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Distinguished Musician Award for Julian Lloyd Webber

24 April 2014

This year’s prestigious Distinguished Musician Award was presented last week to British cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, in recognition of his great dedication to the world of music education.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) presented the award in partnership with Classic FM. Both partners were impressed by Julian Lloyd Webber’s passion for bringing music to young people from all backgrounds, as well his successful campaigning to promote music as a respected area of study. As chairman of Sistema England, Julian has helped to inspire thousands of primary schoolchildren across the country, and his work as a key supporter of the ISM ‘Bacc for the Future’ campaign played an important role in affecting a change in government policy over the place of music in the English Baccalaureate proposals.

The Distinguished Musician Award has been recognising outstanding contributions to musical life in the UK since 1976. However, this is only the third time that the award has highlighted achievements in the field of music education.

Chief executive of the ISM Deborah Annetts commented: 'I’m delighted that Julian’s work in music education is recognised through this award. He is passionate in his belief that every child, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and tirelessly devotes himself to campaigning issues alongside his busy performing and recording career.'

Guildhall to award its own degrees

23 April 2014

The Privy Council of the United Kingdom has granted Taught Degree-Awarding Powers to The Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

The Guildhall School’s bachelors and master’s degrees were initially validated by Kent University, with City University London becoming sole validator in 2002. In addition to granting Guildhall the right to award its own degrees, the Privy Council’s decision means that the School is now also free to launch a new range of academic programmes, which is one of the aims for the School’s new state of the art facilities at Milton Court.

Professor Barry Ife, principal of the Guildhall School, said: ‘There is an increasing expectation among students, stakeholders, peer institutions and other agencies in this country and abroad that highly-respected institutions should have gained academic autonomy. I am absolutely delighted that after several years of hard work on quality assurance, the School has been officially recognised by the Privy Council in this way.’

It is expected that the School will award its first degrees at its graduation ceremony in the autumn of 2015.

Key Data on Hubs Published

22 April 2014

The results are in from the major survey of music education hubs initiated last October. It was undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), at the request of Arts Council England (ACE).

The report focuses on the six ‘Key Performance Indicators’ agreed between ACE and the DfE in January this year. Here are some of the highlights:

  • '14,368 state-funded primary schools engaged with their music hub on one or more core roles. This equated to 83.2 per cent of primary schools reported by hubs (17,289).'
  • 'A total of 3,073 state-funded secondary schools engaged with their music hub on one or more roles. This equated to 76 per cent of secondary schools reported by hubs (4,048).'
  • 'The proportion of pupils nationally receiving ‘Whole Class Ensemble Tuition’ (WCET) for the first time represents approximately 8.6 per cent of the national cohort of pupils in Years 1 to 9.'
  • 'A total of 175,374 pupils (35.6 per cent of those receiving free first access/WCET in the previous year) were reported to have continued to learn to play a musical instrument in 2012/13.'
  • 'A total of 618,952 pupils regularly attended at least one school- or hub-led instrumental ensemble or choir. This represents approximately 7.6 per cent of the 8.2 million pupils attending state funded schools nationally in January 2013.'
  • 'Overall, hubs had supported 9,014 (62.4 per cent) of the primary schools and 1,576 (51.0 per cent) of the secondary schools they engaged with to develop singing strategies.'

NFER added: ‘It is not possible to provide a breakdown of the number of pupils continuing their musical education beyond WCET by school phase (primary or secondary) or pupils’ characteristics. We suggest that Arts Council England may wish to consider amending the questionnaire to enable this data to be collected in future.’ 

MT will report more fully on the data in our June issue. The report can be downloaded from ACE’s ‘Music Education Hubs’ webpage (PDF link here).

Milton Keynes Music Teachers Bounce Back from Redundancy

21 April 2014

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is supporting its members who have set up Milton Keynes Music Co-operative, which launched this week. Following the redundancy of nearly 100 instrumental teachers, the MU has provided practical support and advice to a core group of dedicated teachers who rallied their colleagues to set up the Milton Keynes Music Co-operative. With a membership of 60 self-employed teachers the cooperative will work alongside the skeleton Milton Keynes Music Service as part of the local Music Hub, to ensure delivery to children in the area of instrumental lessons.


MU Organiser for Education & Training Diane Widdison said: ‘Their commitment to being part of a collaborative body, sharing resources, developing good practice, and offering consistency to schools, parents and children, is typical of the vocational drive we find among music teachers. We applaud these teachers who, whilst facing redundancy and all the stress this entails, devoted huge energy and time to finding a way for teachers to stay together and not be cast out into a competitive landscape where increased competition tends so often to lead to under cutting and a gradual erosion of teaching standards.’


The formation of the Milton Keynes Music Co-operative has been supported by the Musicians’ Union, Swindon Music Co-operative, David Barnard (Managing Director of Sound Futures Ltd and was founder of the Swindon Music Co-operative) and the Co-op Enterprise Hub.

New Music Scholarship at Christ's Hospital

21 April 2014

Christ’s Hospital School has announced a new music scholarship in memory of Sir Colin Davis, who was a pupil at the school from 1939 to 1945.

Andrew Cleary, Director of Music at Christ’s Hospital said: 'Sir Colin Davis was a much respected and world-class musician. We are immensely proud that somebody who gave so much to music was a pupil here at Christ’s Hospital. Like so many Old Blues who have experienced a life-changing opportunity at the School, Colin Davis went on to inspire so many. We are honoured to be able to offer such a prestigious scholarship to inspire a young musician at the School and keep Sir Colin’s association with our School alive amongst our pupils.'

Christ’s Hospital’s scholarship programme recognises high achieving and outstanding individuals who excel in specific fields and who would benefit from financial assistance. Scholarships are awarded to pupils who are entering the School at Years 7, 9 and Sixth Form.

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