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Latest News

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.

NYJC takes off in new areas

15 June 2009

The National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) will shortly be launching its jazz pathway in five new regions. London, Cambridge, Cornwall, the North East and Birmingham are the latest regions to benefit from NYJC’s programme of almost 400 workshops and public performances, as well as more than 20 days of professional development seminars and workshops for regional jazz musicians and teachers. Meanwhile, the National Youth Jazz Summer School continues, with the next week-long residential course taking place in August 2010.

NYJC student activities are open to young musicians aged 18 and under. Regional programmes are open to all levels of ability from beginners to advanced, while places on the the summer school are offered to 30 young jazz musicians selected from the round of regional auditions. Professional development sessions are designed to support the needs of both music teachers working with young jazz musicians, and jazz musicians wanting to be more involved in teaching.  

New TV programme for musical youngsters

15 June 2009

A new six-part series for Children’s BBC (CBBC) will challenge children to create pop tracks based on well-known pieces of classical music.  

Clash, which begins on 7 July, aims to give young viewers an insight into the creation of music. Radio 1 DJs Bobby Friction and Nihal will join forces with musically-talented children to revamp two classical pieces into pop tracks with the aim of appealing to people who don’t normally enjoy classical music. During the course of the series the children will face a series of ‘musical challenges’ and seek advice from professionals as they create their arrangement.  

Speaking to MT, series producer Hugh Lawton said: 'Primarily this is an entertainment show, not an educational show, and so it's not didactic at all – our objective has been simply to create something that kids will enjoy watching. But there is a clear message that comes out of the show: making music is great and you don't have to be restrictive about genre.’    

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