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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

Music Pages
Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Latest News

Shortlist announced for the 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

17 November 2015

The shortlist for the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence has been released, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony on 25 February 2016. A record number of nominations were received this year. 

Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor will host the ceremony, with music from the Locke Brass Consort and a Yamaha music scholar. 

The awards will be judged by a panel including Paul Harris, lecturer in pedagogy at the Royal Academy of Music, Luise Horrocks, associate chief examiner at Trinity College London, Sarah Lambie, editor of Teaching Drama magazine, Caitlin Sherring, director of music at Woodcroft Primary School, winner of the 2015 Best School Music Department Award, Alex Stevens, editor of Music Teacher magazine, and Diane Widdison, national organiser (education & training) at the Musicians’ Union.

Alex Stevens, editor of MT, said: ‘We are delighted to announce a very strong selection of shortlists for this year’s awards. It is inspiring to see how much hard work goes into music education in the UK, and we are excited to be able to recognise some of the teachers, schools and initiatives achieving excellence – often in challenging circumstances.’


Best Musical Initiative, sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service
·         Castle Rock Music Maestros (Castle Rock High School)     
·         Chiltern Music Academy        
·         Proud to Perform (Club Europe)
·         Connected Schools Partnership  (SoundCity Brighton & Hove)        
·         UP! Orchestra (Surrey Music Hub)

Best Print Resource 
·         Everybody Sing! (Bloomsbury Publishing)
·         Encore for Piano (ABRSM)
·         Improve Your Theory, Paul Harris (Faber Music)      
·         Piano by Ear, Lucinda Mackworth-Young (Faber Music)      
·         Traditional Fiddle, Jane Griffiths (OUP)
·         Vamoosh tutor books (Vamoosh Music)

Best Digital/Technological Resource 
·         Charanga Music Professional 
·         English Folk Dance and Song Society Resource Bank         
·         MusicFirst (Music Sales Group)
·         Sinfini for Schools (Sinfini Music)
·         Music Express Online (A&C Black)

Best SEND Resource, sponsored by the Schools Printed Music Licence
·         Figurenotes (Drake Music Scotland)
·         Theremini (Moog)       
·         Skoog (Skoogmusic)  
·         SoundLab (Heart n Soul/Unthinkable Consulting/Goldsmiths/Public Domain Corporation)
·         AlphaSphere

Best Music Education Product 
·         pTrumpet (Warwick Music Group)
·         Orange Music Board  
·         Bambajam      
·         Notion (PreSonus)
·         Cubase (Steinberg)

Best Musical Theatre Education Resource, sponsored by the Schools Printed Music Licence
·         Lion King education resources (Disney)
·         Stage-in-a-Box
·         Stagecoach Mini Stages 
·         Billy Elliot education pack
·         Shows for Young Performers (Josef Weinberger)

Excellence in Primary/Early Years, sponsored by the ABRSM
·         Bold as (Deal Festival)
·         Rocksteady Music School      
·         Soundpots       
·         Little Notes      
·         Cyrilla Rowsell, a Kodály practitioner who has taught extensively across the UK and the world 

Best School Music Department, sponsored by the MMA 
·         Downs Junior School  
·         East London Arts & Music      
·         The Windsor Upper Schools   
·         Merchants’ Academy, Bristol 
·         Old Park Primary School

Music Education Council Major Award, sponsored by the Music Education Council. Please note that the shortlist and winner is decided by a separate judging panel operated by the Music Education Council 
·         Bristol Plays Music
·         East Ayrshire Council
·         East Renfrewshire
·         Hertfordshire Music Education Hub
·         Portsmouth Music Hub
·         SoundCity: Brighton & Hove
·         Soundstorm Music Hub
·         Telford & Wrekin Music Education Hub

Best Classical Music Education Initiative, sponsored by Classic FM. The winner of this award will be decided by a public vote on
·         BBC Ten Pieces         
·         OperaPLUS (Jackdaws Music Education Trust)
·         Music for Open Ears  
·         Mossley Hollins School Brass Outreach Project        
·         Seven Seeds (Tri-borough Music Hub)

Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union
·         James Manwaring, director of music at Windsor Upper Schools
·         Marianna Hay, director of music at Highbury Grove School, Islington, and artistic director of the National Orchestra for All
·         Richard Downing, a music technology teacher at the Working Men’s College
·         Mike Whitlock, music teacher at Victoria Education Centre, a special school in Poole, Dorset
·         Richard Ashton, founder of WorldBeatsMusic and percussion leader for Oxfordshire County Council’s music service

The other categories to be presented on the night are:

·         Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award, sponsored by Higgledy Piggledy Jazz
·         Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Black Cat Music and

'The quality of the music-making is second to none': MFY Proms 2015

13 November 2015

The finale of a 2014 Prom
The finale of a 2014 PromMusic for Youth

A performance from a 2014 Prom
A performance from a 2014 PromMusic for Youth

Thousands of young musicians from across the UK will gather in the Royal Albert Hall on 23, 24 and 25 November 2015 to participate in the Music for Youth Proms.

Formerly known as the Schools Proms, the celebration of youth music is undergoing a change for 2015. Each concert will still present the crème de la crème of young musicians – from symphony orchestras to singer-songwriters, rock bands to choirs – but will feature for the first time a specially commissioned piece to conclude each concert (written by the charity’s inaugural artist-in-residence Joe Broughton).

‘We’re trying to give the young peoples’ voices a little more prominence this time around,’ says Judith Webster, chief executive of Music for Youth. ‘It’s their take on the music they’re into – they’re not just playing traditional music, but they’re doing things which are relevant to them and to the audience. Although the concerts still offer snapshots of everything that’s going on, we’re trying to present something fresh and varied.’

A massed ensemble will perform a new work each night before concluding the performance with ‘a modern-day Pomp and Circumstance'. Broughton worked on ideas for the piece with young people earlier in 2015, creating something which Webster describes as ‘quite appropriate for today – the piece is inclusive and celebratory and all about the hope and aspirations of youth. I think that’s what these concerts symbolise – the fact that these performers are the leaders and artists of tomorrow.’

Even for those who don’t know the performers, the Proms concert never fails to impress. ‘Everybody goes away amazed by the achievement, and particularly those that have come not knowing what to expect,’ says Webster. ‘The production is really slick, and that really raises everybody’s game. The quality of the music-making is second to none.'

Royal Albert Hall executive Chris Cotton agrees. ‘I get angry when things are tagged with the word “school”, or for the young or “youth” – it seems to put people off. I can absolutely assure people that they should not be put off because these are some of the most vibrant, energetic and exciting performances. Coming to some of the youth events and seeing the best of the best perform is very uplifting. It gives you a lot of confidence that the youth of this country is doing brilliantly.’

The RAH is one of the charity’s two major sponsors – providing financial support and hiring the venue to the charity – and also embodies the inclusive ethos of the festival. ‘The Hall is for the entire country to benefit from, and we welcome people from all around the world onto our stage. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an amateur or a professional – playing there is supremely prestigious.’

Youth music is a particular passion of Cotton’s. ‘These are our musicians of tomorrow. Whether they continue in a professional way or in their own private lives, it’s so wonderful for them to have those opportunities. You can see just from talking to children and seeing their expressions that it really sparks something in them, and they really give their best when they’re here. They’re very exciting evenings, and it’s something those performers will never forget.’

Music for Youth Proms 2015

Ten Pieces Live Lesson: 26 November

13 November 2015

Presenter Naomi Wilkinson
Presenter Naomi Wilkinson

BBC Learning is holding a special Ten Pieces Live Lesson for KS3/Level 3 from 11-11.35am on 26 November.

The event, which will be broadcast live to classrooms across the country, will be presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and Blur’s Alex James, with guests including DJ Mr Switch and poet Lemn Sissay. 

The Live Lesson will focus on three of the Ten Pieces, encouraging students to develop their own creative responses and connecting elements of the pieces to the music curriculum.  
The lesson will focus on:
‘Toreador’s Song’ from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’
Creative response: poetry
‘Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra’ by Gabriel Prokofiev
Creative response: dance
Shostakovich’s ‘Symphony No. 10’
Creative response: art 

Teachers are recommended to ensure that their students have listened to or watched the clips of the three pieces before tuning into the Live Lesson.

Students and teachers are invited to send in questions and to create their own responses to the music.

Ten Pieces: Live Lesson

NYOGB and Classic FM announce partnership

13 November 2015

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the Barbican
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the BarbicanJason Alden

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYOGB) has been announced as Classic FM's Orchestra of Teenagers, a partnership intended to 'inspire a new generation of young concert goers'. 

The radio station will promote a new ticket scheme for under 25s to its listeners - a key element of the partnership - and will feature performances from the NYOGB throughout the year.

The partnership follows the launch of NYO Inspire, an initiative which aims to ensure that all teenagers experience orchestral music as performers and as audience members. The scheme reached 1556 young musicians in its first year.

NYOGB chief executive Sarah Alexander said: 'We are on a mission to be a driving force in engaging teenagers in classical music. With Classic FM, we hope to further open the classical door to a whole new generation of listeners and bring the totally brilliant performances of our outstanding musicians to even wider audiences.'

Classic FM managing editor Sam Jackson said: 'At Classic FM, we’re passionate about introducing classical music to everyone – and when it comes to inspiring the next generation of listeners and concertgoers, there are no better ambassadors than these wonderful musicians.'

Classic FM has seen a considerable increase in younger listeners over the last five years, with an average of 440,000 under-25s tuning in every week.

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

Report calls for greater advocacy for musical inclusion

12 November 2015

Kathryn Deane
Kathryn Deane

Matt Griffiths
Matt Griffiths

A report commissioned by Youth Music has found that music education hubs are able to make a significant impact on the effectiveness of musical inclusion for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Power of Equality 2’ presents Sound Sense's findings from evaluating the ways in which musical, social and personal outcomes related to one another in Youth Music’s Musical Inclusion programme between 2012 and 2015.

Working from the idea that disadvantaged young people lose out on music-making opportunities, the report’s purpose was to examine how more inclusive music practice can be realised.
Sustainability and partnerships were seen to be key factors in achieving a more equitable landscape, recognising hubs as being of use to both of these because of their size, potential longevity, and collaborative potential.

The report recommends undertaking further research into the long-term sustainability of work with children in challenging circumstances, including how grant funding might be increased, and into which aspects of practice encourage specific personal and social developments.
The Musical Inclusion programme was launched following the establishment of the music education hubs in 2012, with the aim of making the case for inclusive music practice to be a significant part of a hub’s activities. 26 projects are involved in the programme, with around 24,000 participants in total. 

Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, said: ‘It’s clear that the basic framework exists for good partnership working within music education hubs.  The more seriously the report’s recommendations are taken and acted upon in this context, the closer we will move towards a musically inclusive England where all children in challenging circumstances will experience the multi-faceted benefits of music-making.’

Kathryn Deane, director of Sound Sense, said: ‘The benefits of excellent inclusive music work with young people are well known and our evaluation has uncovered the key factors that need to be further developed to achieve that excellence universally. 

‘We felt privileged to have spent three years exploring the practice of musical inclusivity with Youth Music and the 26 organisations involved. What struck us most, even beyond the care, passion and thoughtfulness of those we interviewed and heard from, was the complex and wide-ranging nature of the work. The demands placed on those who work with sometimes very challenged young people are heavy and require highly experienced musicians and project managers to fulfil them. 

‘We look forward to supporting the work we have recommended that now needs to take place.’

The Power of Equality 2

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