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National Learn to Play Day 2015

20 October 2014

    The event will be UK-wide and will once again offer the general public the chance to have a free “taster” lesson on a musical instrument. In 2014, 117 venues put on events ranging from Music Shops to Music Services and even Churches! People who have never played and people who used to play all came on the day to try an instrument to gain expert advice on next steps on playing an instrument. Over 10,000 free lessons were given in 2014 with over a third of people going on to continue their musical journey.

For 2015, the charity wants to fully involve any Music Hub, Music Service or community music project that is interested in running a stand-alone event or partner with an existing one. Music for All Patron, Jools Holland commented ‘I am delighted to lend my support to the National Learn to Play Day and help MFA in their quest to inspire more people to participate in music making.’

If would like more information about the event, go to www.learntoplayday.com where you can see a short video that includes Portsmouth Music Service or contact mfa@mia.org.uk



Anice Paterson 1940-2014

16 October 2014

David Wheway, one of Anice’s closest friends and colleagues, writes:

“It is perhaps difficult to appreciate now that, for most teachers in the 1970s and early 1980s, revolutionary thinking about music education had not begun to impact on either our training or teaching. Because of Anice, Leicestershire was among those education authorities who were at the forefront of innovative thinking about the music curriculum. Anice put together a strong advisory team in Leicestershire and her drive ensured all schools received support through a compendium of music materials and a comprehensive package of professional development opportunities. With her usual enthusiasm, Anice secured LEA funding for the support materials to be distributed free to all Leicestershire schools. This initiative ensured that by the early 1990s Leicestershire teachers’ confidence was strong, and class music teaching widespread. Curriculum music gained in popularity, and local courses for teachers were often oversubscribed.

Anice had a huge capacity for work, and a concise and organised method of working that ensured time was never wasted and was always productive. She led well, but also listened well, and highly valued the perspective others brought to the task in hand. Her ability to listen to others meant that her advice was always informed and considered. However Anice's thinking was always underpinned by strong values which she never compromised. She was never shy to challenge, and through doing so helped others clarify their thinking and values.

 

During the late 1990s and early 2000s Anice could be found at the NAME publications stand, where she needed no prompting to enter into lively debate on any topic. Members would consult her to sound out nascent ideas, and Anice would quickly point to any flaws in their argument, sometimes gently, sometimes with a metaphorical poke in the eye, depending on how shaky your argument. She played a major role in promoting NAME and its publications, and a term was introduced to NAME conferences - ‘to be Aniced’ which meant Anice had either not let you slip away without purchasing the latest publication, or you suddenly found you had a role in the smooth running of NAME … such as Chair!  Such was Anice’s reputation among many NAME members that she was nicknamed  ‘The Boss’, out of respect (and affection) for her awesome abilities. I think we have Helen Coll to thank for that moniker. 

In the last few years, Anice and I worked less together, as Anice devoted more time to enjoying a very active retirement. However, there are a number of people in our lives who are so influential that we hear their advice even when they are not present. I know Anice will continue to guide me for years to come. To say I will miss her is a massive understatement.

Music Mark welcomes Musical Bridges

29 September 2014

The UK Association for Music Education (Music Mark) has become the new home for Musical Bridges.

Launched in 2010 by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Musical Bridges is a website created to support the transition between primary and secondary school, through music. The website’s online resources will now be accessible via the Music Mark website, or through www.musicalbridges.co.uk.

Régis Cochefert,  Head of Arts at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said:  ‘Building on our work supporting music teaching in schools through Musical Futures, we launched Musical Bridges in 2010 to look at the issue of transition. Musical Futures increased the take up of music in secondary schools, but we wanted to look at how to tackle the drop off in participation as children moved up from primary school in Year 7.

‘Based on several years of research, the Musical Bridges resources provide valuable tools for music teachers in primary and secondary settings, and crucially within music education hubs, to support young people’s music-making through this difficult transitional phase. We are delighted that Music Mark will be housing the work of the initiative now that our funding has completed.’

Alan Davey to take over at Radio 3 from January 2015

26 September 2014, Alex Stevens

Arts Council England chief executive Alan Davey is to become controller of Radio 3 from January 2015, following the departure of Roger Wright earlier this year.

The announcement comes six months and two days after the news that Wright was leaving the BBC to lead Aldeburgh Music. Although Wright was both controller of the station and director of the Proms, the BBC confirmed that a separate appointment will be made after Davey takes up his new role, when a recruitment process will begin. Edward Blakeman will continue as acting director of the Proms until that time. 

Press reports had suggested that Davey had been approached by headhunters and was being considered as a serious candidate by the BBC, despite his apparent lack of experience in traditional broadcasting or, given that his new role oversees the BBC Performing Groups, in production. 

However, Susanna Eastburn, chief executive of contemporary music organisation Sound and Music and who worked with Davey at ACE as director, music from 2008-12, called Davey ‘a great appointment’. 

‘Alan has the strategic skills that the post will require in order for Radio 3 to thrive, at a time when the disruption of technology is not only opening up a new landscape for broadcasting but also revealing a growing public appetite for new and unusual musical experiences. He also brings an extensive (and fascinatingly eclectic) love and knowledge of music.’ 

Before Arts Council England, which he joined in November 2007, Davey was a civil servant at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where he had been director for culture, head of the arts division and also worked on setting up the National Lottery. He has also worked at the Department of Health. 

Davey will now await the appointment of a 'direct report' (someone to report directly to Davey) to take charge of the Proms, a prestigious role which will be much coveted by arts administrators in the UK and internationally as well as, perhaps, within the BBC. This year’s festival was led by Edward Blakeman as editor and acting director, a role which he will continue to hold until a permanent appointment is made. 

In statements, Davey said it was ‘an honour to be asked to lead this wonderful institution and to renew it for the digital age’, BBC director-general Tony Hall hailed Davey’s ‘formidable track record in the arts’, and director of BBC radio Helen Boaden said Davey would be ‘building on [Radio 3’s] huge strengths and invigorating it with fresh perspective’. 

Sir Peter Bazalgette ‒ the chair of Arts Council England whose appointment by then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in February 2013 broke Davey’s working relationship with Dame Liz Forgan ‒ said: ‘Alan has been a brilliant Chief Executive of the Arts Council, not least because he has an abiding passion for and knowledge of music. The BBC and Radio 3 is fortunate to get him.’ 

A BBC spokesperson confirmed: ‘The controller of BBC Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms roles will be split, with the Proms role directing in to the controller of BBC Radio 3. Recruitment for the role will begin when Alan is in post, [and] Edward Blakeman will continue in his role as Acting Director of the Proms in the meantime.’

MMF awards 70 scholarships

24 September 2014

70 talented young Londoners will attend a ceremony today at the Mayor’s City Hall, where they will be awarded four-year music scholarships worth £280,000.

The Mayor’s Music Fund was established in 2011 to help gifted children from disadvantaged families fulfil their musical potential. Each Mayor’s Music Scholar receives over two hours of tuition, music-making and other developmental activities each week, as well as opportunities to perform at and attend live music events. Each child is also matched up with their own mentor, who is the link between the child, their parent, their school, the local music service and the Fund. There are currently 300 primary school children benefitting from the scheme.

This morning’s ceremony has been sponsored by Trinity College London, with concert pianist James Rhodes presenting the awards.


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