James Rhodes leads instrument donation appeal
1 July 2014
Primary schools in the UK have until 11 July to sign up for free musical instruments as part of James Rhodes’ ‘Great Instrument Amnesty’.
The concert pianist’s ambitious plan is to encourage the public to donate unused instruments that might be ‘languishing in cupboards and attics’ to the cause. These instruments will then be distributed to schools via the dedicated registration website. James wants to involve state primary schools in every county and schools will be selected based on need, as well as their commitment to making their music education sustainable.
The motivation behind this campaign is James’s belief that too many children are missing out on the opportunity to learn and instrument and progress on it, due to instruments and lessons being an unaffordable luxury. ‘Music has become something of a lottery for children - excellent in some schools and simply inadequate in others,’ says James. He wants to ensure that children are able to learn an instrument at the age when it matters most.
Oxfam will be collaborating with James Rhodes for this project, which is linked to a three-part series due to air on Channel 4 later this month. These programmes will follow James as he pilots his amnesty at a primary school in Basildon, Essex, before preparing to roll it out nationwide.
Those interested in pledging an instrument can drop it off at any Oxfam shop.
Schools benefitting from the amnesty will be invited to take to the stage at Oxjam, the charity’s music festival, which helps raise money to fight poverty around the world. Participating schools will also receive an education pack from Oxfam, featuring guides and lesson plans.
To watch James’ video appeal and to register your school, visit the project's website.
First CME centres announced by TCL
30 June 2014
The first four centres to offer the Certificate for Music Educators (CME) have been approved by Trinity College London.
CPD Centre West Midlands and Norfolk Music Service will be open to all learners, with the East Midlands Hub Consortium and the RAF Air Cadets Music Service initially operating as closed centres, offering workforce development programmes.
The CME was created following a recommendation in the government’s 2011 National Plan for Music Education. It is designed to help music educators in all contexts and backgrounds to develop their skills, and is assessed practically in the working environment. The Trinity CME is a specially accredited version of the qualification, and any organisation equipped to offer a Trinity CME programme can apply to become a centre. These organisations include music education hubs, music services, specialist subject associations and other training providers.
Christopher Walters, Trinity’s head of qualifications for music, commented: ‘It is exciting to see these first four Trinity CME centres set sail – each with its own distinct offering, but all with the same ultimate purpose of developing and recognising music educators’ skills. These four centres will be the foundation stones of Trinity’s growing network of CME centres, and I look forward to seeing more centres approved over the coming year.’
Prospective learners should contact centres directly for more information. To find out more about the Trinity CME, visit the Trinity College website.
30 June 2014
This term, ten emerging European artists will be teaming up with primary schools in the North West of England to develop ideas on multiculturalism and what it means to be a ‘European’.
Over 300 children will take part in creative activities led by musician Sarah Atter, alongside a flamenco dancer, a puppeteer, a poet, a sculptor, an animator, theatre practitioners and visual artists. The work they create will be presented as a mass-installation at Z-arts this summer, incorporating the whole building. Each school will present an immersive exhibition or performance that will represent a journey across Europe.
Z-arts aims to encourage young people in the North West to explore feelings and thoughts on Europe. This project is being organised in partnership with the European Commission in the UK and Instituto Cervantes, with support from The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The selected primary schools are: Summerville Primary School, Holy Name RC Primary School, Rolls Crescent Primary School, Crosslee Community Primary School, Armitage CofE Primary School and Gorse Hill Primary School, all in Manchester; Rounthorn Primary Academy and Friezland Primary School in Oldham; Pikes Lane Primary School in Bolton; and Cheadle Heath Primary School in Stockport.
Z-arts CEO Liz O-Neill said: ‘As a referendum on Britain’s role in the EU is still on the political agenda, we thought it would be timely to explore our children’s ideas about Europe. We have identified 10 primary schools from across the North West, focusing particularly on diverse and multicultural communities. These schools will be linked with an individual artist who will create a bespoke project from a range of different disciplines inspired by their own European connections. This is the start of an amazing project which will unite language, creativity, culture and art in all its forms to inspire a generation of children across the North West and hopefully teach us all something about the world in which we live.’
RSNO chief takes top job at ABRSM
24 June 2014, Alex Stevens
Michael Elliott, currently chief executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, has been appointed chief executive of ABRSM. He will take over the role from the retiring Leslie East in January 2015.
Before the RSNO, Elliott had been director of culture at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Before that he had been chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, during which time he also played a role in planning the city’s European Capital of Culture activities.
Colette Bowe, chairman of ABRSM’s governing body, said that there had been ‘huge interest in this role and a large number of people were considered’, but that the trustees had been impressed by Elliott’s ‘range of strengths, qualities and relevant experience’.
Elliott called ABRSM ‘world class’ and said that he looked forward to ‘leading it in its next phase of development’. He said that it would be ‘a considerable wrench’ to leave the RSNO, its chorus and youth chorus and staff. ‘I will always remain an enthusiastic ambassador for this great orchestra and nation.’
East took over the ABRSM chief executive’s role in spring 2013, following the resignation of previous incumbent Guy Perricone. In a recent interview for Music Teacher magazine he said that he was expecting to retire leaving the organisation ‘in a good state’ having lead a programme of infrastructure development for an organisation which operates grade exams in close to 100 countries worldwide. The changes would ‘certainly make life inside [the ABRSM] building tremendously easier and more effective’, he said.
‘The governing body wishes to thank Leslie very warmly indeed for his outstanding leadership of ABRSM,’ said a statement, ‘and for all his long service to us, including a very successful time as director of publishing.’
The RSNO said a recruitment process was ‘already underway’ to find Elliott’s successor. Its chair, Brian Lang, said: ‘Michael Elliott has been a highly successful chief executive for the RSNO. His period in office has seen the growth in the size and diversity of audiences, artistic success, and increasing support from funders and supporters.
‘He has made a substantial impact on planning for the new home that will replace Henry Wood Hall. As we approach our 125th anniversary, the board is grateful to Michael for all he has done to put the orchestra in good shape for the future. We will miss him, but wish him well in his new venture.’
Professorship in Performance Practice Announced
24 June 2014
Trinity Laban has announced the appointment of John Irving as Professor of Performance Practice. The chair was awarded in recognition of Irving’s research achievements.
John Irving is an internationally recognised Mozart scholar. Formerly director of the Institute of Musical Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Irving was also Professor of Music at the universities of London and Bristol. As a performer on the early keyboard, Irving has recorded CDs of Mozart, Vanhal, Beethoven and Haydn. Irving has also contributed to a number of scholarly publications, including the Cambridge Companion to the Symphony, and the Oxford Handbook of Musical Topic Theory.
The announcement follows the appointment of Professor Irving as a Reader in Music at Trinity Laban in April 2013.
Irving said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been granted this title, and look forward to extending in a conservatoire context the work I began in performance practice research as Professor of Music at the universities of Bristol and London. In particular, I look forward to engaging with audiences outside higher education through my role, as well as research advocacy within Trinity Laban itself.’
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