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Teaching Materials 2015

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Latest News

Pilot music programme for disabled children to launch in Birmingham

14 December 2015

A pilot programme ensuring that music-making is accessible to disabled children is to launch in Birmingham.

The programme is aimed at children who have an upper limb deficiency and who may have been excluded from musical activities due to their disability.

Funded by the One Handed Musical Instrument (OHMI) Trust, the programme will involve 15 children from 13 schools.

The children, who have been taught using specially adapted instruments which can be played using one hand, will participate in one-to-one music lessons, masterclasses, and ensembles.

For the pilot programme, the students will use the AAFAB/Peter Worrell one-handed recorder and the adapted trumpet by Michael Prestage.

The pilot taster event took place on 25 October at the CBSO Centre. Seven of the participants brought their families to meet their teachers, and had short lessons on their instruments. The day, which culminated in a performance from students, was covered by BBC Midlands Today.

Researchers from Birmingham City University will explore the potential for the expansion of the programme.

'There is a lot we still don’t know about teaching and learning in music generally, but especially where pupils are disabled,' said Professor Martin Fautley, director of the Centre for Research Education at Birmingham City University. 'This research will help us to understand the processes of learning and provide support for teachers. The children themselves are the focus of this work as it opens doors to the future of everyone with a physical disability.'
Ciaran O’Donnell, head of Music Service at Birmingham Services for Education, said: 'Within the Music Service we felt that we were leaving some children behind – those children disadvantaged by a physical (upper limb) disability. It has been a great privilege to work with OHMI to identify these children, train our music service staff and commission specially adapted instruments to break down the barrier for children in Birmingham. I see it as a crucial step towards a wholly inclusive offer for young people.'

The OHMI Trust aims to remove barriers to music-making faced by the physically disabled, providing suitable instruments for those without two fully functioning hands and arms.

One Handed Musical Instrument Trust

Sue Perkins to conduct National Orchestra for All

11 December 2015

NOFA's 2015 summer course concert at Leeds Arena
NOFA's 2015 summer course concert at Leeds ArenaTeach First

NOFA's 2015 summer course rehearsals
NOFA's 2015 summer course rehearsals

Sue Perkins
Sue PerkinsCourtesy of BBC, agreed by Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins is to conduct the National Orchestra for All (NOFA) at a fundraising event at King Solomon Academy, Marylebone on 16 January.

The ensemble's musicians will be joined by 60 members of the public to work on Beethoven's fifth symphony and Dvořák's 'New World' symphony with Perkins and NOFA's artistic patron Sian Edwards. The players will then give a performance of the works at 4.30pm.

The event will raise money for disadvantaged young musicians.

Perkins conducted at the 2008 Last Night of the Proms after winning the BBC show Maestro.

NOFA launched in 2011, and now has over 90 musicians participating in a year-long season of residential courses and workshops. The players are nominated by their music teachers, and are often from challenging backgrounds.

National Orchestra for All

RCM Museum to receive £3.6m from Heritage Lottery Fund

10 December 2015

A clavicytherium from the RCM collection
A clavicytherium from the RCM collection

The Royal College of Music's Museum of Music is to receive a £3.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fund a three-year conservation and redevelopment programme. 

The redevelopment will create new displays and a performance space for the collection. Conservation will be carried out on more than 500 instruments, and around 45,000 items will be documented and digitised. 

The project will allow increased access to the site, allowing it to host educational sessions and temporary exhibitions. The museum will also facilitate training, volunteering and internship opportunities for conservation, digitisation and learning and engagement.

RCM director Colin Lawson said that the grant would establish help to establish the museum 'at the very heart' of the conservatoire.

The RCM’s collection comprises instruments, manuscripts, sculptures, paintings, archives, books and programmes. 

The RCM Museum currently welcomes 8,000 visitors each year, a figure predicted to rise to more than 40,000 when the conservation and redevelopment programme is completed. Alongside structural work, opening days will be increased from five to six days and five new fixed-term jobs will be created including a learning and engagement officer and a conservator.  

Sir Peter Luff, chair of HLF, said: 'These exciting proposals are just the thing to get [the collection] out of the storage cupboards and into a new, brighter space with increased opening times and instrument handling opportunities.'

Royal College of Music Museum

British Composer Awards 2015: the winners

10 December 2015

The 13th British Composer Awards ceremony took place at the British Film Institute on 9 December 2015.

The ceremony was hosted by Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor, with awards presented by keynote speaker Jessica Cottis and actress Juliet Stevenson.

Stuart Hancock's Snapshot Songs received the community/educational project award. Comprising 19 songs, each created by a different group, the song cycle - which explored aspects of contemporary London - was described as 'often very touching and always beautifully poetic'. It received its premiere at the Barbican Centre in April 2014, featuring 150 performers.

Rory Boyle's Muckle Flugga won the wind/brass band category. Commissioned by the Scottish Brass Band Association as a test piece for the European Brass Band Championships, the piece takes its name from a small rocky outcrop which is the northernmost point of the British isles.

Kate Whitley's 'attractive, original and well written' Alive won the amateur/youth performer category. A setting of a poem by Holly McNish, the work was commissioned by Multi-Story and received its premiere at Peckham car park in June 2014 by the Multi-Story Orchestra, Southwark Youth Orchestra, Lewisham Schools Sinfonia and Peckham Chamber Orchestra.

Accepting her award, Whitley exclaimed: 'I haven't prepared anything to say... I assumed that the people who won awards already knew!'

The awards ceremony also featured the UK premiere of Judith Bingham’s A Bird is Singing, performed by the Trinity Laban Chamber Choir (directed by Stephen Jackson).

The jury members for this year’s awards included Cecilia McDowall, Juliet Fraser, Leigh Melrose and Michael Zev Gordon.

British Composer Awards

Live Music Now Scotland wins community project award

9 December 2015

Daniella Keenan with the award
Daniella Keenan with the award

Live Music Now Scotland has won the community project of the year award at the 2015 Scots Trad Awards.

The charity's assistant director Daniella Keenan collected the award at Dundee's Caird Hall on 5 December.

'We ran over 600 projects and workshops across Scotland this year - down in the Borders, up in the Orkney Islands and everywhere in between,' she said. 'We’ve brought live music to babies, toddlers, schoolchildren, adults with disabilities, elderly people living with dementia - it really is a privilege for us to support the incredibly talented musicians who deliver these special performances to the community.'

Live Music Now trains young, professional musicians before sending them into communities across the UK to perform for older people and children with special educational needs. The Scottish branch of the charity was established in 1984.

Live Music Now Scotland

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