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Latest News

Stentor donates violins to Gallions

17 June 2009

Stentor has just donated £1000 worth of violins to an East London primary school.

At Gallions School in Newham, all 240 children and all teachers learn to play the violin or cello, using Stentor instruments. At the London International Music Show at ExCeL last week, at which children from Gallions performed their own piece with the school choir and string ensemble, Stentor presented £1000 worth of Stentor violins to the school. This will enable even more music making, as students currently share instruments due to the large number of children playing.

‘This is fantastic news,’ said Paul Jackson, head teacher at Gallions.  At Gallions, the whole curriculum is taught through the creative arts. It is believed that this engages the children’s interest, creativity, thinking skills, co-operative working and positive behaviour.

Durham International Brass Festival

17 June 2009

Durham International Brass Festival takes place from 4 to 19 July. It claims to be the fastest-growing brass music festival in Europe. 

This year’s performers hail from Africa, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Macedonia, Mexico, Nigeria and the USA. The Programme covers genres including afro-beat, ambient, big band, Cajun, Celtic folk, classical, funk, gypsy, hip hop, jazz, salsa, ska, soul and traditional brass.

For full details, tickets and special offers, see the festival website, or call the ticket hotline on 0191 332 4041.

London Underground welcomes young buskers

17 June 2009

Applications are open for the chance to win a busking spot on the London Underground, courtesy of Rhythm of London and Transport for London.  

Young people aged 16-25 have the opportunity to audition in any musical genre for one of 100 20-minute busking slots on 11 July. The top ten buskers will also have the opportunity to busk for prizes including a year’s license to busk as part of the London Underground’s Busking Scheme; an Epiphone acoustic guitar, courtesy of Gibson Guitars; and a guitar donated and signed by Sting.  

To apply, complete the application form and email a 30-60 second clip no larger than 5MB of you/your band playing to by 6 July. For more information visit the Rhythm of London website.

News from Musical Futures

15 June 2009

The Musical Futures website has been relaunched. It now contains all teacher pack resources, plus case studies, reports, articles, background information and more about Musical Futures. There is also a new 'teacher created' section, where users are encouraged to upload any resources they have developed for Musical Futures in their schools to share with others.

Musical Futures: An Approach to Teaching and Learning is the 2nd edition of the organisation's teacher resource materials. The materials have been revised following three years of feedback from schools, teachers and practitioners. Hard copies are available free of charge (plus postage and packing) and can be ordered here. All content is also available to download, and the audio, video and other resource material is all stored online.

Ex-Police star and ex-teacher Sting has become Musical Futures’s global patron, officially taking on this mantle at a launch event on 12 June, as part of the London International Music Show.

The US-based NAMM Foundation has made a grant to the Australian Music Association to fund the launch of Musical Futures in Australia. While the models developed through Musical Futures have been successfully adopted overseas, this grant marks the first time a formal system has been launched to promote the programme abroad. Musical Futures is keen to hear from overseas colleagues who are adopting or planning to adopt Musical Futures.  If you are willing to share ideas, feedback, resources etc, contact Abigail on +44 (0)7837 631492,


Finally, a wide variety of CPD courses are coming up during June and July. Places are still available on several of these, covering various age groups and areas of the curriculum. See the website for further details.

MFY Friday at LIMS

15 June 2009

Thousands of school children, students and teachers descended on ExCeL, Docklands on 12 June for ‘MFY Friday’. Organised by Music For Youth (MFY) as part of the London International Music Show (LIMS), this event was aimed at promoting music education, encouraging participation to play instruments and helping children to learn something new about music.  

MFY Friday saw over 4000 children come together to celebrate and learn about the world of music with a programme of concerts and workshops. There were massed performances of the specially commissioned ‘LIMS Anthem’ composed by Tim Steiner, who conducted over 500 children combining a wide and diverse range of instruments. Another highlight was the MFY Prom, a concert for 2500 young people, which showcased a diverse range of music including samba, jazz, funk and classical. The organizers also ran the BiG RiFF, where everyone picked up instruments from one of the 200 exhibitors at the show to play The White Stripes’s Seven Nation Army and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

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