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autumn 2006


a chance for you to get involved!


ENSEMBLE FOR YORK Young people who are interested in singing now have the chance to join an early music group, thanks to an award from Youth Music to the City of York Performing Arts Service. The City will be working in partnership with the National Centre for Early Music to launch Vocalise, a new music programme that has been designed to support the NCEM’s Early Music Ensemble – the Minster Minstrels – and provide young people in York with the opportunity to enjoy singing from an early age. Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM, was delighted with the award. She said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn how much fun singing is and to find out about music of the past at the same time.The launch of this vocal ensemble widens this opportunity to those who have not previously had the opportunity to make music.” The Minster Minstrels instrumental ensemble will continue its active life alongside the vocal ensemble and is now seeking new members playing a wide range of instruments. Set up three years ago to explore the music of the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods, the ensemble provides young people aged between 10 and 18 with the opportunity to learn about the instruments, musical styles and historical events that would have influenced music from the past. Musicians are offered this rare opportunity of chamber music coaching every Saturday morning as part of the City of York’s Performing Arts Service.

The Minster Minstrels perform regularly in the York Early Music Festival and the York Early Music Christmas Festival, and in July 2006 they entertained the crowd in between scenes at the York Mystery Plays. To find out more, contact the NCEM by visiting and go to the Community and Education section.

Welcome to the first edition of the NCEM’s bi-annual Education and Community newsletter the space for you to learn more about events and activities. In this issue find out about the new early music singing programme, the innovative Tudor teaching resource and what is happening as part of the Early Music Christmas Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations.

creative learning

E-LEARNING MELODY MONKEY’S CREDITS MAKEOVER FOR TUDOR RESOURCE Melody Monkey’s Marvellous Music Box, created by the NCEM as an early years musical resource, has just had a makeover!

Are you interested in the Tudors? Have you discovered the new Counterpoint Tudor CD-Rom teaching resource yet? The resource, produced by the NCEM with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is aimed at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. It is linked to the National Curriculum and uses a range of subjects including music and drama to explore the religious changes that took place in England during the turbulent years of the Reformation and the impact these had on the musicians who lived and worked in York Minster. Now, thanks to the Department for Education and Skills, it is possible to buy Counterpoint with e-learning credits.To find out more, go to the Curriculum Online website at for more information. Released earlier in the year, Counterpoint has been praised by users and media alike. Primary Music Today said: ‘This resource will draw pupils into the world of the Tudors as active participants’ and Classroom Music said that from a secondary music perspective ‘it provides ample – and flexible – resources related to most of the programmes of study at this level.’ Counterpoint costs just £30 and is available from the NCEM. For more information and to see sample sections of the CD-ROM visit:

A newly designed box, with new instruments, a new puppet and a new Song Book, will be available in 2007. The musical resource has proved extremely popular since it was launched in 2002. It is designed to help adults with no formal musical training lead musicmaking sessions with groups of young children. The exciting new Song Book contains 20 entertaining songs and rhymes, together with five stories. Included with the new songs are suggested movements and actions together with ideas for activities using the musical instruments. All the stories have been specially written for the new book and features the four animal glove puppets – Melody Monkey, Crotchet Crocodile, Octave Owl and Forte Frog – to explore concepts such as finding and using our singing voices, higher and lower voices, pulse and rhythm, and the sounds of different musical instruments.

Cathryn Dew, Education Manager at the NCEM, said: “It has been a lot of fun collecting and writing new material. We think that groups that are already familiar with Melody Monkey, together with children and adults using the pack for the first time, will really enjoy the new songs, rhymes and stories.There are many opportunities to use the puppets in creative ways, as well as lively action songs and one or two for more peaceful moments.” Melody Monkey’s Marvellous Music Box with Song Books 1 and 2 costs £185 + VAT plus postage and packing.You can buy the new Song Book separately for £25 + VAT. To place an order email or ring 01904 632220.

christmas and new year activities

CELEBRATE THE YORK EARLY MUSIC CHRISTMAS CHINESE FESTIVAL 2006 The 10th York Early Music Christmas Festival will run from 7 - 11 December and promises a mix of candlelit concerts, lunchtime entertainments and workshops for children presented in some of the finest historic venues in the City of York.Young people will enjoy the following:

2.00pm Saturday 9 December

WELCOME YULE Get into the Christmas spirit with this medieval Christmas concert for children (and adults!), which will lead you through the old traditions of the Christmas period - from the appointment of the Lords of Misrule to Twelfth Night. The show will include all kinds of exotic instruments including the shawm, recorder, hurdy gurdy and bagpipes! Bring your singing voices and be ready to dance as you follow the Christmas celebrations with carols and mummers plays! Both of these concerts take place at the NCEM.To purchase tickets contact the Box Office on 01904 658338 or

2.00pm Sunday 10 December

THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see and hear trumpets of all shapes, sizes and varieties in this exciting show by two of early music’s renowned performers.Trumpet player, Crispian Steele-Perkins, and harpsichord player Peter Seymour will present this entertaining performance tracing the history of the trumpet through the baroque and on to Gilbert and Sullivan providing the chance to hear examples of music from throughout the ages!


The NCEM will be celebrating the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig, with a weekend of activities for all ages during York Residents First weekend (27 & 28 January). The London Jing Kun Opera Association will put on a Chinese Opera Face Painting workshop allowing participants to have their faces painted by professional artists and to learn about the colour symbolism and face patterns used in Chinese Opera. Chinese Community Artist Linda Tomlinson will return to the NCEM to run a workshop teaching participants how to make a selection of traditional Chinese New Year gifts, and will explain the symbolism behind the decorations, focusing on the themes of spring and good luck. More information about our Chinese New Year activities will be posted on the NCEM website at

jazzing it up!

DENNIS ROLLINS JOINS AIM HIGHER JAZZ PROJECT Jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins will be working with University of York students Phil Merriman and Raphael Clarkson on a two-year programme to deliver the ‘Funky Grooves, Jazzy Beats’ workshops as part of the Aim Higher programme in North Yorkshire.This programme is a Government initiative to encourage young people to go into higher education and it will be co-ordinated by the NCEM.

CALLING ALL LATE LEARNERS! Did you play an instrument in your youth; develop an interest in music whilst encouraging a child to play; or have reached a certain age and decided to start learning yourself? If so join jazz saxophonist Snake Davis in the second late music learners session run by the NCEM on Saturday 5 May 2007 from 10.00am - 1.00pm.The atmosphere will be relaxed and creative. No grades required, just bring along your instrument and enthusiasm.The Snake Davis Band will also be appearing at the NCEM on Saturday 5 May at 7.30pm and tickets are now on sale for this concert. To book for this workshop or concert, please contact either the NCEM Box Office on 01904 658338 or book on-line at

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DIARY DATES 2.00pm Saturday 9 December

Welcome Yule 2.00pm Sunday 10 December

The Trumpet Shall Sound 2.00pm - 5.00pm Saturday 27 January

Chinese Opera Face Painting Workshop 7.30pm Saturday 27 January

Chinese Opera Performance 2.00pm – 4.00pm Sunday 28 January

Chinese Decorations Workshop 10.00am – 1.00pm Saturday 5 May

Jazz Workshop for Late Learners with Snake Davis

For further information about any of the activities, events or resources mentioned in this Newsletter, please contact the NCEM on 01904 632220, email or visit To book tickets, please contact the Box Office on 01904 658338 or book on-line at National Centre for Early Music St Margaret’s Church Walmgate York YO1 9TL The National Centre for Early Music is run by the York Early Music Foundation registered charity No. 1068331. All details are correct at the time of going to press, but we reserve the right to amend the published programme if necessary.

NCEM Education Newsletter Autumn 2006  
NCEM Education Newsletter Autumn 2006  

NCEM Education Newsletter Autumn 2006