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ABRSM launches new violin syllabus

7 July 2011

On the 7 July, ABRSM released several new publications for strings including new set pieces for violin, revised scale and sight-reading requirements for all strings and a new series of beginner violin music by Edward Huws Jones. The new syllabus sees the introduction of the natural minor at Grade 1 and shorter sight-reading tests across all the grades. Recordings of the entire syllabus are available as audio downloads with Grade 8 also available on CD. These new requirements and pieces will be for use in exams from January 2012.


Chetham's School of Music reaches a milestone

6 July 2011

The development project for a New School building at Chetham’s School of Music has reached a milestone with a bridge connecting the new facilities to the medieval site, at the centre of medieval Manchester. The £36m project will feature state of the art facilities and is due for completion in early 2012.

Alongside these site developments, Chetham’s website has also launched a behind the scenes area offering an insight into the activities at Chethams. Currently on display are sound clips, photos and news from rehearsals in the run up to major concerts. Violinist Fiona Robertson prepares for her performance of Berg's Violin Concerto with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra on 7 and 8 July.


Trinity Guildhall announces new piano syllabus

4 July 2011

Trinity Guildhall has released a new piano syllabus for use in graded exams from January 2012. The syllabus features new repertoire and a range of new exercises for the Technical Work part of the exam. New books, featuring the pieces and Technical Work, and CDs are available to accompany each grade. The syllabus also covers the Piano Accompanying exams and Trinity Guildhall will now accredit the Initial Grade, providing added recognition for pupils in the early stages.

Nicholas Keyworth, chief examiner for Trinity Guildhall said: ‘The 2012-14 piano syllabus has been updated to include a range of new and exciting pieces composed or arranged by leading educational consultants and composers. The new repertoire lists include a wide variety of styles and genres and we are confident the pieces will be enjoyable for students and will invigorate teachers. Trinity Guildhall is proud to launch the new piano syllabus and continue to support the development of future musicians.’


Funding for National Youth Orchestras of Scotland halved

1 July 2011

The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (NYOS) is no longer a foundation programme organisation (FPO) of Creative Scotland, the Scottish arts funding body, and has seen its year-on-year central grant slashed by 50%. In the year beginning April 2012 it will receive £103,000 from the body.

The results of a review of Creative Scotland's FPOs were published in a press release on 30 June, with 41 organisations retaining central support.

A spokesman for Creative Scotland siad: 'We value the work and achievements of NYOS but both they and Creative Scotland recognise that there is an opportunity now to re-focus the organisation on its core activities, and Creative Scotland will continue to support them through that transition.'

Julian Clayton, chief executive of NYOS, was quoted in The Herald: 'This is a frightening time for the arts in Scotland. We are doing fantastic work. Just the other day I was a school in Partick and met a young boy who was a mute before he took part in our programme. Now that boy is talking. This will affect our ability to do that kind of work.'

Meanwhile, the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) received an increase to its annual award, which rises by 20%, to £91,760. This is 'to celebrate their ongoing high-quality contribution to the youth arts sector and innovation within their business model'.

Venu Dhupa, Creative Scotland's director of creative development, announced the outcomes of the review: ‘These organisations are the foundation of Scotland’s cultural sector and have delivered significant benefits to Scotland’s creative development, its economy and in growing audiences.'

She continued: ‘It’s been great to see so many good ideas put forward in the effort to deliver for a creative Scotland. The review has been an opportunity for celebration and congratulation, as much as a "health check".'

The announcement can be viewed here.




Yamaha UK launches Class Band education project

1 July 2011

Yamaha UK is piloting an education project called Class Band in collaboration with music services in Coventry and Staffordshire. The project will run until July 2012 with whole-class wind band teaching at the heart of its work, and gives pupils aged 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn Yamaha wind instruments over three years, delivered through weekly classroom music lessons in participating schools. Three Coventry schools have already begun their pilots, with three more in Staffordshire due to launch before the summer holidays, and two more in Coventry in the autumn. Participating schools will benefit from teacher training and networking opportunities, as well as exchange trip opportunities between Yamaha Class Bands across Europe. In addition, Yamaha UK is involving some of its national and international brass and woodwind artists, including saxophonist and double Mobo award-winner YolanDa Brown, who was appointed as the UK's Class Band ambassador in February 2011.

One secondary school deputy headteacher commented: ‘The Class Band programme is bursting with opportunities for our students. They get excellent music tuition on a new, quality instrument and there’s also a strong team ethos evident in the class. Their continued enthusiasm, excitement and real progress reflect significant success for the programme to date.’

Yamaha has also announced a new bursary programme with the European Guitar Teachers Association (EGTA). The bursary will help fund talented young guitarists to participate on the EGTA National Youth Guitar Ensemble’s annual course. Gerald Garcia from the EGTA commented: ‘We are pleased that a major music company has taken an interest in the bursary fund and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Yamaha.’

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