Education secretary announces consultation on proposed GCSE reforms
11 June 2013
The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has announced a
consultation on proposed subject content and assessment objectives for
reformed GCSEs to be introduced for first teaching in September 2015 in England.
Covering ancient languages, English language and literature, geography,
history, mathematics, modern languages and sciences, it will run from 11
June to 20 August and asks general and subject-specific questions about
whether the proposed content for GCSEs represents a demanding and
fulfilling course of study for students who will take the
qualifications. Music is not currently included in the consultation.
A parallel consultation on new regulatory requirements for the reformed GCSEs, such as assessment arangements, is being carried out by Ofqual. The main characteristics of the proposed reforms would be a return to more linear two-year courses ending in exams, with a much-reduced emphasis on modules, coursework and controlled assessment; and the introduction of a numeric marking system with a wider range of grades, that can differentiate more effectively between different levels of achievement.
Details of the proposals and consultation documents can be found on the Department for Education's website: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/gcses/a00225719/gsce-consultation
Education fellowships available for international research
7 June 2013
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) and the Finzi trust have teamed together to offer a small number of fellowships for music educators who are seeking to research education systems in other countries.
The Joint scholarship allows for travel to other countries in order to 'observe and disseminate new knowledge and examples of best practice'
Anyone interested should visit the WCMT website and apply in the normal way, selecting Education-Music on the application form.
YMT Young Writers and Composers Course accepting applications
7 June 2013
Youth Music theatre's (YMT) week-long Young Writers and Composers Course, led by Olivier Award-winning script writer Stephen Clark and Arts Foundation Award winner Conor Mitchell, will take place at Fettes College in Edinburgh from 29 July - 4 August.
The six-day residential course caters for those interested in being a book writer, lyric writer, playwright, composer or any combination of these. Activities include creating, developing and devising new work, as well as performing new commissions.
The cost of the course is £600. There are up to 20 places available, and the closing date for applications is 1 July. For full details of the curriculum and how to apply, visit YMT's website.
RWCMD names four new international chairs in music
6 June 2013
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) in Cardiff has announced four new international chairs in music. The Jane Hodge Foundation International Chairs in Music and Drama will, says the college, have a 'profound impact on both the experience of the students and the national and international profile of the College'.
The new appointments are Paul Watkins, cello; Daniel Phillips, violin; Simon Keenlyside, voice and Sergei Nakariakov, trumpet. Simon Halsey continues as the holder of the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Choral Conducting.
'Combined with our new world-class facilities, this second appointment of International Chairs reflects some of the key specialist areas of the College's development, including strings and voice,' said the College's director of music, John Cranmer.
'These are inspirational artists who have made a distinctive mark in their field of performance, and are committed to supporting the rising generation of performers. We are once again enormously grateful to the Jane Hodge Foundation for the generosity and encouragement which has enabled us to continue these appointments, and look forward to developing close relationships with each of these exceptional musicians over the coming two years.'
Derrek Jones, a trustee of the Foundation, said it was 'delighted to continue its support of an exciting initiative. It will ensure the wealth of experience and knowledge, held by leading international musicians, will benefit the next generation of performers who are training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.'
Sistema Scotland starts work in Glasgow
6 June 2013
Sistema Scotland has started its second Big Noise centre, this time working at four primary schools in the Govanhill area of Glasgow. The six-year-olds have started with violins, violas, cellos and double bass, and teachers aim to have them working as an orchestra for a launch concert on 21 June.
'We want them to really wow their community and set our orchestra off and running with a bang,' said communications manager George Anderson. 'After the launch concert we will be running a summer school for 100 children four days a week and when school goes back in the autumn we will begin our after-school club three afternoons a week.
'We will also be offering woodwind, brass and percussion in a couple of years and younger children will feed in from the bottom each year.'
Sistema Scotland is a charity set up with the aim of transforming lives with music. Inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema, it started its first children's orchestra in the community of Raploch, Stirling in 2008.
The new team of seven string players, led by Alison Gornall, will split its time between visiting schools and promoting Big Noise Govanhill more widely around the community. The Big Noise Allstars, made up of Govanhill teachers, Raploch teachers and some of the most musical Raploch children, has already played in all four schools involved in the project, to show the children what might lie ahead for them.
Children from Sistema Scotland's Raploch project now regularly gain places in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland ensembles.
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