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LCM announces DVD assessment for new performance awards

3 October 2011

London College of Music Examinations will launch a new range of Performance Awards in January 2012, to be assessed via DVD. These will require performance only of the set pieces at any particular grade. Technical work, Viva Voce, Sight Reading or Aural Tests will not be required. The DVD assessment means that there will be no need to attend an examination centre. DVDs may be submitted at any time and will be assessed in the normal way.

Philip Aldred, chief examiner in music, commented: ‘I believe the new Performance Awards will be beneficial to many pupils who wish to have their performances assessed quickly and fully. They will be able to monitor their progress, for instance, if they are preparing for a full graded examination or simply have the satisfaction and joy of performing and having a written response.’

Trinity College London announces new Rock & Pop music exams

1 October 2011

Trinity College London (TCL) has launched its Rock & Pop syllabus, comprising graded exams for guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals, from Initial to Grade 8. Publishers Faber music and Peters Edition London have collaborated with TCL to deliver a range of rock and pop songs from artists such as the Rolling Stones, ABBA, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Green Day, Muse and Rihanna. Repertoire has been carefully chosen to cover an array of skills found in the genres.

Each exam will be supported by a song book including a CD with demo and backing tracks, performance notes and guidance on technical skills and supporting tests. Additionally, an array of online resources will be available including sheet music and backing track downloads, blogs, forums and teaching and learning tips.

Candidates will be required to perform three songs and complete one supporting test. Those with song-writing ambitions can opt to perform one of their own original songs in the exam or may select their own chosen repertoire to perform cover versions. Singers have the option of performing self-accompanied, and instrumentalists can also sing the vocal lines where appropriate, if they choose to.

Trinity CEO Sarah Kemp says: ‘I have no doubt that this radical and inclusive new Rock & Pop syllabus will breathe new life into music education, breaking down many of the barriers currently in place. Trinity College London is passionate in its commitment to reach out to as many young musicians as possible, and to building the relevant musical communities around them. Rock and pop music is now the staple diet of many young musicians around the globe, and this new syllabus will encourage them to perform and study’.


Youth Music launches new funding model

30 September 2011

Youth Music, the leading UK charity using music to transform the lives of children and young people, is hosting five national events to launch its new funding model, inviting music educators to apply for funding from 3rd November.

The new funding model has three key elements: ‘a modular structure, an outcomes approach and a Youth Music Network’. The funding will be structured around modules with each module focusing on an issue or group of children and young people that has been identified as in need of support and applicants will be able to apply for funding for multiple modules. To support fundees Youth Music is launching an online portal to support funding applications and provide a platform for music education providers to share practice, collaborate, join in discussion and find out about a range of other services.

As well as five regional events, one event will be streamed live via an interactive webcast. The events are aimed at anyone with an interest in funding for music education activities, specifically those working in Youth Music’s priority areas: children in challenging circumstances, encouraging talent and potential, and early years. The closing date for the initial stage is 1st December.

Launch Event Dates:
3/11/11: Birmingham – Fazeley Studios
4/11/11: York - Priory Centre
7/11/11: Exeter - Racecourse & Conference Centre
8/11/11: London – Prospero House (Borough)
8/11/11: Webcast


Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students protest against fees

27 September 2011

Students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) have ended the first of series of 'wildcat occupations' in protest against the conservatoire's decision regarding fees for students from the rest of the UK (RUK). The conservatoire plans to charge annual fees of £9,000 to students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a total of £36,000 for a four-year degree course and £27,000 for a three-year course from 2012/13.

A spokeswoman for the protesters said: 'By facilitating fee increases for RUK students the RCS is setting a dangerous precedent in Scotland. Despite promises from the SNP Government that Scottish students will not pay fees, we believe that the huge disparity in fees between Scottish and RUK students will become intolerable and will inevitably result in fees for all students.

The spokeswoman continued: 'Whatever tokenistic measures are introduced, a financial market in education will always result in discrimination against those unable to afford fees, whatever the level. Education is a right, and must be free, as it was for generations.The Conservatoire's Student Union has abandoned its responsibilities by backing the decision by management.'

The decision is in line with fees charged by other UK conservatoires and RCS will continue to offer means-tested scholarships. Other higher education institutions in Scotland have announced a similar decision for RUK students, though some have capped fees at £27,000 for a four-year course.  Non-UK EU students and Scottish residents are able to apply for fee support from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

ABO urges end to music education 'uncertainty'

16 September 2011

The Association of British Orchestras (ABO) is set to address the three main party conferences with ‘a clear message to politicians to end the uncertainty over music education funding’. The plea will be made at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party conferences, on 19 September, 25 September, and 3 October respectively, at fringe events with speakers including Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM and author of the recent government-commissioned music education review; Ivan Lewis MP; Simon Hughes MP; and John Smith, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union.

The party conferences come ahead of the government’s National Plan for Music Education, which is scheduled for publication in October. Currently in its final stages of drafting, the plan is expected to translate a number of the recommendations contained within the Henley review into policy, following a largely positive response to it from the government. However, music education funding beyond April 2012, when the current funding expires, remains uncertain. Sources at the Department for Education have suggested that the current level of funding – £82.5m annually – will be extended until the plan is put into action in September 2012, but are yet to confirm this. Neither has an indication been given of what funding will be available beyond September 2012.

The ABO will argue that the plan must provide a firm funding platform to put music at the heart of young people’s learning, and that music is essential to the creative economy and to the future jobs of 1,000s of young people across the UK. Its fringe event at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference will look at higher education and the music industry, and at the Labour Party Conference it will focus on cultural education, employment and growth, looking at music education provision from primary school through to higher and further education. At the Conservative Party Conference the fringe event debate will be chaired by the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ chief executive Deborah Annetts, and will centre on questions over music’s place on the national curriculum, the intrinsic value of music in today’s society and the very purpose of music education.

Mark Pemberton, director of the ABO, said: ‘The place of arts and creativity in our economy is increasingly important, and music education gives children and young people routes into employment and many of the skills they need to survive in the jobs market place. The present and previous governments have recognised the importance of providing music education opportunities for all young people. We now want to see a solid foundation for the future which will enable the UK to plan for excellence and access in the years ahead.’

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