Music Teacher magazine is the essential meeting point and resource for music education practitioners.

Whether you teach class music, or are a peripatetic/private instrumental teacher, Music Teacher will provide you with invaluable ideas for your teaching, with substantial online lesson materials and a range of practical features. Packed with reviews, news, comment and debate, as well as the latest jobs, professional development opportunities and fantastic special offers, Music Teacher is all you need to teach music.

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Tutors and coaches targeted in new tax campaign

10 October 2011

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) today launched a Tax Catch up Plan (TCP), targeted at people providing private lessons regardless of whether or not they have a teaching qualification. TCP is aimed at those who profit from tuition and coaching as a main or secondary income on which the correct tax has not been paid, because they have not told HMRC about it.

Included in TCP is an opportunity for those providing tuition, instruction or coaching to come forward (deadline: 31 March 2012) and tell HMRC about their outstanding tax for the years up to 5 April 2010 and pay what they owe. Those who come forward by the deadline 'are likely to receive the best possible terms' for paying the tax owed, and if they have to pay a penalty, it is 'unlikely' to be more than 20% of the unpaid tax. Those who wait for HMRC to come to them will 'pay much higher penalties or even face criminal prosecution'. After 31 March, using information pulled together from different sources, HMRC will investigate those who have chosen not to come forward.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said: 'Our campaigns are designed to ensure tax is paid so that the money is available to spend on public services used by everyone. We are making it as easy as possible for people offering tuition and coaching to use this unique opportunity to put their tax affairs in order by making a full disclosure, and benefit from the best possible terms.

'We are using various intelligence sources to identify and then target those who do not take advantage of this opportunity to declare their full income. The message is clear: contact us before we contact you.'


Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @HMRCgovuk

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’.


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