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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

Music Pages
Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Latest News

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

UK Music report confirms a thriving sector

5 November 2015

A new report released by UK Music shows the sector to be thriving, but also highlights some of the pitfalls faced by those working in the industry. 

The UK music sector employs 117,320 people in full-time jobs, but UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple notes in her foreword that ‘35% of them are not paying into pension schemes, and 21% of them had undertaken work for free during the past year with the aim of furthering their career.’

The sector once again outperformed the rest of the British economy, with growth of 5% year-on-year (compared to 2.6% across the rest of economy). The industry contributed £4.1 billion to the UK economy in 2014, with exports generating £2.1bn (thanks in part to a 17% rise in recorded music exports).

Live music was the area of the music industry with the fastest growth in GVA (gross value added) and employment numbers in 2014, with almost 26.7 million visits to live events during that year.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale MP said: ‘UK Music’s Measuring Music is extremely useful in describing the economic impact of commercial music. Its publication coincides with a roundtable meeting that I am hosting with a wide range of representatives from across the music industry to discuss how we can ensure that British music remains at the top of the charts.

‘As Secretary of State, I want to do all I can to ensure that British music continues to thrive.’

Measuring Music 2015

Guildhall School launches new PGCert in Performance Teaching

5 November 2015

The Guildhall School of Music & Drama has launches its PGCert in Performance Teaching. The course will start in September 2016, subject to validation.

The course, which will take one or two years part-time and will lead to a postgraduate certificate, is designed to support professional musicians, actors, theatre technicians and dancers who teach as part of their role as performers or in undertaking a portfolio career.

PGCert-Performance-TeachingThe programme will develop skills and knowledge in the principles of pedagogy, dynamics of learning, professional frameworks, teaching and facilitator approaches. All students take a core module in fundamental principles in performance pedagogy, and may then choose between an elective in inclusive learning or in reflective practice in higher education (leading to professional recognition from the UK Higher Education Academy).

Teaching will be delivered in short concentrated sessions over specified weekends as well as through online learning, guided peer support groups and practical experience. Throughout the course, students will receive support and guidance from experienced educators, performers and researchers, and will also be assigned a personal pedagogy mentor. The conservatoire will also assist students in finding practical experience.

Guildhall vice principal and director of academic affairs Professor Helena Gaunt said: 'The educational philosophy of the course celebrates professionalism, international perspectives, creativity and innovation in performance teaching. Through practical learning underpinned by evidence-based research, it will provide a great depth of knowledge from which performing arts professionals can draw throughout their career.’

Guildhall School of Music & Drama PGCert in Performance Teaching

Original manuscripts to be auctioned for Children in Need

4 November 2015

Sir James MacMillan's donation
Sir James MacMillan's donation

The manuscript of Judith Weir's 'Praise Him with trumpet'
The manuscript of Judith Weir's 'Praise Him with trumpet'

A sketch from Mark-Anthony Turnage's 'Anna Nicole'
A sketch from Mark-Anthony Turnage's 'Anna Nicole'

Sir James MacMillan and Judith Weir are amongst those to donate original handwritten manuscripts to be auctioned in aid of BBC Children in Need.

Music lovers are able to bid for manuscripts and sketches - including a page from Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole and a harmonic sketch from Raymond Yiu's Symphony - on the Radio 3 website.

Eric Whitacre is donating the manuscript of his choral piece Lux Aurumque. He said of the piece: 'I knew that I wanted to try to create something very simple and very beautiful for this text, and as I wrote I waited patiently for the tight harmonies to shimmer and glow in my mind before I transferred them to manuscript paper.'

Sir James MacMillan has donated an original sketch from his tone poem The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, which he describes as 'one of my first works to reach a wide audience.' He added, 'I hope the auction winner will enjoy reading through this melodic line, an obsessive motif which emerges in the music as the mood darkens and the narrative becomes more threatening.'

Master of the Queen's Music Judith Weir said of her donation, the manuscript of her new work Praise Him with trumpet: 'It’s a piece I wrote for the Chapel Royal Choir, Hampton Court to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Hampton Court Palace. It will receive its first performance on Monday 16 November. It is a loud, energetic piece scored for choir, organ and two trumpets. The pages have a lot of crazy handwriting and coloured pen; maybe the auction winner might like to stick a page or two up on the wall.'

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: 'I am delighted Radio 3 is supporting Children in Need and the vital work the charity does for young people across the nation. Contemporary classical music is at the heart of Radio 3 so we’re thrilled and incredibly grateful that some of the greatest composers of our time are generously offering our listeners the rare chance to get hold of a piece of musical history, all in aid of a hugely important cause.'

BBC Children in Need is a charity whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK, ensuring that they have a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential.  

All of the manuscripts are now available for bids, with the auction ending at midnight on 13 November.

Radio 3

DfE publishes consultation on implementing the EBacc

3 November 2015

The Department for Education has published a consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate, setting out the government's proposals to give pupils 'an education which prepares them for adult life and success in our modern economy'. 

It does not include in its scope the composition of the EBacc itself, despite the vocal Bacc for the Future campaign, but does propose that 'EBacc entry and attainment will be given a more prominent role in the Ofsted inspection framework'.

The EBacc will require pupils to take up to eight GCSE qualifications across five subject areas: English, mathematics, science, languages, and humanities (history or geography).

Although arts subjects are not included as one of the core subjects, the consultation says that 'there is time for most pupils to study other valuable subjects in addition to the EBacc.'

The document later reads: 'The government believes that every child should experience a high-quality arts and cultural education throughout their time at school. This is why the arts subjects are statutory for maintained schools from key stages 1 to 3.'

The consultation also states that at least 90% of pupils in mainstream secondary schools will eventually enter the EBacc, following a Conservative manifesto commitment that 'we will require secondary school pupils to take GCSEs in English, maths, science, a language and history or geography'.

Special schools and alternative provision will be required to publish data on the numbers of pupils entering and achieving the EBacc but will not be expected to meet the 90% target. How the policy applies to university technical colleges, studio schools and further education colleges is part of the consultation.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and campaign coordinator for Bacc for the Future, said of the proposals: ‘The government has said it is committed to the creative industries, jobs and growth and music education. The government has demonstrated its support for music education hubs and other critical programmes over recent years and understands the importance of a well-rounded education.

‘It is therefore troubling that a policy has been proposed which is so at odds with this, and which will make the EBacc all but compulsory. This is contrary to the advice of educators, industry and the creative sector and we will be asking the government to reconsider these plans.

‘We are also urging people to get behind the Bacc for the Future campaign to fight to ensure that music and the arts are given equal value to other subjects.’

Responses to the consultation are due by 29 January 2016.

Department for Education Consultation on implementing the English Baccalaureate

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