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Teaching Materials 2015

British Music Education Yearbook

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Music Teacher Guide about Music and Dyslexia

Latest News

Stockport Schools Brass Band plans open day to boost membership

8 May 2015

Stockport Schools Brass Band (SSBB) is holding an open day to attract new junior members after a dramatic decline in numbers.

The Junior Band Open Day, which will be held at the headquarters of Stockport Music Service on Saturday 9 May, will include workshops, musical games and the chance to meet existing members of the junior band, as well as a live performance.

Founded in 1978, SSSB has three bands for brass players aged six to 18. Membership of all three has fallen in recent years: the senior band has shrunk from around 50 members in the 1980s to only 20 today.

The junior band, which caters for beginners, now has only ten members.

Alice Bell, administrator for SSBB, said: ‘We don’t have the number of players coming through that we used to have.
‘There are definitely fewer people playing brass instruments in this area. Music education is being squeezed in many schools, with more pressure on those subjects that feature in the EBacc.’ 

She added that brass instruments were often seen as less ‘cool’ than other instruments. ‘Where you used to see racks of brass instruments in schools, there are now often racks of guitars.’

Bell said she hoped the open day would highlight the benefits of playing in a brass band.
‘I often have parents of band members telling me how much the band has done for their child’s confidence. I also see what a fantastic social side it brings to band members, which lasts into their adult life.’

Students achieve diploma success at Hertford's Simon Balle School

7 May 2015

Six students at a state school in Hertford have achieved London College of Music (LCM) diploma qualifications.

Hugo Maclean, Stuart Bowden, Alex Salter, Sam Trendall and Nick Stokes all took the jazz saxophone performance DipLCM, while Niamh Parris took the classical saxophone performance DipLCM.

The students, who are all in Year 13 at Simon Balle School, were taught by lead instrumental teacher Clare Taylor, who directs the school’s 70-strong Concert Band.

Mark Taylor, director of music at the school, said it had a long tradition of participation in music and almost one in three students were learning a musical instrument.

‘Our diploma candidates were inspired by former diploma students who have gone on to excel at music college,’ he said.

‘Music is the lifeblood of Simon Balle School. The discipline, hard work, team work and musical family that we have are so important to all our musicians.

‘For many, it is their best memory of school life. For some each year, it is the stepping stone to music college and a career.’

Two of the students are hoping to pursue careers in music, while the others intended to continue playing alongside their studies.

Southbank Centre War Requiem project wins RPS Music Award

6 May 2015

© Hana Zushi-Rhodes

The Southbank Centre’s Britten’s War Requiem project has won the Learning and Participation award at the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards. 

The project, which took place in November 2014, was part of a day of activities to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One.  

Talks and workshops were held throughout the day and in the evening the work was performed by the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop (pictured). 

The judges said: ‘Britten’s War Requiem at the Southbank Centre was a truly immersive experience introducing, exploring and ultimately performing Britten’s epic War Requiem.   

‘An ambitious project encompassing talks, participatory workshops, films and the creation of a new children’s choir. The Southbank team – including the committed input of Marin Alsop – drew participants of all ages and experience into the creative and rehearsal process.  

‘The project reflected the profound nature of Britten’s work and was distinctive for its overall quality and its attention to detail.’ 

Other winners included the Philharmonia Orchestra’s iOrchestra, which won the Audiences and Engagement award, and the Royal Opera’s Opera Machine, which took the Creative Communication prize.

BBC Ten Pieces extended to secondary schools

6 May 2015, Katy Wright

The BBC’s Ten Pieces will be extended to secondary schools from October 2015.

The initiative, which has worked with nearly half of UK primary schools, launched in the autumn term of 2014 with a week of free cinema screenings for primary schools across the country. 

The scheme invites young people to respond to a selection of works through music, dance or digital art. 

A new film will feature footage of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra performing the chosen pieces (which the BBC will announce within weeks).

Cinema booking for secondary schools opened last month, with screenings taking place from October. Curriculum-linked resources will be available on the Ten Pieces website, with DVDs posted to schools on request.

BBC Ten Pieces

Schools receive donated instruments after Don't Stop the Music campaign

1 May 2015

Primary schools across the UK have received £1m worth of donated musical instruments thanks to a campaign led by pianist James Rhodes.
Rhodes launched the Don’t Stop the Music campaign last year to encourage the British public to donate their unwanted musical instruments to local Oxfam stores.

His efforts were filmed for a two-part Channel 4 documentary, Don’t Stop the Music, which was broadcast in September.

The campaign resulted in the donation of 6,500 instruments, which have now been delivered by parcel carrier Yodel to 170 primary schools across the country.

Don’t Stop the Music was supported by celebrities including Paul McCartney, Jessie J, Damon Albarn, Tom Jones, Tinie Tempah and Ronnie Wood.
Rhodes said: ‘Young children have a hunger and thirst to learn music and we must give every child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. 

‘The campaign has helped make this a reality for thousands of kids up and down the country.’
Lin Phillips, headteacher of Falconbrook Primary School in Battersea, London, which received some of the instruments, commented: ‘Thanks to the brilliant Don’t Stop the Music campaign, we have started a new band which gives the children another opportunity to play in assemblies and concerts.

‘I’d like to thank all those who donated instruments, as well as James Rhodes, Yodel and all those who made the amnesty happen. You’ve helped change lives and your instruments have gone to a fantastic new home.’


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