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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

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Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

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Margaret Fingerhut to receive fellowship from Birmingham City University

4 September 2015

Pianist Margaret Fingerhut is to be awarded an honorary fellowship from Birmingham City University.

She will be presented with the award at a graduation ceremony this afternoon at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

Birmingham City University is the parent organisation of Birmingham Conservatoire. Work is currently under way on a new home for the conservatoire on the university’s city centre campus.

Fingerhut, 60, has enjoyed a career spanning 40 years and has been a visiting tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire since 2007. She has also given masterclasses in the US, Canada and China.

She said: ‘It is a real thrill to be recognised like this by the university. I have always loved teaching at Birmingham Conservatoire and am proud to be part of the faculty, particularly at this exciting time in its history.’


BBC Music announces Ten Pieces Secondary film presenters

3 September 2015

Presenter Vikki Stone
Presenter Vikki Stone

Presenter Lemn Sissay
Presenter Lemn SissayDominique Brewster

BBC Music has announced the presenters for its Ten Pieces Secondary film, which will be shown across the UK free of charge in October. The hour-long film will feature specially shot performances of the ten pieces featuring the BBC Philharmonic and members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, conducted by Alpesh Chauhan.

The presenters are:
  • TV presenter and journalist James May: Bach, orch. Stokowski – Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 / Soloist: Wayne Marshall
  • Singer Pixie Lott: Bernstein – ‘Mambo‘ from West Side Story
  • Actor Bobby Lockwood and TV presenter and actor Naomi Wilkinson: Bizet – ‘Habanera‘ and ‘Toreador Song‘ from Carmen Suite
  • Comedian and rapper Doc Brown: Anna Clyne – Night Ferry
  • TV presenter and former footballer Dion Dublin: Haydn – Trumpet Concerto (third movement) / Soloist: Alison Balsom
  • Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo and composer Gabriel Prokofiev: Gabriel Prokofiev – Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra (fifth movement) / Soloist: DJ Mr Switch
  • Poet and Broadcaster Lemn Sissay: Shostakovich – Symphony No. 10 (second movement)
  • TV presenter Molly Rainford: Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending / Soloist: Nicola Benedetti
  • Comedian Vikki Stone: Verdi – ‘Dies Irae’ from Requiem / featuring the Hallé Choir
  • Actor Christopher Eccleston: Wagner – ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ from Die Walküre
The trailer for the film can be found here.

Teachers will once again have access to a range of online resources to explore the works in their own lessons, encouraging pupils to respond to the music through composition, dance or art.

The initiative follows in the footsteps of Ten Pieces Primary, which has engaged more than half of UK primary schools (over 11,000 in total) since its launch in autumn 2014. The resources for Ten Pieces Primary will be available throughout 2015/16, with schools encouraged to continue their involvement.

From 28 September – 10 October, Radio 3 will present a Ten Pieces season. Each of the pieces will be played on Breakfast, while Afternoon on 3, CD Review, In Tune and Essential Classics will also feature the chosen works.

Ten Pieces Secondary film presenter Vikki Stone said: ‘I grew up with classical music in my bones, so I am thrilled to part of this wonderful project. It’s important to keep the spirit of classical music alive, as without its influence, we’d have none of the modern music we listen to today.’

Schools can book free cinema tickets now for the nationwide screenings. 

BBC Ten Pieces

Music Teacher September issue is out now!

3 September 2015

Make the most of the new academic year with September’s edition of Music Teacher! We explore the best new repertoire and range of school programmes on offer for West End musicals; the BBC’s Ten Pieces project branches out to secondary schools; and assessing the progress of the Certificate for Music Educators as the revolutionary qualification for instrumental and vocal teachers starts to produce its first graduates. Plus, advice for planning a student tour abroad; Edexcel is ridiculed for the complete absence of women composers from it’s A-level syllabus; how the new term is the perfect time to evaluate how you work with pupils and parents; the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain undergoes a revolution under director Ben Parry; we catch up with Arts Council chief executive Darren Henley as the next government spending review looms into sight; Youth Music Theatre UK and registration opens for Music Education Expo 2016.

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Chris Ling found dead by US Marshals working on abuse case

2 September 2015

Chris Ling, the former Chetham’s School of Music violin teacher who was facing extradition from the US over alleged abuse of pupils, was found dead yesterday by a team of US Marshals sent to arrest him. 

He is believed to have shot himself, aware that the team’s arrival likely signalled the beginning of a judicial process related to Greater Manchester Police’s investigation into historical abuse at Chetham's. 

The investigation has led to the convictions of former Chetham’s director of music Michael Brewer, Brewer’s ex-wife Hilary, former chamber orchestra conductor Nicholas Smith and double bass teacher Duncan McTier (who taught at various institutions including Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music). It has talked to at least 30 women, and in 2013 said it was investigating ‘about 10 offenders’. 

In June this year, former Chetham’s and RNCM violin teacher Malcolm Layfield was found not guilty of raping a former pupil. During his trial he admitted a number of ‘shameful’ consensual sexual relationships with students, the youngest of whom was 17. 

Ling had moved to the US in the 1990s and ran a successful classical and entertainment talent agency in Los Angeles.

Birmingham Conservatoire creates new harp position for Catrin Finch

1 September 2015

Catrin Finch
Catrin Finch© Sven Sindt

Birmingham Conservatoire has appointed Catrin Finch as its first international chair of harp. The Welsh-born harpist, who served as Royal Harpist to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales between 2000 and 2004, will join the conservatoire in September.

Conservatoire principal Julian Lloyd Webber said: 'We are delighted that Catrin is joining us as international chair of harp. There is no better – or better known – harpist in the world today and this is a clear indication of where Birmingham Conservatoire is heading.'

Head of strings Louise Lansdown said: 'This appointment places Birmingham Conservatoire at the international forefront of where to study the harp. An inspirational array of orchestral, chamber music, folk, jazz and other themed classes and workshops are planned.'

Fellow harpists Eleanor Turner and Katherine Thomas who will also join the institution's strings department. 

Finch also runs an annual academy and harp fun day which this year brought together 35 harp players of all ages.

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