Youth Music awards £6.8m of funding to education projects across the UK
9 April 2015
Youth Music has announced new grant awards worth £6.8m as part of its recently refreshed grants programme.
The charity has awarded funding to 80 organisations in England supporting a wide range of projects, from a music programme for young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to a choir project for young carers.
Matt Griffiths, chief executive of Youth Music, said: ‘The grant awards will provide thousands of opportunities to support young people’s lifelong engagement with music.
‘Our focus on the development of personal and social skills, as well as musicality, will ensure that many of the participants attending Youth Music projects will have a life-changing experience.’
The grants include awards to 13 strategic partner organisations which will work with Youth Music to help it achieve its aims. They include Sage Gateshead in the North East, which is set to receive £160,000 a year for up to three years.
Steve Jinski, head of youth participation at Sage Gateshead, said: ‘This funding will enable us to provide sustained musical provision for young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity.
‘Our focus will be on those who are not in employment, education or training, those who are looked after and those with special educational needs.
‘It will enable us to make real progress not just in terms of music-making but also in helping participants to become more confident and resilient, qualities that can be carried into all aspects of their lives.’
Other organisations that will receive funding include ADHD Solutions CIC in Leicester, which has been awarded £17,400 for a music project focused on children with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Youth Music supports projects around the country that provide music-making opportunities for children and young people facing significant challenges in their lives.
The charity has recently restructured its grant-making process following a review by Arts Council England, led by Derek Avis, in light of the new National Plan for Music Education.
Two charities awarded 2015/16 Rhinegold Charity Fund
8 April 2015
Drum teacher in angry protest after primary school charges him £80 a month
8 April 2015
A private music teacher from North Yorkshire has spoken out after a primary school began charging him £80 a month to teach on the premises.
Stuart Ellerton, a drum teacher from Darlington, used to teach a regular cohort of children at Whinstone Primary in Ingleby Barwick during school time.
However, last year the school began charging him for the time he spent there. Ellerton has left the school in protest and has spoken to the local press about the ‘damaging and unfair’ charges.
‘I left in protest as I could not continue to be a part of this immoral, ludicrous and grossly unfair practice,’ he told Music Teacher.
‘This is potentially an incredibly dangerous situation. Imagine all Key Stage 2 schools in the country doing this.'
Ellerton said the Musicians' Union had written to Mike Poppitt, headteacher of Whinstone Primary, to inform him that the practice may be illegal.
‘I have been teaching since the age of 18 professionally and have never encountered such an unfair system,' he added. 'I teach at five other schools and even the heads there have expressed their disbelief.’
Ellerton called for a change in the law to ensure the practice does not become widespread. ‘This could put thousands of superb high quality and experienced tutors of music completely out of work, leaving less experienced vultures to pick up the work,’ he said.
Poppitt said Whinstone Primary had a duty to make the best use of its assets and the number of children receiving music lessons in the school was on the increase.
Government announces new centralised copyright license system
7 April 2015
Politicians have agreed a new system that they say will make it easier for schools to apply for music copyright licenses.
The government confirmed last week that copyright licences will be held centrally from now on, freeing schools from the burden of applying for them independently.
Previously, licences for the use of music had to be bought individually by schools and local authorities, often involving expensive and time-consuming negotiations.
The copyright licences will cover a wide variety of uses of music, including the recording of pupils’ performances on CD and DVD, school discos, radios in the staffroom and even holding music on telephones.
The latest deals follow previous agreements over the past two years on rights to use films, TV shows and newspapers in schools.
Schools minister David Laws said: ‘We want to do all we can to support [schools] to reduce the burden of unnecessary tasks so they can channel their resources into what is most important – educating young people.
‘The simplifying of copyright licensing in schools is another example of this, giving schools across the country the freedom to work on raising attainment levels further while saving millions of pounds.’
However, some leading music education practitioners have questioned the importance of the announcement.
Music teacher and blogger Jane Werry said: ‘This might put some people’s minds at rest but it will not make a huge difference to what they do.
‘Many teachers are not 100 per cent sure whether they are working within the law or not. There are massive grey areas around this stuff which we have been operating in for years.
‘If there is going to be any change, it should be to make more explicit what is and isn’t legal.’
Kent music education hub unveils digital ukulele lessons for primary schools
2 April 2015
Soundhub, the music education hub for Kent, has unveiled an online music education programme that enables non-specialist primary school teachers to deliver ukulele lessons.
MusicPlus Digital is a 30-week programme aimed at children aged 7 to 11. It consists of 15 digital lessons, each up to 40 minutes long, interspersed with 15 ‘live’ lessons delivered by a professional ukulele teacher.
The initiative has been trialled over two years and the initial pilot programme has now been rolled out to 25 primary schools across Kent.
Soundhub is hoping to sell MusicPlus Digital across the UK’s other 122 music hubs as well as to independent schools in the UK and music education providers overseas.
The programme is website-based and access can be purchased for £300 per school. There will be discounts available for bulk sales from music hubs, clusters of schools or groups of academies.
Musician Jake Painter, who presents the online lessons, said: ‘The ukulele is becoming the most popular instrument in primary schools and MusicPlus Digital also helps schools to cover Key Stage 2 National Curriculum, using sound educational principles, such as use of notation, pitch, composition and rhythm.’
Peter Bolton, chief executive of Soundhub, said: ‘Our two-year trial has shown that MusicPlus Digital can be of enormous benefit to teachers, whether or not they have specialist music training.
‘While the children watch and listen to Jake, the teacher can pass among them, helping individuals with hand-positioning and fingering, ensuring that all students receive the personal attention they need to keep up.
‘The ukulele is an inexpensive instrument, with basic models available for as little as £12. We believe that every child should have the chance to learn a musical instrument and MusicPlus Digital gives schools a cost-effective option for making high quality, whole-class music education more inclusive.’
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