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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

Music Pages
Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Latest News

Simon Phillippo to join RWCMD as head of keyboard

14 May 2015, Katy Wright

Simon Phillippo
Simon Phillippo

Simon Phillippo is to join the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) as head of keyboard at the end of this academic year. He succeeds Richard McMahon, who will retire. 

Phillippo said: 'I am delighted to be joining the illustrious team of musicians at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and extremely proud to be following in the footsteps of Richard McMahon as Head of Keyboard. I am looking forward to collaborating extensively with my new colleagues in all departments, and to working with the fine team of staff and young pianists in the Keyboard Department.'

Phillippo comes to the RWCMD after 14 years as pianist, coach and conductor at Welsh National Opera (WNO). He was chorus master for many of WNO's productions, including the first UK staging of Handel's Jephtha and the world premiere of James MacMillan's The Sacrifice.

Simon Phillippo

AQA announces reformed GCSE content with Beatles and DJ splash

14 May 2015, Alex Stevens

A DJ set will become an acceptable form for the performance element of AQA's music GCSE, to be taught from September 2016
A DJ set will become an acceptable form for the performance element of AQA's music GCSE, to be taught from September 2016

AQA has released subject content for its reformed music GCSE qualification, to be taught from September 2016. AQA has submitted its plans to Ofqual for accreditation, and other exam boards are set to release details later today.

The release comes in the context of a programme of complete GCSE reform, which will see a new 1-9 grading scale, assessment taking place only at the end of the two-year period of study, and, according to Ofqual: ‘new, more demanding content, which has been developed by government and the exam boards’.

AQA’s GCSE will cover the second movement of Haydn’s Clock symphony (for the compulsory area of study ‘Western classical tradition 1650-1910’), Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, With a Little Help from My Friends and Within You, Without You from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album (Popular music), Santana’s Supernatural (Traditional music), and the ‘Saturday Night Waltz’ and ‘Hoedown’ from Copland’s ballet Rodeo (Western classical tradition since 1910).

DJing - using vinyl, CDs or a laptop - has been added to the acceptable forms for the performance element of the qualification.

Under the reformed music GCSEs, 60% of assessment will be through performance and composition, and 40% will be assessed by exam.

AQA's new music GCSE

ABRSM sponsors Sing Up music scheme

14 May 2015, Katy Wright

Sing Up is expanding its music scheme thanks to ABRSM funding.

The scheme uses singing to support the primary school music curriculum. Progressing from early years through to Year 6, the programme uses 84 songs from a digital resource. A similar scheme aimed at children from KS3 onwards will be available to secondary schools from later in 2015, also supported by ABRSM.

'We’re delighted to be working with ABRSM on this exciting project,' said Michelle James, chief executive of Sing Up. 'Sing Up has a strong history of encouraging participation in singing activities at primary school and now we want to do more to ensure that singing activity supports teaching and learning in music and that pupils continue singing once they move into secondary school.'

Sing Up launched in 2007 and became a not-for-profit organisation in April 2012. It offers a number of resources, including a song bank of over 600 songs, audio tracks and sheet music. The first annual Sing Up day (18 March) took place in 2010.

Sing Up

Benedetti praises MiSST scheme

13 May 2015, Katy Wright

The MiSST concert, 11 May 2015
The MiSST concert, 11 May 2015

Nicola Benedetti posted a message on social media to congratulate those involved in the Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST) inaugural Barbican concert.

The violinist was a guest performer at the event on 11 May, in which several hundred students performed in a professional music venue for the first time. The programme included works by Vivaldi and Lloyd Webber.

In a Facebook post on 12 May, Benedetti wrote: ‘An enormous congratulations to all involved in what was an unforgettable night last night. Six schools joined hands in a triumphant performance at the Barbican Centre to celebrate almost 10 years of hard work achieved by the Music in Secondary Schools (MiSST) programme - which brings high level music education to thousands of children in schools in the London boroughs of Islington, Newham and Waltham Forest, completely free of charge. The diligence, consistency, honest work and perseverance shown by every teacher was deeply inspirational - many of us on and off stage had to keep our emotions in check. The trust and admiration all the students have for their teachers was equally moving to witness, as was seeing each child stride on to the Barbican stage with confidence. Not just play-acting confidence, but the kind that comes with knowing you've put in the hours and are capable of doing a good job.

‘I would like to give a special mention to the extraordinary Truda White, founder of MiSST, ex-headteacher of Highbury Grove School and all round force of nature. Her no-nonsense but full of love approach is infectious and I learn a thing a minute being around her. She is someone who thoroughly understands how to maintain high standards without sacrificing the numbers of children taking part. It is an ongoing honour knowing and working with her.

'I was tasked with closing the evening with a few words and spoke about music and its place in education.
I said that music shouldn't be seen as just another subject added to the already overwhelming school day, but instead as the one subject that permeates all the others. It deals with matters of soul and spirit, and impacts the very core of who we are individually and collectively.

'Learning to listen, feel and care - these are qualities we should be walking away from school with.'

Founded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber foundation, MiSST launched at Highbury Grove School on 23 April 2013. The trust provides individual instruments and music lessons free of cost to entire year groups across six secondary schools in London. Students learn a classical music instrument for a minimum of three years, performing regularly in ensembles.

The Music in Secondary Schools Trust

BBC Concert Orchestra kicks off Ten Pieces concert series

13 May 2015

A previous BBC Concert Orchestra education project. © Pete Huggins

The BBC Concert Orchestra will give two free schools concerts at the Southbank Centre in London today as part of the BBC’s Ten Pieces initiative.

More than 4,000 primary schoolchildren from across London will attend the concerts, which are the first in a series being given by the BBC’s performing groups across the UK.

Ten Pieces is a year-long project led by BBC Learning and the BBC’s performing groups, with the aim of introducing primary school children to classical music.

More than 120,000 children attended screenings of the BBC’s Ten Pieces film in October 2014 and nearly half of all primary schools have signed up to the project.

Teachers have also been given resources to explore the music in their own lessons, inspiring pupils to create their own responses through compositions, dance, digital art or animation.

A special Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in July will showcase these creative responses.

Andrew Connolly, general manager of the BBC Concert Orchestra, said: ‘The scale and size of the project, with nearly half of all the UK’s primary schools signed up, is a great example of something that only the BBC could do.

‘We’re really looking forward to welcoming more than 4,000 children to these two concerts, to experience the powerful sound of a live orchestra.’

Performances will follow in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Salford, Whitehaven, Kings Lynn, Thurrock, Derby and Wales before the big BBC Proms performance in July.

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