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Latest News

BBC Director-General Joins ISM

4 September 2013

The Incorporated Society of Musicians has granted honorary membership to five exceptional leaders of the music world.

ISM's new honorary members are Tony Hall (director-general of the BBC and former chief executive of the Royal Opera House), Sir Nicholas Kenyon (managing director of the Barbican), Darren Henley OBE (managing director of Classic FM), Ruth Mackenzie CBE (former director of the Cultural Olympiad) and Lord Aberdare (Alastair Bruce) of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music.

Tony Hall commented: 'I cannot exist without music.  I was so lucky to run The Royal Opera House for 12 years and make a dream come true by supporting music and artists who give incredible performances.  But I still have a passion to bring music to as many people as possible now I am at the BBC. To be given membership of the ISM is a huge honour – the organisation does so much for the musical life of this country.'

Good News for Jazz

3 September 2013

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra has received a major award from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, through a grant of £30,000 spread over two years. This grant will help NYJO in its work to support the next generation of UK jazz musicians.

NYJO executive chairman Nigel Tully said: 'Jazz is an important art-form which is seriously under-recognised and under-valued in this country. It's excellent to see a major Foundation backing jazz. This award will help us extend our reach nationwide, including more workshops for Music Hubs and schools.'

For almost 50 years, NYJO has offered aspiring young jazz musicians under the age of 25 the chance to rehearse, write and gain experience performing big-band jazz. The orchestra and its training bands meet almost every week in different areas of the country. The last year has been an exciting one for NYJO, including performances at the BBC Proms, London Jazz Festival and Ronnie Scott's. They have also recently formed the NYJO Academy, encompassing three training bands and a vocal class.

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will also be supporting jazz education through a substantial grant for Jazzlines, Birmingham.

Free tickets available for Music Education Expo 2014!

3 September 2013

Following the success of last year's Music Education Expo, which attracted well over 2,000 visitors, the 2014 event will be taking place over Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February 2014.

Members of the music teaching community are warmly invited to come to the Barbican Centre's Exhibition Hall for two days of learning, browsing, networking and playing. The conference programme will feature over 50 sessions designed for a range of teachers - including primary, secondary, SEN, and instrumental / vocal tutors. Details of the full programme will be released later this month.

Entrance is free for those who pre-register online - visit the Music Education Expo website for more details and to book your free ticket!

Apprentices 'failed by careers advice'

30 August 2013

Latest research by the National Union of Students has revealed clear failings in the provision of careers advice from schools, colleges and universities about apprenticeships.

Although the government has recently campaigned to promote apprenticeship schemes and vocational courses, almost 50% of respondents reported their careers advice to have been of a poor standard. 20% of those working as apprentices have never received advice from a careers service, and a whopping 50% of university students have never even been presented with apprenticeship opportunities available to them.

Those young people who have managed to find information about apprenticeships opportunities are further put off the idea by the fact that minimum wage for apprentices is a mere £2.65 per hour. This is less than half the national minimum wage for those aged over 21 at £6.91.

Despite this, 20% of higher education students still believe that taking up an apprenticeship is a great way of getting work experience, and would consider it as an option in the future.

NUS president Toni Pearce commented from the student media summit: 'Education has changed, and the old route that ends with a three year full time undergraduate degree no longer needs to be norm. The lack of proper careers advice about the available study options and pathways to work is failing young people. Students need the information and tools to thrive, whatever their learning journey. We need a no holds barred review of information, advice and guidance to ensure it is fit for purpose, fit for the twenty-first century and fit the realities of students’ lives.'

Hot Tickets for Schools

28 August 2013

A new 'one-stop shop' website is going live on 9 September which aims to simplify research and bookings for schools trips.

Launched by AKA, Hot Tickets For Schools will provide a fully searchable range of events, including musicals, exhibitions and plays, alongside advice and resources on how to support this trip in the classroom. The website will also help teachers ensure that they are getting the best available rates for schools tickets – not just for the production itself, but also for travel options to the venue and local school-friendly restaurant and hostel prices. 

Nitasha Rajoo, subject leader for Drama at The City Academy, Hackney, was part of the Hot Tickets For Schools focus group. ‘As many teachers will all too well know, it can be a struggle to find enough hours in the day to do all the things that you’d like. That’s why websites like Hot Tickets for Schools are an invaluable resource. With this one-stop portal, it’s never been easier to go and see a top show or attraction with my students and make the experience seamlessly part of lesson plans.’    

The new website will also feature a forum for teachers to share reviews and tips from their experiences, and there will be an option to sign up to receive latest news on shows and events suitable for their students.

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