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Introducing the UK's First Online Music Degree

2 December 2013

British company E-Mu has developed a new digital music degree that is being launched this week. This is the first qualification of its kind in Europe, and will allow music students the chance to study for a full Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA) from £3,500 a year.

E-Mus degrees can be completed over two-years on a full-time basis, or spread part-time over four years. The total cost of the two-year course is £9,000 - around one third of the cost of a location-based degree.

Run in conjunction with the University of Fulmouth, E-Mu degree students will receive one-to-one tuition online with experienced professional musicians from their chosen field. From September 2014 degrees will be available in guitar, song writing and music management, with further courses in bass, drums and vocals coming soon. 

The degrees have been developed by the founders of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) - Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman and Bruce Dickinson. 'If you look at today’s top talent, a huge number of them have found success following quality music education,' says Kevin Nixon. 'But the next generation of professional musicians are faced with academic choices they might not want, and prices they can’t pay. E-MU provides the alternative – an affordable degree gained through world class, online tuition. The future of music is digital and so is the future of music education.'

Interested applicants can find out more by visiting the E-Mu website.

Orchestra of the Swan wins grant from The People's Millions

29 November 2013, Toby Deller

The Orchestra of the Swan has been awarded £49,822 by the national grants programme The People’s Millions for its schools project Antony and Cleopatra – The Musical!

The programme, which is run by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with ITV, distributes grants of up to £50,000 to community projects throughout the United Kingdom. The recipients are chosen by the general public by telephone vote from a regional shortlist drawn up by the organisers.

Antony and Cleopatra – The Musical! will involve children from Welcombe Hills school in Stratford-upon-Avon and Bray’s school in Birmingham, both special schools. Jane Edgerton, head teacher of Bray’s, said, ‘We are simply thrilled that Orchestra of the Swan has been successful in their bid to the People’s Millions. Our children are very special and Anthony and Cleopatra - The Musical! is a tremendous opportunity for our children to work with this wonderful orchestra.’

Beginning in early 2014, children will take part in workshops and rehearsals with the orchestra and professional singers, culminating in public performances towards the end of the year. The Stratford-based orchestra is collaborating with Coventry theatre company Talking Birds to create the project which will be written by Nick Walker with music by Derek Nisbet, and directed by Peter Cann. It will be the companies’ third schools collaboration together, following their earlier Homer-inspired productions Space Odyssey and Troy Story. 

David Curtis, artistic director of Orchestra of the Swan, said, ‘This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to work with wonderful children, their teachers and support staff. Through Central TV, Twitter, Facebook and other media, over 500,000 people now know about Antony and Cleopatra - The Musical! and we very much hope that our new friends will follow us and these children on our journey next year.’

While other music projects have been supported by The People’s Millions since it began in 2005, this is the first award made to an orchestra-run project. In all, it has made 523 awards worth over £27.8 million. Many of these have funded projects benefiting young and disadvantaged people, as well as performance, community building and regeneration work, sports facilities and leisure activities. The 2013 round of awards has a total budget of £3.8 million and will benefit 76 projects, four per ITV region. 

Details of the 2014 scheme will be announced in the new year, with the application period expected to open in the spring.




New Youth Opera Company Needs Your Help!

28 November 2013

A recent study by the Co-opera Co. has found that the majority of singers and audience members developed their love of opera from experiencing live productions at a young age.

As a result, to help encourage young singers and also boost the trend of dwindling audience numbers, a new Youth Opera company has been formed aimed at children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18. 'Co-oper8' are running a series of 30 skills-based workshops between September 2013 and Jun 2014, and will also hold a two-week summer course in August 2014 which will culminate in a professional opera production at The Apex (Bury St Edmund's).

Co-oper8 has now been accepted onto The Big Give Christmas Challenge, which kicks off next Thursday 5 December at 10am. Every donation will be matched by their Charity Champion, and they are hoping to raise a total of £20,000 (£10,000 in donations). 

To give to Co-oper8, click on this link at 10am next Thursday, Friday or Saturday, where you will be able to make a secure donation online. For more information, visit The Big Give website.

Christmas Revision for GCSE Students

26 November 2013

Private tutor agency Tutor House is offering a selection of revision workshops for GCSE and IGCSE students that will run in London over the Christmas holidays. All subjects will be covered.

Alex Dyer, director of Tutor House, has designed revision courses that are appropriate for SEN students as well, with one-to-one sessions being offered alongside group classes. The workshops will run over a five-day period, and students can decide whether to sign up for entire subjects or just focus on the modules they find the most challenging.

Workshops cost £150 per day. For more information, visit the Tutor House website or call 020 7381 6253.

RCS Scoops £225K Leverhulme Arts Scholarship Award

25 November 2013

A new conducting programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has received a significant funding award from the Leverhulme Trust. 

Over the next three years the Trust is providing £90,000 to support two conducting Fellows, who will work with Timothy Dean (head of opera at the RCS) and conductor Garry Walker. The chosen Fellows will also have the opportunity to assist Donald Runnicles at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Jean Cater, assistant director at the Leverhulme Trust, said: 'The Leverhulme Trust has a long tradition of supporting the development of exceptionally talented individuals in the arts and we are delighted to be continuing that tradition in funding the Conducting Fellowships programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.'

The £90K conducting award is part of a £225,000 Leverhulme Arts Scholarship Award that will also support Innovative Teaching projects and provide scholarships for three individuals on the BA Modern Ballet course. 

As part of the Innovative Teaching Award the RCS's contemporary ensemble in residence, Red Note, will be contracted to lead weekly mentoring sessions that will guide students towards performances. This will benefit a large number of Masters in Performance students who will join Red Note in side-by-side sessions, as well as enabling 40 student composers to have their works performed. The Leverhulme conducting fellows will lead these performances.

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