person you could hope to meet, and adored for her total commitment to helping others build the technical tools and mental strength to ﬂourish as musicians. Vivienne Price’s legacy is plain to see and hear – in its 35-year history, the National Children’s Orchestra has been a beacon of aspiration, beneﬁtting thousands of children, including many of today’s top performers. Her tireless tutelage continues to pay dividends in concert halls across the country and abroad, and her achievement in founding the organisation and ensuring its continued growth cannot be overestimated.
And the extra-curricular fun and games don’t stop with the Expo. Rhinegold Publishing is launching Rhinegold Live – a free series of rush-hour concerts at London’s Conway Hall. The performers are stellar, to put it mildly, with the inaugural concert on 3 April featuring Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber. See page 54 for full details.