Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

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Contents Fundamental principles

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Do your research

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Pitching to your Senior Leadership Team

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Ways to raise additional funding A. Within your school

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B. External sources of funding

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About MusicFirst

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Fundamental principles When putting together any application for funding within or outside of your school or Multi-Academy Trust, it is worth considering these fundamentals, possibly even building on them as the foundation of your proposal:

A. Music Education is for everyone Music will have an impact across the school, not just for those taking exam courses or who have extra vocal or instrument lessons. Highlight that whole school/community impact to underline the benefits that supporting music will have across the whole school.

B. Music Education includes much more than simply performing Look at the different ways funding could impact everything you could do in Music, not just the numbers learning instruments or showcase events. Opportunities for students to engage in listening, composing and much more show the long-lasting impact that funding can have. Your project may find students who are fantastically creative but not necessarily performers -- perhaps composers who have only recently started learning to play an instrument or sing, for example.

C. Active participation in Music has other, non-musical, well documented benefits There is a growing amount of evidence to demonstrate how participation in Music can have direct benefit to brain plasticity, ability to remember information, higher emotional intelligence, better communication and social skills, more effective teamwork and much, much more besides. There is a direct correlation between participation in Music and higher exam results at GCSE. To select just three studies: • Cambridge Assessment • Journal of Educational Psychology • Liberty University – a dissertation

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

D. Working in partnership with others can unlock opportunities The more connections you have built between your Music Department and others, the more proof you have of your wider impact. This could be from other departments in the school to your local Hub Provider, other schools in your Trust or local authority, local Community/Borough/County Music groups to local Businesses, and everything in between. Demonstrating participation in such partnerships makes you a better investment and shows that Music is thriving in your school.

E. You are based in a local community – how can you help them too? Can you show how funding your project will have a wider impact? This is or could be key for some funders. Could what you are building be used by the public too? Are you going to be able to provide something that is not currently available in your area? Will your project increase opportunity for more than just your music students? If you are not aware of what’s going on in your local community, make sure you find out as it might be able to underline your bid(s).


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Do your research When pitching to buy new software it is vital that you have done your research. If you’ve only been able to trial a product as a teacher and not with the students, contact other schools you know who are or might be using it to help provide some evidence to reinforce your case. We can inform you if there are schools close by to you who you could visit or contact. If you have trialled the software with students, make sure that in that trial period you have planned a project and delivered it to provide measurable results which demonstrate the benefits. If you don’t know already, find out what the yearly funding cycle is and the best time to apply. Remember that other departments will be doing the same. In some cases, bidding for the pot of money at the end of the year may be the only option. Use the experience of colleagues here – speaking to successful colleagues will guide you.

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Explore all the other ways you could raise funds so you can show you have thought it all through and have a range of ideas on how you might access additional funding on top of what they might offer you. In some circumstances you can add to a financial commitment from the school with money from elsewhere, sometimes matching pound for pound or a contribution in proportion to the school’s original sum. Knowing what may be possible could make a big difference in the initial school investment. Showing creativity and foresight will help your case whoever you are asking!

Pitching to your Senior Leadership Team or Line Managers: Before you apply for external funding, you need to get approval from your leadership team. It is vital that they all feel part of the process -- it is not for you or your department alone but rather a scheme that could have a positive impact on the whole school, carefully thought through and well considered. You might be tempted to share early ideas and although that is not a bad thing in itself, the more fully formed plan you present initially will help show your leaders that you know what you want to do and how to get there and perhaps underline your creativity and determination too. Here are some things to consider when presenting your ideas to your leadership team: 1. Set the scene -- underline the value of music in the school (concerts, extra-curricular activities, community, and charity events etc). Highlight examples of excellence from students or groups, situations where music has had a positive impact on student wellbeing and confidence. Illustrate improvements on student achievement over the years. Emphasise that Music is for all, not just for the gifted and talented, and that every student deserves the right to experience music -- and this is what your Music Department aims to achieve. You might be able to show that you have started already -“look at what I’ve been able to do and imagine how much more I could do!“ 2. Identify the ‘holes’ in your current provision and highlight the challenges with existing resources. Make a big emphasis on places where the lack of certain resources mean that you cannot fully deliver the statutory National Curriculum requirements for Music. Underline places where your lack of certain resources may be/is resulting in poor uptake for Level 2 courses (GCSE/Vocational) or Level 3 (AS/A Level/Vocational). Make sure you show


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

how the new technology adds to your department in terms of breadth of challenge and opportunity for all students. Do not forget to demonstrate how the new technology might help pupil premium or provide access to the curriculum in ways not possible before – there may even be funding attached already. Most importantly, make sure it is crystal clear how the new technology will raise standards, help track and improve student attainment, and capture/assist student progress. 3. Make a point about how the new technology will help your teaching, save you time, raise quality and provide new opportunities. Show how it changes the way you conduct marking or appraisals, particularly if it lightens your workload so you can do more elsewhere. Your SLT will need to see if it will help provide more/better data on students, particularly in attainment and progress. • S how you know your situation in detail by demonstrating that adding the new technology will help you target the needs of the students more effectively. • Always mention if the new technology will improve differentiation and the opportunity for effectiveness of autonomous learning in your classroom and beyond. • Explain how this new technology can open up ways of teaching and learning that were not possible before, particularly if it could improve standards of homework, revision or personal study for exams. • If you can get some evidence that including the new technology will help you oversee/encourage higher proportions of the top grades in Music exams for students, be certain to include that too.

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

4. Present a 5-year plan – what’s your vision? What might the Music Department look like in 5 years if you invested in the new technology, and how would it alleviate the existing challenges you face and to what degree? Don’t be shy about what you’re asking for – ask for the optimum solution (ensuring it is realistic). They can only say no, after all! Be as ambitious as you are comfortable being. Make sure you have clearly outlined the processes and the time it will take to hit the goals you have identified. In most cases there are stages to development, so whilst it’s tempting to ask for the maximum all at once, it may not be possible to deliver that straight away. If you show the SLT that you have those steps in mind they will see you have thought this through with care, and they won’t be disappointed if they see gradual changes rather than huge immediate impact. 5. Show the SLT how it will add value to your school’s appeal/reputation by working with your local Music Hub to underline the need for your planned provision in your local area. Your school might be more attractive to parents of new pupils if you can show that no other school in the area is the same or similar – make it a USP for your school. Use your new technology to offer extra-curricular activities not covered by your local Hub elsewhere, either at all or on a regular basis (e.g. you could offer a weekly Studio/ Computer club). 6. Use the success stories in other schools who have done the same or similar and demonstrate the potential impact of developing the technology provision for your students. If you can find a school with a similar demographic to yours (size, cohort population, intake process etc), it might help the validity of these case studies when used as evidence. 7. Make it part of your own personal development plan. If you need training, make that clear and get the SLT to back that CPD for you. Just because you have diagnosed the need and seen what a technology resource can do does not mean you are an expert in it. This is especially true when using technology that has evolved since you were training!


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

8. It can often come down to how you plan and run your annual capitation so demonstrate how the new technology can be a more efficient/effective way to use funds, especially if the outlay could result in future savings. Do some calculations and show how the investment could have a greater impact on a larger number of students than previous spending. Always check and prove that you have looked at the spending needed to maintain the new technology as well as get access to it, showing clear plans for how it will be funded in the future, not just this academic/financial year. Perhaps crucially, if the suggested investment could be the foundation for a vision of even bigger plans moving forward, then spell that out too. Finally, depending on your school’s policy on this, underline how the new technology could become a new source of income for the school or department – see some of the ideas for that below in our “Within your school“ guide. By carefully considering the above eight areas, you should have built a comprehensive pitch that you can take to your leadership team. You might want to discuss it all with your immediate line manager first, not only to sound them out but to see if there are any omissions or mistakes in what you have prepared. It is particularly useful to have the support of your line manager, so they can catch your enthusiasm and vision which can go a long way to a successful bid.

Hope for the best whilst expecting the worst – be patient and stay positive no matter what the response you get. The SLT may be looking at how you respond to an initial refusal to test how determined you will be to see those plans through to completion. If you have made enough of a positive impact you might move up on the list of priorities when funding becomes available in the future. Don’t forget that some schools only allow bidding at the end of a financial year, spending anything left over in that year’s funding. So, if your bid was not successful in September/October, try re-submitting (maybe a scaled back version) in the following January/February. Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get the SLT to catch your vision!

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Ways to raise additional funding There are always ways to raise funding for developments both within and outside of your school and its community. Here are some ideas.

A. Within your school Look at the possible benefits of working in partnership with other departments or faculties. For example, the podcasting function on Soundtrap would benefit English, Humanities or any other subject who might use Podcasting to learn/ demonstrate subject knowledge. It’s also great for MFL language practice. If your department produces music for others in school – musical productions, drama productions, P.E. Gym displays, Dance productions, assemblies, special events (e.g. Speech Days, Celebrations etc) then work with those departments or faculties to put a little towards the new technology as it will be used by them as well. Similarly, you might have a productions budget – a fund that is topped up by ticket sales for performances/productions, possibly shared with Drama and/ or Dance. Perhaps part-funding is an option as the new technology will have


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

an impact on school productions in the same way as a new light/lamp, props, costume, or piece of set which might not be solely paid for by the Drama Department. If you do not have a productions budget, why not set one up with your school finance manager(s)? You can then run concerts, competitions or similar, to raise money through tickets or donations. You might even be explicit and say the event is to raise funds for new technology in the Music Department. Other fundraisers could include ticketed events. Examples could be: •M asterclasses -- a local DJ could run a workshop, have a focus on an instrument, voice or composing •C oncerts in collaboration with local music groups – choirs and bands etc. (a recruiting opportunity for them too!) •C oncerts or events with special guests such as local professional musicians and groups •M ulti-school Hub or MAT talent competitions (with an entry fee too?) • J oint events with Primary schools like ‘Festivals’ or competitions (great for recruiting at your own school!) •H ire out performing, rehearsal or recording spaces outside of school hours •H ire out your school ensemble(s) for local events, from wedding receptions to carnivals/fete events, local civic events to birthday parties etc. That could be large and small ensembles – steel pan bands, jazz groups, string quartets, Brass groups, choirs of all sizes, even school orchestras or chamber orchestras. • Christmas Carol singing or more static fundraising opportunities in local hot spots such as shopping malls or civic areas (be warned – you must get permission from the authorities, run a risk assessment and have parental permission in writing before you do something in a public space). •W orkshops for parents using your music facilities outside of school hours •D evelop your own record label, recording local musicians and groups and publishing them on streaming services.

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Your school PTA or similar might have a special funding resource set up for enhancing the school’s resources to give students more opportunities. You might be able to apply for a one-off or small regular amount that will help towards or even fully pay for the new technology. There may also be resources set aside by your Multi-Academy Trust. This often accompanies developmental projects or targeted areas that the MAT wishes to improve/grow. If your MAT has a Music Lead, get in touch with them to find out what the MAT might be planning. If there is no Music Lead or are no development plans, there’s nothing stopping you taking ideas to the MAT executive and suggesting ways forward that would benefit a number of schools, not just yours. Find out which executive has Music in their portfolio and introduce yourself. You might also consider asking for a contribution from parents. This is not an option for many schools, but if the school can cover those families who cannot afford it, this might be a way to raise the bulk of the money. Asking for £2 to cover a program like Noteflight Learn or £4 for Soundtrap for Education, or £5 for a bundle of two programs might be perfectly acceptable, especially if you put that in the context of students having to pay for a mufti-day or Red Nose day/Sport Relief fancy dress etc. which might cost £2 or so and take place two, three or even more times every school year. Some departments expect students to buy their own text books which typically cost up to £15 a year or to cover the two/three -year course. Art and CDT departments often ask for a contribution to cover materials. P.E. often require purchase of a sports kit. See what is being asked for in other departments in your school – you might be surprised! And if they do it, why can’t you?... Obviously, with all of the suggestions above, you must be fully cognisant of School Policies when it comes to “making money“ in the manners described. It is not always an accepted practice. Some schools might expect any money raised to go into a central fund, not just the Music Department. You need to be aware of licensing and tax issues too – VAT and copyright must be considered whenever money changes hands.


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

B. External sources of funding The more background you have and examples of it having a positive impact on student’s learning, the better. Funding often comes with strings attached or a certain set of criteria, such as creating something that could be used by the public, contributing to the music offering in your area, a certain type of musical project such as a workshop/performance, something based on technology or targeted at a certain group of students. That being said, applying for funding from external providers can be very much worth your while, with schools being donated anything from two figure to four or even five figure numbers. You might wish to start looking for funding from groups such as these: • funded.org.uk • grantsonline.org.uk These are websites that list a wide range of funding opportunities. Not all of them are for Music specific projects, but there is certainly scope for community linked projects or for targeted projects aimed at certain groups of students.

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Here are a number of possible funding sources you might want to contact or apply to for funding: Universal Music UK Sound Foundation There are a variety of Awards you can apply for here including Awards for Schools/Colleges as well as individuals and teachers. The Music in Secondary Schools Trust Their website has many case studies and links for you to explore to see whether or not this source will fit your plans. Restore the Music: UK This Charity has been focused on provision for London schools and students. More information on their criteria and their application process can be found here. Musician’s Union Be aware that many of those on the list are aimed at individuals, bands or companies rather than schools/education. Nesta They have an Arts & Culture Finance initiative as well as one for Education. PRS Foundation Worth investigating to see if there’s anything you could do in partnership with a non-education based organisation.


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

National Lottery Heritage Fund At the time of writing, they are looking to fund projects that will “contribute to our recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis“. The British Council The following list of 6 funding sources is written and published by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM): • Paul Hamlyn Foundation: Teacher Development Award • The Edge Grant Fund • Music for All • Youth Music • Education Support Partnership: Training and Development Fund • Creative Scotland: Youth Music Initiative Funding Please check individual websites for details on eligibility, applications, and deadlines. Source: ISM Advice In the 21st century there are many ways to fundraise for specific education projects using the Internet and/or Social Media. You must beware though – some sites/methods are not applicable to Education funding, so double-check whether it is allowed before launching your fundraising campaign. Make sure you have found out about any commissions or fees charged by the website/ group if there are any. You should also double-check that your school are happy for you to launch an online campaign before you spend any time setting it up. Like parental contributions, schools have various policies about this. Here are a few places you might want to start: gofundme.com Their website provides lots of suggestions, useful proforma and online space for you to use and there is an Education special area too. easyfundraising.org.uk collectionpot.com This has a specific education area.

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virginmoneygiving.com There are many school projects listed but it’s not clear whether these are private schools with charity status, state schools or simply schools raising money for an external charity project. rocketfund.org justgiving.com One of the biggest names in crowdfunding, JustGiving has heaps of ideas and provides a way for donors to pay as well. crowdfunder.co.uk At the time of writing, they are offering zero platform fees for projects raising money as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The above advice and lists are by no means finite. We do not sponsor, favour or have any interest personal or business in any of the groups, charities, funds, companies, or websites that are mentioned -- we’ve collated them so they are there for you to explore. Whilst we bring experience from both business and education backgrounds, there may well be other alternatives we do not know about. Please feel free to contact us if you have found a source that might be of help to others. If you have any suggestions we could add to this document, please let us know. In an educational environment that seems to be squashing Music and the Arts further and further to the margins, our aim is to help support as many schools as possible to reverse those trends and to build increasing numbers of teachers and students who can participate in ever-improving Music Education.


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

About MusicFirst MusicFirst was founded with one mission: to offer music teachers and their students easy-to-use, affordable cloudbased solutions that enable music learning, creation, assessment, sharing and exploration on any device at anytime, anywhere. Our MusicFirst Classroom is the only Learning Management System dedicated to Music and we both create and re-sell a wide variety of software that are all accessed online covering every aspect of Music education – performing, composing, listening, responding/analysing, musical knowledge and theory.

The Team at MusicFirst UK

Richard Payne

Matt Allen

Education Manager

Customer Support and Brand Ambassador

richard@musicfirst.com

matt@musicfirst.com

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

Cloud-based Software Auralia Ear training

Musition Music theory training

Focus on Sound Multimedia music encyclopedia

Noteflight Learn Notation and composition

O-Generator Beat-making

Flat for Education Collaborative music notation editor


MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

PracticeFirst Practice and performance assessment

Sight Reading Factory Sight reading and sight-singing practice

Soundation Recording and mixing

Soundtrap for Education Recording, mixing and loop creation

Groovy Music Primary music-making tool

Cool4School A streamable library of songs, with support movement and dance videos and lyrics

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MusicFirst – Creative Funding Approaches for Music Departments

For further information visit musicfirst.co.uk or email info@musicfirst.co.uk DISCLAIMER: All information in this document is merely for educational and informational purposes. Groups and organisations named might change their policies at any time. The information in this document is advisory and not guaranteed in all situations.