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Music Teacher magazine is the essential meeting point and resource for music education practitioners.

Whether you teach class music, or are a peripatetic/private instrumental teacher, Music Teacher will provide you with invaluable ideas for your teaching, with substantial online lesson materials and a range of practical features. Packed with reviews, news, comment and debate, as well as the latest jobs, professional development opportunities and fantastic special offers, Music Teacher is all you need to teach music.



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Nicky Morgan: ‘I want to build a new deal for teacher workload – and I need your help’

7 November 2014

Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for education, writes: ‘Every day, thousands of teachers rise to the challenge of giving our children and young people the essential skills, knowledge and values they need to prepare them for life in modern Britain. This country has world-class teachers and I have huge respect for the way the teaching profession has worked with us over the last few years to implement much-needed reforms. You are the ones who are putting this government’s plan for education into action.  But too many of you are still struggling under the burden of an unnecessary and unsustainable workload.

We want to work with you, and the whole of the teaching profession, to see what we can do to reduce this burden – to offer you a new deal. As a result of our programme of talks with teacher unions, we are already addressing the misconceptions that have previously added to teachers’ workload. Last week’s publication by Ofsted comes out of this work, helpfully dispelling myths about the requirements of inspection.

We’re calling on you, and all your colleagues, to have your say on how to reduce unsustainable workload. It’s called the Workload Challenge. Before the end of November, we want you to tell us what the problems are and what could be done to solve them. Once you have shared your views and experiences, we will take action. And the more specific you can be, the more we can achieve real results for you.

Here’s how to take part: • Send us your solutions and strategies for tackling workload – we want to hear about the good practice already in schools. • Tell us about the unnecessary tasks that take you away from teaching, and where these come from. • Let us know what you think should be done to tackle unnecessary workload – by government, by schools, or by others. We now need your help to tackle this problem so that teachers can focus on what matters most – planning and teaching great lessons for children.

To take part in the Workload Challenge, fill in this survey or email us. More information is available at http://www.tes.co.uk/dfe.

 Fiona Cunningham appointed as Sistema England’s managing director.

4 November 2014

Sistema England is delighted to announce the appointment of Fiona Cunningham as the charity’s managing director. Fiona will lead on the charity’s strategic remit and activity, as it enters a new phase of development.

Julian Lloyd Webber, founder and chairman of Sistema England, said: ‘Fiona is joining us to help us achieve our ambitions for the future, in the service of children, their communities and the Sistema-inspired programmes that support them across England’.

Fiona was most recently In Harmony manager at Opera North for the programme’s first year of delivery, and before that Voicelab manager at Southbank Centre. She holds a directorship for arts.works, an arts-based leadership training company she founded and directed with music educator Suzi Digby, and she has secondary Qualified Teacher Status in English and Drama, as a member of the initial cohort of Teach First in the programme’s first year.

‘I am proud to join Sistema England,’ said Fiona, ‘ and to continue to play a part in the national Sistema movement, which is empowering thousands of children through joyful and excellent music-making to inspire others with their skills, passions and hard work.  My thanks to Julian Lloyd Webber and the trustees for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’.

Sistema England is a charity that promotes the work of ambitious social action programmes in England, inspired by the international El Sistema movement to transform the lives of children and their communities. These programmes currently include The Nucleo Project, Sistema in Norwich and the six In Harmony programmes funded jointly by the Department for Education and Arts Council England – Lambeth, Liverpool, NewcastleGateshead, Nottingham, Opera North (Leeds) and Telford & Stoke-on-Trent. All six programmes use music to bring positive change to the lives of children and their communities across England.

Sistema England looks forward to working closely with Arts Council England, the Department for Education and other key strategic bodies, to ensure this important work has a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact for children and young people in England.

Royal Welsh College’s Project to Commemorate WW1

4 November 2014

Royal Welsh College’s Project to Commemorate WW1

St David’s Hall

Sunday 9 November 3pm

I sing of war, and the pity of war

As part of its Commemorative Season, and its most ambitious project to date, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is performing one of the most iconic pieces of the 20th century, Britten’s War Requiem. This definitive masterpiece, exploring man’s inhumanity to man,  will be staged at St David’s Hall on Remembrance Sunday. Conducted by Carlo Rizzi, with a stellar cast including Alwyn Mellor, Adrian Thompson and Simon Keenlyside, the performance also features the College’s entire music cohort.

This performance fulfils a long-standing ambition of conductor Carlo Rizzi: ‘This War Requiem speaks of the relationship between man and God in front of death, but also of the relationship between man and man in war. I first heard it when I was 14 and decided that one day I wanted to conduct it. After performing the Verdi Requiem together in 2012, I wanted the chance to inspire these dedicated young musicians again with my experience and, for myself, to be inspired once more by their talent, enthusiasm and energy.’

The Children’s Chorus come from the choirs of Wells Cathedral School, Radyr’s Ysgol Bryn Deri and The Royal Welsh College’s Junior Conservatoire.

 

Tickets: £12 (please purchase tickets via St. David's Hall Box Office - 029 2087 8444)

Helen Fraser 1949 - 2014

3 November 2014

 Helen Coll writes:

"In 2001 I was involved in the appointment of Helen Fraser to the post of NAME (National Association of Music Educators) Administrator, one of the most sensible things I ever did. Now, thirteen years later, I am mourning her sudden and tragic death following a cycling accident in France. She will be sadly missed by all those in the world of music education who were lucky enough to work with her.

Helen was born in Aberdeen and after graduating from Aberdeen University held a number of posts in music and arts administration, including ten years as Music Officer with the Scottish Arts Council. 

Helen joined NAME initially as Administrator. When it became a registered charity in 2008 she became Business Manager and this continued until NAME merged with FMS in 2013 to become Music Mark.

In 2001 NAME was a relatively small organisation. Twelve years later, when Helen left, it had grown out of all recognition: in membership, breadth, range, complexity and influence. Chairs of organisations come and go; Helen somehow managed to cope with thirteen different ones, each with their own history, experience, expertise, personality and style. This was done with professionalism, patience, integrity, loyalty, tact, sound judgement and humour – the latter probably much needed from time to time!

NAME’s annual conferences were a fixture in many diaries and became synonymous with Helen’s welcoming smile at the registration desk, her unobtrusive and efficient management of the whole event, not forgetting her tireless energy on the ceilidh floor. In 2003 the late John Paynter had been invited to give a Keynote address and when asked about technical requirements he requested a blackboard – not easily come by in a state-of-the-art conference centre! Undaunted, Helen persuaded her local museum to lend her an old-fashioned blackboard plus easel which John used to great effect in a memorable speech. This epitomised so many of Helen’s qualities: ingenuity, thoroughness, eye for detail, but most of all, her care and empathy for the needs of individuals. I can’t think of many people who would have gone to such lengths.  

Helen was a talented and versatile musician. She played the piano and cello in orchestras and chamber music ensembles, and organised and participated in various informal singing groups throughout her life. Helen was a member of Bakewell Quaker Meeting and a trustee of the Leaveners, a Quaker performing arts organisation.

When we advertised for an administrator in 2001 we were hoping for someone who was efficient, effective and well-organised, with some understanding of the world of music education. We got all those things – and far, far more. When Kathryn Deane of Sound Sense learned of Helen’s death, she said in an email, “Helen was a great knitter of people, supportive, reconciliatory, and clever and rigorous with it”. I don’t think I can improve on that"

 

There is to be a celebration of Helen’s life on February 14th 2015 in Matlock, Derbyshire. If anyone would like details of this, please email me at helen.coll3@gmail.com

King’s Elylaunches Sixth Form Choral award

31 October 2014

King’s School, Ely have just announced the launch of the Sixth Form Choral award.

The first boy to enjoy this honour is Thomas Bruce, a member of the school since 2006. Thomas Bruce will have access to intensive, specialist musical and academic training, as well as the opportunity to perform with professional singers, organists, and conductors. In addition, Thomas, like his peers in Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir, will gain the experience and expertise needed to progress to a university choral scholarship, or indeed to train as a professional musician.

 

Thomas’ appointment marks a new era, as the school seeks to give sixth form male students with outstanding musical talent the same opportunities as their female peers. The Principal, Sue Freestone, seen below with Thomas, comments. “I am so pleased that we are able to offer such an exciting opportunity to young men with a passion for choral singing.  It has not felt right that the chance to train for choral scholarships in universities has been the exclusive domain of girls and now the boys are on an equal footing as they prepare for the next stage in their lives.”


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