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Latest News

Music teaching roadshows this September

4 August 2014

New half-day training events will be running for music teachers at seven locations across England and Wales this September. Organised by the ABRSM and Music Mark, each venue of the ‘roadshow’ will present the same sessions:

1) ‘Musical progression and the role of assessment’ – how assessment can be used in a helpful and holistic way, that will help students make progress. 

2) ‘Musical learning: creative ideas and activities to inspire lessons’ – how to teach new repertoire in new and imaginative ways.

3) ‘One, four or many more’ – ideas on how to engage students in a range of settings, from one-on-one teaching to group lessons. 

The sessions will be presented between 9am and 1pm by Ali Walker, Louise Matthew, Lincoln Abbotts, Rob Farrer, Thomas Hewins and ABRSM Chief Examiner John Holmes. 

The sessions cost £35, and will be running between 1-9 September in Hull, Gateshead, Leicestershire, Birmingham, Hatfield, Cardiff and Exeter. 

For more information and how to book for a roadshow event, visit the ABRSM website.

Youth Music grants to promote inclusivity

1 August 2014

The National Foundation for Youth Music has just announced a refurbishment of its grants programme, with the aim of promoting diversity and inclusivity across England.

Youth Music is currently investing £20 million in 400 projects throughout the country. Its refreshed grants programme has been streamlined to help children in challenging circumstances who cannot afford access to music education. Despite the government’s recent pledge of an extra £18 million to music education, the number of school children accessing subsidised music lessons is still running six percentage points below the number of pupils receiving free school meals. This suggests that many of the children who can least afford it are missing out on music education.

As part of its new grants programme, Youth Music will be raising the upper age limit to qualify for investment to 25 years. This is in light of the challenging transition faced by many young people in the transition from studying to employment. A new award has also been made available of £2,000-£30,000, aimed at supporting smaller organisations and projects.

Matt Griffiths, executive director of Youth Music’s, said: ‘The recent announcement of additional funds for music education is fantastic news, but Youth Music projects often focus on those organisations, musicians, and young people hidden from mainstream services and provision.  It’s essential that their voices, and indeed, their music are considered as part of the musical fabric of this country.  Our updated programme makes funding these projects simpler and should create even greater diversity and inclusivity amongst hubs.’

More Provision Needed for Disabled Children

31 July 2014

Lord Lipsey, the chair of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, made an appeal yesterday that more attention is paid to the musical needs of the disabled.

While applauding the work of the One-Handed Instrument Trust , Lord Lipsey expressed concern that the government’s 2011 National Plan for Music Education does not address the needs of disabled children.

‘No one doubts the importance of music in education for people facing mental challenges,’ he commented. ‘Examples abound for example of children with profound learning difficulties who only seem to be reached by the power of music. And certainly we would not tolerate for an instant an education system that said that children with disabilities should be excluded for example from sport – less so than ever following the triumph of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

 ‘But of equal importance are instruments for musical children who have limited arm movements, and a national project for music teachers in the use of these instruments.’

ABRSM's Piano Practice Partner

27 July 2014

A new app has just been released by the ABRSM which aims to make practice more enjoyable for pianists learning the grade 1-3 repertoire.  ]

The Piano Practice Partner allows students to practise the left or right hand of the music on its own, while the app plays the other hand. All of the pieces in the new ABRSM piano syllabus for grades 1 to 3 can be used in conjunction with the new app, which is available for download from iTunes and Google Play. 

Stuart Briner, ABRSM’s digital learning manager, said: ‘Used in conjunction with our Grade 1-3 repertoire books, Piano Practice Partner is a great way to prepare your pieces in a flexible and enjoyable way. There are many ways this app can be used whilst learning new pieces, from working at different speeds, to setting markers to allow repeated practice of challenging sections, or developing memorisation skills. We hope Piano Practice Partner will be a useful, musical and inspiring tool for anyone teaching or learning our Grade 1-3 piano repertoire.’ 

For more information on the Piano Practice Partner, visit the ABRSM website.

Independence for Musical Futures

24 July 2014

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which has funded and managed Musical Futures since 2003, has announced that it will be supporting the project in its transition to becoming an independent, not-for-profit organisation. The Foundation will provide three years of funding, amounting to £1.2 million, enabling Musical Futures to be independent from 2015. 

Abigail D’Amore, chief executive designate of Musical Futures, commented: ‘The Musical Futures team are delighted with the generous offer of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation trustees. We have been given a unique opportunity to expand the work of Musical Futures into new sectors, and develop a fully self-sustaining organisation committed to providing high-quality participatory music learning experiences for all children and young people.’  

Further details on these developments, including recruitment opportunities, will shortly be posted on the Musical Futures website.

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