John Paynter, leading music education writer and practitioner, dies
23 July 2010
John Paynter, seminal music educator and theorist, died on 1 July. He was born in London and studied at Trinity College of Music. After National Service he taught in schools, and in 1969 he joined the music department at the University of York.
In 1970 he published Sound and Silence, written in partnership with colleague Peter Aston, which included 36 graded assignments for classroom use. A companion volume, Sound and Structure, was published 24 years later, and in between came All Kinds of Music, Sound Tracks and Hear and Now, a series of projects to integrate music, dance and drama.
Paynter valued musical sensitivity and imagination above technical skill, and was a lifelong advocate of creative approaches to music-making. He believed that in order for children's artistic activity to be truly meaningful it should not be assessed, evaluated, measured, marked or graded.
Paynter was appointed OBE in 1985 and retired from the University of York in 1994. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and a daughter from his first marriage to the late Elizabeth Hill. There will be a full obituary in September's issue of MT, along with a review of Thinking and Making, his collected writings.
Asian Music Circuit Summer School - places still available
22 July 2010
The Asian Music Circuit's Summer School still has places available to study the Japanese, zither-like koto and the Indian singing styles of khyal and thumri in a non-residential course running at London's Royal Academy of Music from 24-30 July.
Dr Ayako Hotta-Lister will teach koto, while respected pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra will teach Khyal. Sunanda Sharma will give tuition in thumri. Other courses in the Indian song style of dhrupad, the Chinese instruments guqin and guzheng, and in Japanese taiko dumming are already full. This year's theme for the school is 'Music and Nature' and the AMC hopes for an 'enjoyable, inspiring course'.
Each teacher will also give a performance at the Purcell Room: taiko drumming tutor Liz Walters and a Rajasthani folk group in a double bill on 29 July; Satish Prakash Qamar playing the shehnai, the double-reeded, oboe-like Indian instrument, in a double bill with ancient Japanese plucked strings on 30 June; Uday Bhawalkar and Sunanda Sharma will be singing dhrupad and thumri respectively on 30 July; and finally pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra will perform in the varanasi tradition on 1 August.
To book a place at the Summer School contact Jasel Nandha on 020 8742 9911 or email email@example.com.
To book tickets for a concert contact the Southbank Centre box office on 0844 875 0073.
Earlybird deadline extended for NAME National Conference
20 July 2010
Specially reduced rates for this year’s NAME (National Association of Music teachers) Conference will now be available for reservations made up to 31 July.
Opening with guest speaker Evelyn Glennie, the conference explores the theme of 'Finding the Pupil Voice', with a range of keynote speakers, workshops, presentations and debates. It runs from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 September at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Stone, Staffordshire.
For full programme details, including descriptions of all individual breakout sessions, go to www.name.org.uk/conferences/name-national-conference-2010. Bookings and payments can be made online; Contact Helen Fraser on 01629 760791 for further information.
Berklee president sets out rationale for popular music education at ICMP conference
15 July 2010
London’s Institute of Contemporary Music (ICMP) held a two-day conference entitled The Place and Purpose of Popular Music in Higher Education on 8-9 July. The keynote speaker was Roger Brown, president of Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, one of the world’s oldest popular music education institutions. Taking a devil’s advocate stance, Brown asked, ‘Is there a rationale for teaching contemporary [popular] music?’ He responded with five arguments for a strong rationale, the first of which was simply that ‘contemporary music is interesting.’ His second argument was that ‘music is the single best window for understanding who we are and how we think’, citing popular music in particular for its role in movements of social change.
Brown’s third argument was that a popular music education produces employable graduates. He stated that 55% of Berklee graduates derive their full income from music, which he asserted was a higher figure than for most conservatoires. His fourth point was what he called the ‘virtuosity argument’, saying, ‘if you have the discipline to practise anything for two hours a day you’ll become a virtuoso’. He went on to suggest that this kind of study nurtured transferable life skills. Lastly, he described the high creativity component of a popular music education, which, he argued, was not always so present in conservatoires.
The conference was attended by delegates from the UK and the USA and featured a range of workshop sessions as well as talks from speakers from across the industry. More information about the ICMP can be found online.
ACE tells funded organisations to prepare for 10% cuts in 2011
14 July 2010
Alan Davey, the Chief Executive of Arts Council England (ACE), has sent a letter to all its Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) asking them to 'model prudently for a 10% reduction in funding for 2011/12'. Davey goes on to warn that the ACE has been asked by the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to prepare for budget cuts of 25% - 30% over four years.
Musical institutions make up 99 of around 850 RFOs, of which most are involved in music education in some way. The London Symphony Orchestra, for instance, which runs its LSO St Luke's education programme alongside its performance schedule, had been scheduled to receive £2,367,674 in 2010/11. This sum will have already been subject to an in year cut of 0.5%; a 10% cut for 2011/12 will mean losing in the region of £240,000. Cuts of 30%, assuming the ACE spreads cuts equally across all RFOs, would therefore equate to a reduction in ACE funding of around £750,000.
The Sage Gateshead, which aims to 'have a long-lasting impact on the life and regeneration of North East England' through a variety of education and outreach programmes, was originally scheduled to receive £3,796,039 in 2010/11; it would suffer a reduction in funding of over £1million were 30% cuts to be applied across the board.
In the letter, however, Davey acknowledges that the ACE 'would no longer be able to fund many organisations in the way [it has been] to date', and that cuts of up to 30% 'would mean significant change'.
ACE has published a toolkit to help RFOs to lobby effectively against large cuts. The figures are not 'set in stone', says Davey, and the ACE 'will argue that any cut needs to be managed intelligently, and in a way that protects the achievements of the last 15 years'.
View the full letter here.
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