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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

Music Pages
Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Latest News

Social media furore over photo of skip filled with violins

29 October 2015

A picture of a skip filled with violins has received a negative response on social media.

The Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) left the instruments at the back of a music school on Kettering Road, Northampton.

The photo, posted on Facebook, received more than 100 comments and had been shared over 250 times.

Many of those who commented expressed anger at the disposal of the instruments, but a statement on the NMPAT Facebook page clarified the decision:

'We are aware there has been some negative comment on social media and misunderstanding about our half term clear out of the string stock cupboards.

'The instruments and cases which have been written off are those which have reached the end of their workable lives, are beyond economic repair and have no residual value.

'It pains us to see instruments in this state, but young musicians need inspiring with quality instruments which work, not poor quality, worn out examples which don't.

'We apologise to anyone who had the wrong impression of what we have been doing. We continue to need your support to bring high quality musical experiences to the children and young people of the county.'

Northamptonshire County Youth Concert Band and Northamptonshire Junior Strings are playing in the Music for Youth Schools Proms next month, appearing amongst 36 of the country’s very best music groups.

Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust

RNCM to hold event focusing on music and dementia

26 October 2015

Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) will host an interactive workshop next month to raise awareness of how music can benefit older people, especially those with dementia.

Music in the Third Age, which will take place on the afternoon of 25 November in the RNCM’s Forman Lecture Theatre, is a free public event to raise awareness of existing initiatives, activities, training, projects and research on music-making for older people.

Musicians from Manchester Camerata will demonstrate the work of the orchestra’s Music in Mind project, under which musicians been working alongside qualified music therapists since 2012 to deliver group music therapy sessions for people living with dementia and their carers.

There will also be a lecture from University of Manchester PhD student Robyn Dowlen, who will introduce her work on developing a multi-sensory music assessment tool for dementia.

Other guest speakers include Alistair Burns, vice dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at the University of Manchester and national clinical director for dementia at NHS England; Gill Drummond, dementia lead for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Philip Curtis, director of CityProms Embrace, the participatory and community arm of the CityProms Festival in the Netherlands; and the RNCM’s Jane Ginsborg and Martin Harlow.

Burns said: ‘The positive impact that music has on dementia sufferers is widely acknowledged. It is a credit to the RNCM that they are presenting public events such as this to raise awareness of the work already in place, and training young musicians to work in this important area.’

Nick Ponsillo, head of learning and participation at Manchester Camerata, said: ‘This is a great opportunity to cast a spotlight on the ways in which creative participation in music has a unique ability to forge and reinstate relationships between people of all ages and backgrounds.’

The day will conclude with a plenary session from Susan Cooley, lead member of Manchester City Council for Age Friendly Manchester.

Cooley said: ‘It is wonderful that the RNCM is taking such impressive steps to not only raise awareness of the importance of music-making and older people, but also in its commitment to training students to work with, and make a positive impact on, this valuable section of our community.’

Through the RNCM Engage learning and participation programme, the RNCM encourages young musicians to work with older people throughout the North West, including those with dementia.

First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan, visits Royal College of Music

23 October 2015

The First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan, visited the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London yesterday as part of a state visit to the UK with her husband, Xi Jinping.

Liyuan, a renowned singer of Chinese folk music, was treated to performances from RCM students, including soprano Gemma Lois Summerfield and pianist Martin James Bartlett.

They were joined by notable alumni, including Chinese soprano He Wu, now a student at the National Opera Studio, and accompanist Ian Tindale.

Jun Lin Wu, a Chinese student in his first year at the RCM, said he was ‘very excited and a little bit nervous about performing on such an important occasion’.

‘I’ve been in London for nearly two months and I enjoy the lifestyle here,’ he said. ‘I’m really lucky to be a student at the RCM and I hope to study different kinds of culture and music here.’

The RCM has partnerships with several conservatoires in China and a strong connection with Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who received an honorary doctorate in 2011. Vanessa Latarche, head of keyboard at the RCM, is vice-chairman of Lang Lang Music World, his school for gifted pianists in Shenzhen.

Before departing, Liyuan was presented with a facsimile of the original manuscript of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C minor, K 491, which has been housed at the RCM for over a century.

She was also given a copy of Director’s Choice, an 80-page book containing details of items from the RCM’s special collections, including portraiture, rare manuscripts and historical instruments.

In return, Liyuan presented the college with a Sheng, a traditional Chinese wind instrument.

Parents in the Performing Arts campaign launched

21 October 2015

The Parents in the Performing Arts (PIPA) campaign is raising awareness and support for parents working in the creative industries.

Launched on 16 October, the campaign aims to challenge the assumption that a creative profession is incompatible with parenthood.

Careers in the sector frequently involve unpredictable working patterns, last minute recruitment practices, low earnings and regular travel, meaning that parents can face significant difficulties such as accessing affordable, flexible childcare.

In 2015 an independent survey of over 500 parents in the creative industries conducted by Laura Wells found that 74% of respondents had missed out on work due to childcare issues. These results emphasise the necessity for more flexible thinking in terms of employment and childcare.

PIPA also provides information about policies and rights and lobbies to promote best practice and institutional change.

The campaign is backed by Equity and the Family Arts Campaign, and has active support from leading industry figures and organisations including Stage Directors UK, Stage Management Association, Romola Garai, John Simm and Katie Mitchell.

Equity presented a Draft Childcare Motion at the TUC in September 2015, which was passed unanimously and seconded by Rick Finlay of the Musicians’ Union.

Parents in the Performing Arts campaign

NCEM Young Composers Award 2016

21 October 2015

Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny
Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny

Entries for the 2016 NCEM Young Composers Award will open on 1 November.

UK-based composers aged 25 or under are invited to write a new work for lute and either tenor or mezzo-soprano voice. They must set one of four selected poems by William Shakespeare and Carol Ann Duffy.

The winning pieces will be chosen at the National Centre for Early Music in York on 12 May 2016. Early music ensemble Theatre of the Ayre will present shortlisted pieces in a workshop led by composer Christopher Fox during the day, before performing the pieces to a panel of judges that evening.

The two winning pieces - one from the 18 and under category, and one from the 19-25 years category - will be performed by Theatre of the Ayre and recorded for broadcast on Radio 3's 'Early Music Show'.

Elizabeth Kenny, director of Theatre of the Ayre, said: 'We are thrilled that the NCEM have decided to work with lute and voice for the NCEM Young Composers Award in 2016. Theatre of the Ayre like nothing better than tussling with words and music and how they work together in this most intimate and dramatic of forms. We are looking forward to exploring what the entrants come up with and collaborating with them in rehearsal.'

Applicants must register their interest in the award by 5pm on 19 February 2016 by emailing the National Centre for Early Music.

Completed scores must be received by 5pm on 18 March 2016.

NCEM Young Composers Award

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