Music mourns the loss of two influential educators
7 October 2011
Composer, music educator and community musician David Bedford has died of lung cancer at the age of 74. Having studied with Lennox Berkeley and Luigi Nono he was a distinguished representative of the Modernist school, but worked comfortably with film and pop music, famously arranging Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for orchestra. The financial imperative to teach became a lifelong passion; he worked in secondary schools until 1980 and undertook numerous commissions for schoolchildren, youth ensembles and community groups. One of his last works was The Wreck of the Titanic, written for school choirs in Cumbria, Lancashire and Liverpool after being commissioned by local authorities in the region.
Lisa Tregale, director of South West Music School, worked
with Bedford at Dartington International Summer School on many occasions. ‘He
was amazing,’ she recalls. ‘My lasting memory will be of the Solar Eclipse in 1999
when David coordinated this incredible piece with other composers to create an
hour-long site-specific piece for over 100 amateur and professional musicians. As
an educator and composer he had such enthusiasm, a lust to create the
impossible and an innate ability to empower people to do things that they never
dreamed of. This heady cocktail brought everyone together to create a totally
inspiring piece. I shall miss his continuation to my musical life.'
New Zealand-born musicologist Christopher Small has died at his home near Barcelona, aged 84. Small was classically trained but took an iconoclastic view of music criticism and music education, expressed in his three influential books, all originally published in the UK: Music, Society, Education (1977), Music of the Common Tongue (1987) and Musicking (1998). He believed that music should be seen as an activity to be treasured as a vital human function, rather than as a ‘thing’, and that it was wrong to try to evaluate classical, pop or world musics in comparative terms.
February 2012's issue of Music Teacher will contain a lengthier tribute to the work of both men.
Join Practice-a-thon fundraiser with CLIC Sargent
5 October 2011
CLIC Sargent, a charity for children and young people with cancer, is encouraging schools and groups to take part in Practice-a-thon, a national fundraiser involving young singers, dancers and musicians of all abilities. Schools and groups can hold sponsored events and raise money to help young people with cancer and their families, with the option of keeping 25% of any funds raised to develop their own activities or facilities.
CLIC Sargent is offering a free resource pack with ideas and advice on what schools and groups might need to hold an event. National events manager Emily Felix-Davies said: ‘Practice-a-thon is a really easy way to raise money for a great cause and feel good by practising at the same time. Lack of funds means that the charity can only support two out of three children and young people with cancer – that’s why your support makes such a difference.’
LCM announces DVD assessment for new performance awards
3 October 2011
London College of Music Examinations will launch a new range of Performance Awards in January 2012, to be assessed via DVD. These will require performance only of the set pieces at any particular grade. Technical work, Viva Voce, Sight Reading or Aural Tests will not be required. The DVD assessment means that there will be no need to attend an examination centre. DVDs may be submitted at any time and will be assessed in the normal way.
Philip Aldred, chief examiner in music, commented: ‘I believe the new Performance Awards will be beneficial to many pupils who wish to have their performances assessed quickly and fully. They will be able to monitor their progress, for instance, if they are preparing for a full graded examination or simply have the satisfaction and joy of performing and having a written response.’
Trinity College London announces new Rock & Pop music exams
1 October 2011
Trinity College London (TCL) has launched its Rock & Pop syllabus, comprising graded exams for guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals, from Initial to Grade 8. Publishers Faber music and Peters Edition London have collaborated with TCL to deliver a range of rock and pop songs from artists such as the Rolling Stones, ABBA, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Green Day, Muse and Rihanna. Repertoire has been carefully chosen to cover an array of skills found in the genres.
Each exam will be supported by a song book including a CD with demo and backing tracks, performance notes and guidance on technical skills and supporting tests. Additionally, an array of online resources will be available including sheet music and backing track downloads, blogs, forums and teaching and learning tips.
Candidates will be required to perform three songs and complete one supporting test. Those with song-writing ambitions can opt to perform one of their own original songs in the exam or may select their own chosen repertoire to perform cover versions. Singers have the option of performing self-accompanied, and instrumentalists can also sing the vocal lines where appropriate, if they choose to.
Trinity CEO Sarah Kemp says: ‘I have no doubt that this radical and inclusive new Rock & Pop syllabus will breathe new life into music education, breaking down many of the barriers currently in place. Trinity College London is passionate in its commitment to reach out to as many young musicians as possible, and to building the relevant musical communities around them. Rock and pop music is now the staple diet of many young musicians around the globe, and this new syllabus will encourage them to perform and study’.
Youth Music launches new funding model
30 September 2011
Youth Music, the leading UK charity using music to transform the lives of children and young people, is hosting five national events to launch its new funding model, inviting music educators to apply for funding from 3rd November.
The new funding model has three key elements: ‘a modular structure, an outcomes approach and a Youth Music Network’. The funding will be structured around modules with each module focusing on an issue or group of children and young people that has been identified as in need of support and applicants will be able to apply for funding for multiple modules. To support fundees Youth Music is launching an online portal to support funding applications and provide a platform for music education providers to share practice, collaborate, join in discussion and find out about a range of other services.
As well as five regional events, one event will be streamed live via an interactive webcast. The events are aimed at anyone with an interest in funding for music education activities, specifically those working in Youth Music’s priority areas: children in challenging circumstances, encouraging talent and potential, and early years. The closing date for the initial stage is 1st December.
Launch Event Dates:
3/11/11: Birmingham – Fazeley Studios
4/11/11: York - Priory Centre
7/11/11: Exeter - Racecourse & Conference Centre
8/11/11: London – Prospero House (Borough)
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