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Latest News

Music hub and Arts Council host minister’s visit

9 December 2014

Arts Council and the North East London music education hub recently hosted a visit from Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education (DfE). The visit took place at Redbridge Primary School where he, and colleagues from the  (DfE) observed a Year 4 Whole Class Ensemble Teaching (WCET) beginner recorder class and a Year 6 WCET flute continuation class. 


After touring the school and talking to teaching staff and pupils, the minister was accompanied to the John Savage Centre in Hainault where he met staff and instrument repair technicians from the Instrument Centre, and observed a kindergarten class with toddlers, parents and carers. Mr Gibb was receptive and enthusiastic throughout, and seemed particularly impressed with the quality of music education on offer, and the schools’ commitment to the arts. He was also impressed with approaches to raising attainment in reading and maths, with the expertise within the hub itself, and with the hub’s valuable supportive role across two outer London boroughs. 

National Learn to Play Day 2015

8 December 2014

The event will be UK-wide and will once again offer the general public the chance to have a free “taster” lesson on a musical instrument. In 2014, 117 venues put on events ranging from Music Shops to Music Services and even Churches! People who have never played and people who used to play all came on the day to try an instrument to gain expert advice on next steps on playing an instrument. Over 10,000 free lessons were given in 2014 with over a third of people going on to continue their musical journey.  


For 2015, the charity wants to fully involve any Music Hub, Music Service or community music project that is interested in running a stand-alone event or partner with an existing one. Music for All Patron, Jools Holland commented ‘I am delighted to lend my support to the National Learn to Play Day and help MFA in their quest to inspire more people to participate in music making.’  

If would like more information about the event, go to www.learntoplayday.com where you can see a short video that includes Portsmouth Music Service or contact mfa@mia.org.uk 

 Swinging Hubs 

5 December 2014

On 22 November Bournemouth & Poole (SoundStorm), Bromley, East Renfrewshire, Manchester (One Education Music), Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Southampton were the centre of attention at a celebration of their commitment to jazz education at an EFG London Jazz Festival concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. After the presentation of Diplomas under the Jazz Services’ Will Michael Jazz Education Awards scheme, supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and Serious, the celebrations were brought to a head by the Royal Academ of Music Big Band playing the music of and featuring Nikki Iles. 


The Awards are a means of according national recognition to those Hubs, Music Services and Education Authorities which demonstrate an outstanding commitment to jazz education. 

Young musicians…get your music heard 

4 December 2014


Time is running out for young musicians wanting to perform at the world’s largest youth music festival – entries must be in by 8 December. The Regional Festival Series, sponsored by ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, runs between February and March in 50 venues across the UK.  National youth music organisation Music for Youth delivers a season of events which young people, and their music teachers and leaders can get involved, including the 5-day MFY National Festival in Birmingham (7-11 July) and the spectacular Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in November. The Regional Festival Series features 40,000 young participants performing all over the country, providing a unique opportunity for around 1,500 groups to perform to new audiences, listen to other groups from their area and get valuable feedback from the team of professional musicians who will help them to progress their musical talents.

This free event is open to groups of two or more who are 21 and under, playing (or singing) any genre of music to any standard.

To join over 40,000 young musicians in the world’s largest youth music festival, enter your group for free at mfy.org.uk/regional. It takes just 10 minutes to sign up your group to a festival performance in February or March, or you can submit a recorded entry by Wednesday 4 March 2015."

Programme announced: Dartington International Summer School, August 2015

3 December 2014

Dartington has released details of Joanna MacGregor’s first programme as Artistic Director for Dartington International Summer School. Joanna has put together a programme of courses and concerts open for everyone; professional musicians and students of all ages, plus people who love to play and listen. World-class musicians and singers across classical, folk, jazz, world music and electronica come together with conductors, directors, writers, poets, actors and visual artists in a packed and holistic programme.  There are opportunities to perform, improvise, write, dance, listen, share and watch across four weeks, with bursaries also available to attend this centre for excellence and creativity. 


  ‘Dartington is a place of extraordinary beauty, and the Summer School has inspired musicians and artists of all backgrounds for more than sixty years. The 2015 programme remains true to the tradition of welcoming everyone; by day, every corner of the estate hums with activity and learning, and by night the medieval Great Hall hosts a packed series of concerts, from Gabrieli and music of the Baroque to 19th century opera, cutting-edge jazz, contemporary and chamber music.’ Joanna MacGregor, Artistic Director 

Cross-collaboration is at the heart of this year’s programme; encouraging people of all abilities and interests to step outside of the familiar and try something new. Week 1 sees Medieval and Renaissance music courses combine with improvisation, jigs, poetry and ecology. Leading poet Alice Oswald explores the nature poetry of Chaucer and collaborates with world-class Dutch jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans. Eric also joins Joanna MacGregor for an improvisation course built around the bluesy works of John Dowland.  Plus there’s the chance to enact the stage jigs of 16th century theatre with Lucie Skeaping and discover fairy tales and medieval miracles with writer and cultural historian Marina Warner

For full details of the course and concert programme, plus pricing options please visit: www.dartington.org/summer-school


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