Boris Johnson launches music pledges
24 November 2014
In his latest communication to the education sector, Johnson says:
“Music isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’,
an essential part of every child’s education. From the ages of 5 to 14, all children are entitled to
play instruments, compose and listen to music in school, every week. The fact
that the National Curriculum guarantees children ten years of unbroken musical
learning in our schools is something to be enormously proud of.
The language of music, with its subtlety, depth and fascinating
notation, is as rich as any spoken language on the planet. To reach the level
of physical mastery that playing an instrument demands is as mind-boggling as
the achievements of Pelé or the Williams sisters. And for a team of people to unite in making
music – communicating
with confidence, emotion and artistry to others –
is one of the most powerful forms of community I can
He considers it to be the job of headteachers, with the help of music education hubs, to ensure that every child, not just those that can pay for tuition, has the opportunity and encouragement to progress in music through to GCSE level and beyond. London’s schools are estimated to spend £600m on class music teaching each year. Music hubs spend a further £33m on instrumental teaching, music centres, ensembles and support for schools.
Over the next 18 months, the Mayor’s Music Fund and City Hall are investing £1.8m in students and teachers. Across the music industry many more millions are being spent on our young musicians. He goes on to say: ”We invest so much because music is important for our economy. London needs creative people and music is one of our most successful exports. The creative industries generate £21bn for London’s economy each year and hardly any music graduates are out of work. But music also has a bigger purpose, personally and socially. It’s unique in challenging human beings to draw upon a huge range of intellectual skills and use them, in that moment, to turn the mundane into the beautiful - to create emotion. It’s time to get serious about music, so I’ve made five pledges to help London’s schools. And I’m asking headteachers, as well as music hubs, parents and the music industry to join me by making their own pledges.”
Pledges for teachers include:
• Go to specialist music CPD events every year
• Go to the Music Education Expo (March 2015 at the Barbican)
• Take students to hear a live music performance
Visit www.london.gov.uk/musicpledge find out more and to take part.
Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra celebrates 70thanniversary
21 November 2014
Possibly the UK’s oldest youth orchestra, Wimbledon-based Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra turns 70 this year. The
orchestra’s 70th Anniversary Concert will be held at the Royal College of Music
on Sunday December 14th, with cellist Richard Harwood joining the orchestra to
perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto.
Founded by Edward Gough in 1944, Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra is the
longest established youth orchestra in Surrey and London,
if not in the UK.
It aims to provide an orchestral environment which is challenging, fun,
friendly and supportive, in which young musicians of all backgrounds can
develop their skills and nurture a lifelong love of music.
Stoneleigh has over 100 members aged 9 to 18, drawn from more than 60 schools in London and Surrey. The orchestra rehearses weekly in Wimbledon in term time, each term culminating in a concert at a major London venue such as Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square, the Royal Academy of Music or the Royal College of Music. There is also an annual European summer tour.
Robert Hodge, Stoneleigh's Musical Director. Says "Stoneleigh is a very special orchestra. The sense of belonging, friendship and dedication to the music from the players is astonishing. Working with these young musicians is truly inspirational. We look forward in our celebratory 70th year to fantastic repertoire, venues, soloists and the exciting prospect of a summer tour to Malta.”
Chetham’s showcase launches ‘classical musicians of the future’
20 November 2014
Student soloists from across Chetham’s School of Music perform special concerts that
profile the next generation of classical musicians. Each student performs a 20
– minute recital within this full-length concert.
Performers include flautist Jack Reddick, who has played with the Whitgift Chamber Orchestra alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra, performing at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall each year since 2012. At Chetham’s, he has had many performance opportunities, both solo and in groups. He has also been principal flute and piccolo in the renowned Chetham's Symphony Orchestra.
French Horn player Emma Bain was Principal Horn in the National Children’s Orchestra and is now a member of the National Youth Orchestra. She has also performed as a soloist as part of Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra. Recent engagements include a performance with the Commonwealth Festival Orchestra and numerous solo and ensemble performances and workshops in Sri Lanka as part of “The Commonwealth Resounds” project.
Eudald Buch began to play the piano at the age of ten. He has taken part in important festivals such as the International Holland Music Sessions in Bergen. He has obtained several prizes both in chamber music and piano in competitions in Girona and Barcelona. He has also played in a live ‘In Tune‘ special programme for Richard Strauss’s 150th anniversary on BBC Radio 3.
Violinist David Shaw has
given recitals throughout the UK,
Italy, Germany and Hungary. In 2009 David was the
youngest musician ever to have reached the final of Texaco Young Musician of Wales, playing alongside the Cardiff Symphony Orchestra. As a
result of this, David was invited to perform in ‘One Thousand Christmas Voices’
in Llangollen, which was televised on S4C.
The Concert takes place in The Carole Nash Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester on Thursday 27 Nov, 7.30pm
Education study favours traditional teaching styles
19 November 2014
Schools need to put more effort
into evaluating what makes effective teaching, and ensure that discredited
practices are rooted out from classrooms, according to a new
study published by the Sutton Trust and Durham University.
Professor Robert Coe of Durham University, one of the authors, said assessing effective teaching was difficult, because exactly how pupils learn remains a mysterious subject. ‘It is surprisingly difficult for anyone watching a teacher to judge how effectively students are learning. We all think we can do it, but the research evidence shows that we can’t. Anyone who wants to judge the quality of teaching needs to be very cautious’.
The study suggests that some schools and teachers continue to use methods that cause little or no improvement in student progress, relying on anecdotal evidence to support the promotion of ‘discovery learning’, which encourages children to uncover ideas for themselves, or ‘learning styles,’, a technique which claims children can be divided into those who learn best through sight, sound or movement.
According to the researchers, more traditional styles that reward effort, use class time efficiently and insist on clear rules to manage pupil behaviour, are more likely to succeed. The report rejects the use of streaming or setting, where pupils are grouped by ability within classes or year-groups. Grouping by ability can result in teachers ‘going too fast with the high-ability groups and too slow with the low,’ cancelling the advantage of tailoring lessons to the different sets of pupils.
The researchers suggest that teachers with a command of their subject, allied with high-quality instruction techniques, such as effective questioning and assessment, are the most likely to impart the best learning to their pupils.
NCEM joins large scale European cooperation project
17 November 2014
The National Centre for Early Music in York (NCEM) is one of eight major partner organisations from the European Community involved in a successful bid for the 2014 Creative Europe Culture Programme. Led by Ambronay Festival (France), the project, ‘EEEmerging European Ensembles’, has been awarded a grant of 1,971,375 euros as a ‘large scale co-operation project’. The funding, which will be shared among the partners over four years, will enable the NCEM to enhance its support of young emerging early music ensembles by hosting six residencies at the NCEM in York between 2015-2018. This will support the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, which draws in competitors from across the European Community and beyond, and provides performance opportunities across the UK.
By selecting and training the best emerging ensembles in Europe, the EEEmerging European Ensembles project aims to increase equality in the options open to young ensembles, to provide them with excellent working conditions and a network of places for training, along with specific support and guidance for their projects, and to help them negotiate the realities of the early music market in Europe. Ensembles will receive support over a 1-3 year period.For further information visit: www.ncem.co.uk/eee
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