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Latest News

Mayor of London launches new fund for music education

16 May 2011

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has launched a new music charity, which aims to raise £2m by March 2012 and boost music education for children in London.

The charity, called The Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians, will provide children who have significant musical talent and commitment with 'outstanding opportunities'. Four hundred children, aged seven to 11 and across 33 London boroughs, will be awarded music scholarships and will be selected on the basis of commitment, talent and financial need.

The four-year scholarships will provide the selected children with opportunities to progress their music education, with small-group instrumental tuition, access to instruments and Saturday music schools, individual mentoring and regular performances.

There will also be the opportunity for around 10,000 children up to the age of 18 to enhance their music education by working alongside professional musicians. This partnership scheme is an extension of an existing GLA pilot project.

The mayor, who is the founder patron, said: 'Music can transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds, enriching the mind, teaching valuable skills and discipline and importantly, providing a source of invaluable self-expression, personal enjoyment and life enhancing career options. If a young Londoner has a talent for music and the commitment to progress, I want them to be able to do so regardless of their starting point. The new fund will help to make this not just an aspiration but a reality for young musicians who could otherwise be overlooked.'

More information

Sing Up wins prestigious award

11 May 2011

Sing Up has been announced as the winner of this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Education Award for its work supporting singing in English primary schools. The programme brings opportunities for quality singing to millions of children across the country, and has over 90% of all primary schools involved. The RPS awards jury have urged the government to 'support this work that is the envy of other countries in Europe and across the world, beyond 2012'. Pupils from St Mary’s RC Primary School in London, a Sing Up Platinum Award-winning school, performed at the awards celebrations.

John Gilhooly, Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society commented: ‘The Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards are able to respond to the zeitgeist, but prefer to set the agenda. They reward serious, imaginative projects which broaden the understanding and enjoyment of music.’

To mark the occasion Sing Up have put together a special playlist on their Song Bank called Feeling Hot Hot Hot. Take a look here.

Call for Roland Champion School applications

10 May 2011

Roland, in partnership with Notion Music and UCan.tv, is inviting schools to take part in the Roland Champion Schools scheme, which will see all three partners support teachers to develop the use of music technology in their school.

Schools will receive free software and support in exchange for working with the programme to feed back on the products, contribute to resources and work with local schools.

The project will run for one academic year from September 2011 and schools will be able to focus on one or several products or areas of music technology, such as classroom recording, sampling or music notation.

The deadline for applications is 10 June.

Read more

Chair of education select committee attacks EBacc

5 May 2011

Conservative MP and leader of the Commons education select committee Graham Stuart has jumped the gun on the committee's official inquiry into the EBacc by expressing personal concerns about the proposed performance measure.

Stuart commented that the six EBacc subjects left 'little room for other courses such as drama, economics, music and ICT or vocational courses such as young apprenticeships.' He also said that less able students may find their provision 'dismantled'.

Stuart's comments echo the concerns of many within the music education sector, who fear that the EBacc will steer resources away from school music - a problem which will be compounded if music is removed from the national curriculum as a result of the current curriculum review.

A spokesman for the Department for Education commented: 'The EBacc is not the be-all and end-all. The core subjects has [sic] been kept small deliberately to allow the opportunity for wider study - there are valuable and rigorous academic and non-academic qualifications, not in the EBacc, that pupils should be free to take.'

ABRSM announces conference dates

3 May 2011

ABRSM has announced dates for its annual conferences in Manchester, London, Gateshead and Birmingham. The two-day conferences for teachers of all instruments and levels will feature expert-led sessions and presentations including an introduction to ABRSM’s 2012–2015 violin syllabus. Other sessions will cover the revised scale and sight-reading requirements for all bowed string instruments, an exploration of touch, sound, texture and voicing in piano performance, personalised learning, developing aural awareness, and ‘From the examiner’s chair’ - an insight into ABRSM’s exam structure and marking criteria for Grades 1-8.

‘We see supporting teachers as a central part of our work,’ said Richard Crozier, ABRSM director of professional development. ‘ABRSM conferences offer an unrivalled opportunity for teachers to network with fellow professionals and explore new repertoire, resources and teaching strategies that can be transferred directly into their lessons.’

Venue and date details are:

  • Manchester Central Convention Complex 3–4 September
  • Hilton London Metropole 10–11 September
  • Hilton Newcastle Gateshead 29–30 October
  • Hilton Birmingham Metropole 26–27 November
More information can be found at www.abrsm.org/conferences

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