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Teaching Materials 2015

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Latest News

NYOGB and Classic FM announce partnership

13 November 2015

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the Barbican
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the BarbicanJason Alden

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYOGB) has been announced as Classic FM's Orchestra of Teenagers, a partnership intended to 'inspire a new generation of young concert goers'. 

The radio station will promote a new ticket scheme for under 25s to its listeners - a key element of the partnership - and will feature performances from the NYOGB throughout the year.

The partnership follows the launch of NYO Inspire, an initiative which aims to ensure that all teenagers experience orchestral music as performers and as audience members. The scheme reached 1556 young musicians in its first year.

NYOGB chief executive Sarah Alexander said: 'We are on a mission to be a driving force in engaging teenagers in classical music. With Classic FM, we hope to further open the classical door to a whole new generation of listeners and bring the totally brilliant performances of our outstanding musicians to even wider audiences.'

Classic FM managing editor Sam Jackson said: 'At Classic FM, we’re passionate about introducing classical music to everyone – and when it comes to inspiring the next generation of listeners and concertgoers, there are no better ambassadors than these wonderful musicians.'

Classic FM has seen a considerable increase in younger listeners over the last five years, with an average of 440,000 under-25s tuning in every week.

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

Report calls for greater advocacy for musical inclusion

12 November 2015

Kathryn Deane
Kathryn Deane

Matt Griffiths
Matt Griffiths

A report commissioned by Youth Music has found that music education hubs are able to make a significant impact on the effectiveness of musical inclusion for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Power of Equality 2’ presents Sound Sense's findings from evaluating the ways in which musical, social and personal outcomes related to one another in Youth Music’s Musical Inclusion programme between 2012 and 2015.

Working from the idea that disadvantaged young people lose out on music-making opportunities, the report’s purpose was to examine how more inclusive music practice can be realised.
Sustainability and partnerships were seen to be key factors in achieving a more equitable landscape, recognising hubs as being of use to both of these because of their size, potential longevity, and collaborative potential.

The report recommends undertaking further research into the long-term sustainability of work with children in challenging circumstances, including how grant funding might be increased, and into which aspects of practice encourage specific personal and social developments.
The Musical Inclusion programme was launched following the establishment of the music education hubs in 2012, with the aim of making the case for inclusive music practice to be a significant part of a hub’s activities. 26 projects are involved in the programme, with around 24,000 participants in total. 

Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music, said: ‘It’s clear that the basic framework exists for good partnership working within music education hubs.  The more seriously the report’s recommendations are taken and acted upon in this context, the closer we will move towards a musically inclusive England where all children in challenging circumstances will experience the multi-faceted benefits of music-making.’

Kathryn Deane, director of Sound Sense, said: ‘The benefits of excellent inclusive music work with young people are well known and our evaluation has uncovered the key factors that need to be further developed to achieve that excellence universally. 

‘We felt privileged to have spent three years exploring the practice of musical inclusivity with Youth Music and the 26 organisations involved. What struck us most, even beyond the care, passion and thoughtfulness of those we interviewed and heard from, was the complex and wide-ranging nature of the work. The demands placed on those who work with sometimes very challenged young people are heavy and require highly experienced musicians and project managers to fulfil them. 

‘We look forward to supporting the work we have recommended that now needs to take place.’

The Power of Equality 2

Sarah Derbyshire appointed chief executive of Orchestras Live

11 November 2015

Sarah Derbyshire
Sarah Derbyshire

Orchestras Live has appointed Sarah Derbyshire as its new chief executive. She will take up the position in January 2016, succeeding Henry Little, who becomes chief executive of Opera Rara in December 2015.

Throughout her career, Derbyshire has worked 'to ensure that high quality live performance is made accessible to all, and especially those facing restrictions due to disability, illness, economic or social isolation,' said a statement. She has also been a vocal supporter of music education.

Derbyshire led Live Music Now for ten years as the UK executive director, followed by a period as the managing director of the National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain. She is chair of NYMAZ, a board member of Jazz North and University of York Music Press, and a trustee of the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust.

In September 2015, Derbyshire launched the Musical Routes: A New Landscape for Music Education report in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society. She is currently acting as consultant to CapeUK (the bridge organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber), developing a local cultural education partnership for Kirklees.

Derbyshire said: 'I am delighted to be joining Orchestras Live. The organisation plays a vital role in ensuring that the thrill of live orchestral performance is widely accessible. Its record in reaching and fostering new audiences, as well as inspiring and encouraging children and young people on their musical path, is unsurpassed. It will be a privilege to work with such a fantastic team of board, staff and partners to safeguard and develop this work.'

Orchestras Live chairman Mark Bromley said: 'Sarah's broad experience is going to be invaluable in finding new and innovative ways to inspire, motivate and empower the widest range of people through excellent live orchestral music. The board, the staff team and myself are looking forward to working with her immensely.'

The national music charity, which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, aims to ensure that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy high-quality orchestral provision, regardless of their age or geographical location.

Orchestras Live

Scottish arts institutions celebrate Shakespeare's 400th anniversary

10 November 2015

Four of Scotland's education and arts institutions will join forces for New Dreams, a programme of music, dance, drama and visual arts events in celebration of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Glasgow School of Art, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and University of Glasgow will collaborate on performances, screenings, music and exhibitions involving hundreds of students, artists, designers and academics over the course of several months. 

The event will also feature new work inspired by themes in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Theatre director Graham McLaren has been appointed the artistic director for Dream On!, a multi-media performance involving all four institutions which will be performed at the University of Glasgow's Bute Hall and Cloisters on 23 April 2016.

He said: 'Thirty years ago I was taken to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (then RSAMD) by a wonderful, canny drama teacher to watch Shakespeare for free. I sat in the Old Athenaeum Theatre and, quite simply, a fire in me ignited and a lifelong love of this great institution started.

'You will understand then the real privilege I feel leading RCS students with such a remarkable array of local and international collaborators and artists in what is certain to be Scotland's most significant response to celebrate Shakespeare's 400th anniversary.'

RCS principal Jeffrey Sharkey said: 'I’m delighted that students and staff from across the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be at the heart of this wonderful new celebration of Shakespeare created in partnership in Glasgow for people in the city, in Scotland and beyond to enjoy.

'This is one of the biggest and most collaborative celebrations of Shakespeare ever created and staged in Scotland. So, as the nation’s centre of excellence for performing arts education, it’s a real pleasure for RCS to be working in partnership with committed and talented students and colleagues from other world-class organisations and institutions to celebrate Shakespeare, to create something new and exciting and to showcase the rich diversity of international talent we have here in Glasgow.'

Further details of the performances, screenings, exhibitions and events will be announced in 2016.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

LMU to close Cass instrument makers degree

9 November 2015

London Metropolitan University (LMU) is to close the Cass instrument makers degree.

The BSc is one of 19 courses under threat, with degrees in music and music technology also in danger.

Students on the course received an email on 23 October stating that the course would 'stop recruiting'. This follows the announcement on 9 October that the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design would relocate to LMU's north campus (with its present Commercial Road home to be sold and turned into flats) and and that student numbers would drop from 12,000 to 10,000. 

A petition on Change.org aims to reverse the decision, stating: 

'This historical course is the only of its kind in the world and to lose it would be a shame for the future of musical instruments and a lost opportunity for future generations.

'We appeal the action to stop recruiting on the Musical Instrument BSc; that it continue recruiting, promise the same facilities and level of teaching for the coming years, and that the course be returned to the London Metropolitan University course catalogue immediately. '

The University and College Union also protested the closure of the course, writing: ‘We call on our Board of Governors to intervene immediately, halt the sale of the CASS building and these precipitous course closures, and work with us and our members to develop a realistic forward-looking plan for a “two-campus” estate.’ 

The course, which was established in east London more than a century ago, teaches early woodwind making and repair; violin making; fretted instruments making and repair; harpsichord making; musical instrument technology; piano tuning, maintenance, and repair; and stringed keyboard design and manufacture. 

The closure of the BSc would mean that the Cass would only teach short courses in guitar making at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.

London Metropolitan University was approached for comment but didn’t respond.

Change.org: stop the closure of the Cass instrument makers degree

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