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Official: music to be excluded from EBacc

21 July 2011

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a 'Statement of Intent - 2011', which, among other things, confirms that there will be no place for music on the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc).

The statement reads: 'Last year’s publication of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) prompted much interest and debate about the range of subjects which it should encompass. After consideration of representations, and to provide schools with certainty, the Secretary of State is minded to leave the subjects unchanged i.e. English, maths, two sciences, history or geography, and an ancient or modern foreign language.

'However, from this year, AS levels taken in the relevant subject before the end of KS4 will now also count towards the EBacc. A detailed list of the GCSEs that count towards the EBacc will be published at www.education.gov.uk/performancetables.

'From this year, we will now show more information about each of the EBacc subject areas. The Performance Tables will show the number of pupils entered for each subject area – English, maths, science, languages and humanities. For each of English and maths, we will publish the percentage of the cohort who have attained grade A*-C (as we would expect every pupil to have been entered for these GCSEs); and for other subject areas, the percentage of those entered who have attained grade A*-C.'

The music education community, in particular the Incorporated Society of Musicians, has been vocal in urging the government to include music on the EBacc. Campaigners have claimed that music will decline in schools as a result of its exclusion from the EBacc list, suggesting it will have less prominence on the league tables and therefore will become a lower priority for investment.

The news that music is definitely to be excluded from the EBacc will fuel fears that it will also lose its place on the national curriculum at Key Stage 3 when the outcome of the current curriculum review is announced.

The full statement can be read here:


Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year applications open

20 July 2011

The annual Music Teacher of the Year Awards, organised and sponsored by Classic FM, Yamaha, Avid and Music for Youth, are once again taking nominations from across the UK.

Due to be presented at the Music for Youth Schools Proms on 7-9 November at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the awards recognise ‘the nation’s most inspirational music teachers’ from all settings. Teachers can be nominated in one of five categories: primary school music teacher; secondary school music teacher; lifetime achievement award; peripatetic or private music teacher; and special education needs music teacher. The five winning teachers will each receive musical equipment from Yamaha and Avid software worth £1,000s for their schools or music services.

Application forms can be downloaded from Classic FM’s website; the deadline for entries is 10 October.


MU announces 'Learn to Play' day on 20 August

20 July 2011

The Musicians' Union, in association with Music for All and Lambeth Music Service, will run a day entitled Learn to Play on 20 August, for children aged six to 11 to try a range of instruments without charge. Trumpet, flute, violin, guitar, clarinet and more will be offered, with teachers and professional musicians on hand to give inspiration and advice.

The day will take place at MU headquarters: 60-62 Clapham Road, London SW9 0JJ. There will be a morning and an afternoon session. Places should be reserved online as soon as possible: http://learntoplay.eventbrite.com

Contact Bindu Paul for more information on 020 7840 5506 or teachers@themu.org

Dame Fanny Waterman awarded honorary membership of RPS

19 July 2011

The co-founder and director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, pianist and teacher Dame Fanny Waterman, has been made an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) in recognition of her outstanding services to music, and services to the piano in particular.

The award, made by the society in 2010, was presented by RPS Chairman John Gilhooly at a piano recital by Andràs Schiff at the Royal Hall, Harrogate on 17 July. Now in her 90s, Dame Fanny continues to travel the world as a juror of international piano competitions. In presenting the certificate of honorary membership, Gilhooly commented: 'It is with great joy that we have finally managed to make her pause long enough, in her beloved Yorkshire, to receive this very special award.'

In its citation, the Council of the Royal Philharmonic Society said: 'Both as a concert pianist, and later as a teacher, Fanny is led by her passion for music and rigorously high standards. Her status as a teacher is now legendary: she has inspired and instructed generations of musicians, both in person and through the millions of copies of her teaching books sold around the world.'

National Children's Orchestra opens applications for 2012 members

15 July 2011

The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain (NCO) has opened applications for children aged 7-13 to audition for a place in one of its five 2012 orchestras. Over 900 young musicians auditioned in 2010 with almost 500 successfully gaining a place.

All NCO members must reaudition annually, meaning that every child stands an equal chance of being accepted. Applicants do not need to have taken formal grade exams, and full bursaries are available to assist those who may have financial concerns. Auditions begin in October, in venues around the country.

To audition on an orchestral instrument, young musicians must submit an application form which can be downloaded from www.nco.org.uk. For further information about the NCO auditions or about the NCO in general, visit www.nco.org.uk or telephone 01934 418855.

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