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Autumn 2018

Norfolk Schools Opera Project P2 Forthcoming events


Lest We Forget Remembrance Concert P3

Welcome to Norfolk Music Hub’s newsletter! In our latest jam-packed issue of Hub News we look back to some of the highlights of the last term and showcase the wealth of opportunity on offer in the Autumn: busy looks to be an understatement! We are super excited this term to be involved in the Lest We Forget children’s remembrance concert in Birmingham. It seems like such a long time ago that I signed up to take part, in fact over two years, but now that it is almost here, things are starting to feel very real. Norfolk pupils will be playing an integral part in this concert and with press coverage for this event set to be on a national scale we will definitely be coming to a television set near you: so keep your eyes peeled!! Having attended the launch event for Norfolk Black History Month at the end of September, I am really proud

that we have been successful in securing one of their coveted grants. Drawing upon the success of last year’s Caribbean Evening, this year we are presenting a ‘Carnival Fusion’ complete with food and entertainment. I have also heard on the grapevine that the High Schools’ Choir Festival is taking a rather spooky turn this year, complete with scary antics and a Monster Mash that is not to be missed! With such a great variety of activity taking place I am sure that I will see many of you at various events in the lead up to Christmas but I would like to take this (continued inside...)

Bringing music to life

In this issue 2 SMASH-IT drum course

Norfolk Schools Opera Project

3 Around the regions

Lest We Forget

4 Forthcoming events 5 Facts and figures 6 WCIT Watch & CPD 7 Performance Spotlight 8 Partner news 9 Vocal strategy 10 Student successes

Norfolk Youth Samba

11 News from Norfolk Schools


Norfolk Music Hub | Continued from front opportunity to express my gratitude to all the colleagues, partners, schools, pupils and friends who have made this year our best yet! Alison Corfield, Head of Music Service & Norfolk Music Hub Lead

About the Hub Norfolk Music Hub is a partnership of organisations and schools which engage with Norfolk’s children and young people in music making. These organisations share what they do, communicate with each other and are committed to the highest quality of music education for children and young people. We are funded by the Department of Education, and our grant is administered by Arts Council England, to create more opportunities for children and young people to get involved in music. Music Education Hubs are not grant giving organisations, but rather commissioners of activity in localities dependant on need. We are, however, keen to hear about any exciting initiatives/projects and can support you to promote opportunities to children and young people in your area so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Music Exams If your child has instrumental or music theory lessons with Norfolk Music Service and is working towards a exam, you can now complete the entry form online! Music exams provide measures

of personal progress and attainment against internationally recognised benchmarks, providing motivation, inspiration and a real sense of achievement. You can find the form in the Music Examinations section on our website via the Teachers or Parents menus.

SMASH-IT! Drum Course Celebrates Success! During the summer holidays, J.D.T. Music Academy launched its pilot SMASH-IT! project; a five day intensive drumming course culminating in a day of Rockschool Examinations. Nine participants, studying Grades 1-5, attended 30 hours of intensive training with Senior Tutors Janel Spalding and Aaron Houseago. The course covered everything the student’s needed to complete their chosen grade, including notation, technical exercises, sight-reading, ear tests and musicianship questions as well as studying and perfecting three performance pieces for the exam. The students worked incredibly hard throughout the week, putting in additional hours of study where necessary and supporting each

other at every given opportunity. The Rockschool Exams took place on 18 August 2018 and the examiner was suitably impressed by the standard, ability and talent of the students. This was mirrored by a fantastic set of results which saw all nine students pass with Merit or above!

“The support from NMH was invaluable in helping us to run this pilot project.”

Norfolk Schools Opera Project In 2018 - 19 Norwich Theatre Royal and Norfolk Music Hub are collaborating in a year-long programme, working with hundreds of pupils, teachers, and young gifted and talented musicians from across Norfolk, which will see a brand new children’s opera brought to life! The Norfolk Schools Opera Project aims to engage Key Stage 2 children in creative and cultural learning through the medium of opera, in order to foster a long-term relationship with the arts, enhance their school attainment, and develop their aspirations. Through creative workshops and teacher CPD, a brand new children’s version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute will be created and performed on the Norwich Theatre Royal stage in June 2019 by over 100 pupils from Breckland. The schools taking part in the project will work with professional artists, including English Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, and The Come and Sing Company. The orchestra will be made up of gifted and talented young musicians and


will be conducted by David A Stowell. Photo: Julian Claxton In addition to engaging with schools, we are also inviting Music Education Hubs and arts organisations nationally to engage with the project development throughout the year. You will be able to take a glimpse into the entire process, from school recruitment to final performance, and receive a discounted rate on the final project resources to then be able to perform your own version of this brand new children’s opera! If you are interested in taking part or to receive further information, please contact Gillian Shaw at Norfolk Music Service:


Around the regions West & Coastal The West and Coastal areas have lots of exciting projects happening this term. Classical Music Rocks continues to offer high quality performances of classical music to Primary age students and has several events in planning for the coming year. The Big Pump Organ visited King’s Lynn at the beginning of October, as part of King’s Lynn Festival Extra, with families and school groups interacting and creating beautiful music on this unique instrument. 15 children from Whitefriars Primary Academy are working on a composition project which culminate in a performance of their own composition at King’s Lynn Town Hall on Friday 16 November. Two schools from the West are busying rehearsing for Lest We Forget national children’s concert taking place at Genting Arena, Birmingham on the 3 November to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 (more information below).

East Children in 15 schools in the East are embracing Whole Class Instrumental Teaching this year with samba drums,

ukuleles, recorders, cornets, violins and pBones all ringing out of the school music departments! Norfolk’s Gamelan set has taken up residence in Lynn Grove, Gorleston and we are planning CPD workshops for schools and teachers after half term.

We are delighted to support East Norfolk Sixth Form College’s ‘Stepping Stone to A level Music’ classes for students working towards their Grade 5 Music Theory exams and the college has successfully started its second year of A level Music. GYSMA (Great Yarmouth Schools’ Music Association) have started rehearsing for their 68th annual carol concert which is being held this year at Great Yarmouth Minster on 4 & 5 December and is always a wonderful celebration of musical talents from the area.

South and Central There are a wealth of activities happening in the South and Central areas this term; highlights include the Music For Youth Prom at Norwich Theatre Royal, the launch of the Norfolk Schools Opera Project (see page 2), regenerating music-making in the Thetford area, and the High Schools Choir Festival on 31 October. We are excited that MusicNet East have commissioned Norfolk Music Service, alongside three other counties, to take part in an active research project. Norfolk will be working with six South and Central area schools considering: whether a course of musical intervention can increase the communication and listening skills of pupils in the Early Years / Foundation stages; and if a course of creative musical intervention can increase school engagement and general well-being of selected students experiencing mental health / well-being issues. There will be plenty of CPD opportunities as part of this research project for you to become involved in so keep an eye out for more details soon!

Lest We Forget Children’s Concert


Children from Norfolk will take part in the first ever National Children’s Remembrance Concert to mark the centenary of the end of the signing of the armistice to end World War 1, alongside thousands of young people from England and Wales. Hosted at the Genting Arena in Birmingham on 3 November 2018, children will perform music, songs and drama to commemorate and remember the tens of millions of combatants and civilians from across the world who died, including an estimated 540,000 children. Norfolk Music Hub is supporting local school groups who will be travelling to Birmingham to perform in this special concert and represent the County. 45 KS3/4 students from Springwood High School are going to be performing a piece called ‘World at War’ which has been arranged by Music Service tutor David Taylor and is a compilation of songs and styles from the many countries who took part in WW1. There are also a number of Primary aged pupils from Norfolk schools who will sing in the mass choir of over 2000 children, dressed so as to represent two giant poppies. Tickets for the concert are on sale for £15 via


Norfolk Music Hub |


Early Years/Foundation/ KS1 (CPD) 16.00 - 17.40 Norwich Professional Development Centre Free CPD for schools signed up to a Hub Subscription Package.

Sunday 21

SPECIAL EVENT Under 18’s Jam Session Any young musician under 18 is invited to take part in our monthly jam sessions. Jam sessions are a brilliant opportunity for young people to meet and jam with their peers or share music they have been working on in a relaxed, informal environment. It’s free to attend and all abilities and instruments are welcome. Just bring your instrument or sticks and get involved!

Next Jam: 21 October

Under 18s Jam Session 17.00 - 19.00 The Brickmakers, Norwich All abilities welcome, just turn up!

Saturday 27

Sistema at the Circus

NOVEMBER Saturday 3

Lest We Forget Children’s Concert

19.00 The Oak Circus Centre, Norwich Tickets available online!

18.00 - 21.00 NEC, Brimingham

Wednesday 31

Charanga - Advanced (CPD)

Norfolk Schools Opera Project: Opera Celebration Day

16.00 - 17.30 Norwich Professional Development Centre Fully booked!

14.30 - 15.30 Norwich Theatre Royal Tickets available via Norwich Theatre Royal Box Office - call 01603 630000.

Sunday 4

Saturday 10

NCYM Jazz & Fireworks Concert 19.30 The Sanctuary, Grove Walk, Norwich

Wednesday 14

Early Years/Foundation/ KS1 (CPD) 16.00 - 17.40 Norwich Professional Development Centre Free CPD for schools signed up to a Hub Subscription Package.

Friday 16

King’s Lynn Festival Coffee Concert 11.00 - 12.00 King’s Lynn Town Hall Featuring a performance by pupils from Whitefriars Primary Academy.

Sunday 18

Under 18s Jam Session 17.00 - 19.00 The Brickmakers, Norwich All abilities welcome, just turn up!

SPECIAL EVENT Thursday 18 October Wednesday 31

High Schools’ Choir Festival 19.00 The Halls, Norwich Tickets available online!

Carnival Fusion As part of Norfolk Black History Month, we are hosting a Rio Carnival event celebrating the life of Antonio Carlos Jobim complete with food and music making - a simply fantastic family evening out! 18.00 - 21.30

The Shoe Factory, St Mary’s Works 4




171 EVENTS 21,969 pupils took part in events across Norfolk

12,292 singers took part in large-scale vocal projects


young people performed at events & opportunities provided by the Hub

HIGHEST number of events for Make Music Day UK outside of London

1 293 9,339 7,911

Whole Class Instrumental Teaching classes supported hours of WCIT activity pupils learning an instrument through WCIT programme


Hub Subscriber Schools


CPD sessions


Bespoke Project Grants awarded

1,243 Social media posts

joint tour to Lake Garda


Annual conference

attended by

357 schools

attended by


school delegates 5

Norfolk Music Hub |

Whole Class Instrumental Teaching Whole Class Instrumental Teaching 2018-19

WCIT Watch Salhouse Primary School Since introducing a new instrument into their school, children at Salhouse Primary School now learn pBones with Music Service tutor Alistair Bell. The school has also hit the ground running this term with the children performing to parents on International Peace Day (see page 9) and the school has introduced Charanga across the KS1 classes to enhance their music curriculum. There is a real buzz about music spreading around the school with all of the teachers keen to engage with musical opportunities both inside and out of the classroom setting. “What fun to discover that in just two lessons, we could accompany Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III! I would thoroughly recommend it to other schools. What struck me is the way everyone starts from the same level. The teacher from the Music Service has hooked all the children without exception. It’s an exciting new experience for all of us.” - Mrs Edwards, Teacher “In the first week, all the children were fully engaged straight away. It

was wonderful to watch and listen to them as they explored pitch, rhythm and tempo. A very accessible instrument.” - Mrs Sullivan, Classroom Assistant “It has been a treat for me to walk along the corridor to be met with a fanfare of 30 pBones. The children are delighted with the opportunity to learn to play ‘something different’. The staff are equally as enthusiastic as the children. Very inspiring!” - Julie Church, Headteacher

“The pBone is really good because you can quickly play new notes and songs.” - Ethan (9) “At first it seemed difficult but then the teacher helps you get the hang of it and it all seems really natural.” - Maddie (10)

Find out more about WCIT: 01603 307710 @NMHub



The provision of Whole Class Instrumental Teaching (WCIT) contributes to the Department for Education’s (DfE) core roles for Music Education Hubs, which states that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument through wholeclass tuition programmes. Over the past year, Norfolk Music Service (the lead organisation of Norfolk Music Hub) has increased its reach of Whole Class Instrumental Teaching and the fantastic team of specialist music tutors now teach over 5000 pupils across Norfolk each week! If you would like WCIT in your school, we are offering two terms of tuition (Spring-Summer 2019) for £700! There is a wide range of instruments to choose from, including strings, brass, percussion, woodwind, ukulele, classical guitar and world music. The deadline for registration 31 October - just fill in our online form!

Continuing Professional Development We offer various networking and specific training for all educational settings throughout the year. Our CPD events are available free of charge to all schools signed up to any Hub Subscription Package, including schools who receive Whole Class Instrumental Teaching, or £75 per session for nonsubscribing schools. Now booking: Twilight CPD sessions in Norwich focusing on Early Years & KS1 music provision; 17 October & 14 November. These linked CPD sessions will look at expected outcomes, delivery, planning and assessment in the Early Years/Foundation/KS1 age groups, and a variety of repertoire. The sessions will be a combination of practical learning and discussion. Register via our website!

Harfest On Saturday 6 October, young musicians entertained the crowds, despite the rain, at HarFest - the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association’s Autumn fayre which celebrates Norfolk’s harvest.

Performance Spotlight

Photo: Julian Claxton

Music for Youth Primary Proms We were privileged to be asked by Music for Youth to host performers at the Primary Proms in Norwich this month. The Music for Youth Primary Proms provide primary school children with the opportunity to experience live music in major concert halls across the UK, and encourage their involvement with music. Aimed at Key Stages 1 and 2, Music for Youth’s Primary Proms inspire and motivate the next generation of music makers and develop their musical potential. These concerts take place across the country throughout the year and are performed by young people, for young people, providing first hand experience of live music-making in a fun and engaging environment. On Tuesday 9 October, two concerts were held at Norwich Theatre Royal, with over 2000 children and young people from 36 Norfolk schools in attendance. By attending the Primary Proms, pupils took part in activities which contributed towards an Arts Award Discover. For this, schools were given a free creative resource pack including a comprehensive lesson plan and Arts Award Discover log book for pupils to complete in classrooms, including researching brass instruments, choirs, and how to be a conductor. The resource pack also included guidance for the Primary Proms to help pupils understand some of the terminology that is frequently used in concerts, who was performing, and what to listen out for when the music starts. The concerts were presented by Rachel Leach; composer, animateur and presenter, who has worked within the education departments of many of the UK’s orchestras and opera companies. Rachel introduced the captivated audience to the exciting range of musical instruments and styles heard throughout the concert, and also led fun challenges for audience participation, including practical listening and rhythm activities, and some tricky dance moves! The programme showcased student performers from 23 Norfolk schools in a variety of ensembles and music groups, including Cantabene (choir from Springwood High School, King’s Lynn), West Lynn Strummers & Drummers (WCIT group), and Norfolk Music Service led ensembles; Norfolk County Strings and Norfolk County Symphonic Wind Band.

“It was really good and most inspiring for our children to see other children perform. They wouldn’t normally get this opportunity. The performers sounded really professional!” - Teacher

This free, one-day event at Norwich Cathedral brought the countryside to the city and featured a farmers’ market, family friendly displays and activities, showcasing the science and technology that lies behind farming in the 21st century. Live entertainment was also a key feature of HarFest and this year Norfolk Music Hub programmed music acts for the event, including local bands, solo artists and ensembles, such as Norfolk County Symphonic Wind Band, Fakenham Junior Singers and Norwich Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Other performers included Airmail Duo, Anna Carter, Harvey Sillitoe, Helen Bluebelle, Lucy Grubb, Scott Ribbons, and Close Encounters.

Call out for performers There are several performance opportunities coming up this term! If you or your music group would like to perform at the RNAA’s Christmas Fayre in Norwich please get in touch with us! SeaChange Arts also has an opportunity for groups to perform at Christmas markets in Great Yarmouth. For more information please contact Siobhan@ Lucy Grubb


The Vagaband and Colegate Nucleo Orchestra

Norfolk Music Hub |

Norfolk Music Hub works with many partners across the County in a variety of ways to provide opportunities for Norfolk’s children and young people to engage in music making activities. Here are just some of the activities our partners across the County are working on.

Sistema in Norwich

Connect: Resound

We are proud to support Sistema in Norwich which works to transform the lives of children and young people through participation in music. The programme runs several groups and ensembles including orchestras. In 2018 Sistema in Norwich were awarded a grant from Arts Council England to to deliver their Performance Project of 12 concerts. The project aims to extend the impact of their work by creating more opportunities for performance for young people in Norwich and Norfolk and enable them to work with a range of professional musicians and ensembles. Their latest Performance Project concert saw a collaboration between their Colegate Nucleo Orchestra and the Vagaband, an 8-piece Roots Rock and Americana band Norwich. The orchestra and band combined to play a set of arrangements of songs from across the band’s three albums. A unique event, bringing new scope to one of Norwich’s most exciting bands. The next concert is at the Oak Circus Centre in Norwich on 27 October in collaboration with Lost in Translation Circus. The Colegate Nucleo Orchestra will provide music for an hour long circus show, with performances from both LIT’s professional crew and young people from their circus school.

Connect: Resound is a digital music education project, which uses new technology to deliver music education and enrichment activities to children living in rurally isolated areas. Following a successful pilot project in North Yorkshire, Connect: Resound expanded to work with music organisations across the country to deliver and further develop this unique approach to online music education. 8

Waveney Valley Orchestral Workshop 2018 Experience a weekend of advanced orchestral playing on the theme The Universe. The programme will centre on the suite ‘The Planets’ by Gustav Holst. 2018 is the centenary of the first performance of this wonderfully exuberant and ever popular work. Also included will be music from the extraordinary film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the theme of which is from ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ by Richard Strauss. Workshop participants will work together under the musical direction of John Stephens, assisted by nine other professional instrumental coaches including Alex Girdlestone (strings), Barry Carben (woodwind), David Scragg (Brass) and Colin Shaw (percussion). The workshop will be a great opportunity for musicians of all ages to refresh their playing skills and also for those who are more familiar with substantial well known orchestral works. To gain maximum benefit players should be at least of Grade 6 standard. Younger players are very much encouraged to work alongside experienced musicians, under professional guidance. There will be a free informal public concert on the Sunday evening, 28 October.

Book online at by 14 October

Thanks to funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Connect: Resound is working in partnership with a cohort of Music Education Hubs, including Norfolk, to develop their approach to delivering online music education as part of their programmes. We are now seeking expressions of interests from schools to engage in this project with us. If you would like to find out more please DISCOUNTE email brenda.seymour@ RATE FOR D ST



Firespinners at Royal Norfolk Show 2018

Vocal Strategy Our vocal strategy engages thousands of young people in singing activities throughout the year. Here are just a few of the many opportunities we offer young people of all ages across Norfolk.

One Day One Choir It was wonderful to see many schools and groups from Hunstanton Primary to Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy take part in the ‘global choir’ to mark International Day of Peace on 21 September. The project, One Day One Choir, engages thousands of children in schools around the UK, and globally, providing a simple, accessible, inclusive and inspiring activity which aims to spark conversations, collaborations and actions around peace and unity. We hope to see even more young people taking part again next year, so save the date!

High Schools’ Choir Festival 2018 On 31 October, 300 secondary students from 12 High Schools across Norfolk will come together at St Andrew’s Hall for the annual High Schools’ Choir Festival. This year’s theme is The Weird and the Wonderful… and features a variety of styles and genres, from Mozart’s Dies Irae and Purcell’s Song of the Cold Genius, to Bohemian Rhapsody and The Phantom of the Opera. The finale is a specially commissioned ‘Halloween’ arrangement by David A Stowell including themes from Thriller, Ghostbusters, and The Monster Mash! The concert will be conducted by

The Come and Sing Company and accompanying the massed choir will be young musicians from Norfolk Music Service ensembles including the Norfolk County Symphonic Wind Band and a string orchestra. Tickets are available online:

Firespinners Boys’ Choir in Gorleston Boys aged 8-18 have the opportunity to sing all styles of music together in a boys’ choir. The choir is led by Rachel Salton (Head of Music at Lynn Grove Academy) and rehearsals take place every Tuesday during term time from 4.15pm at St Mary & St Peter Primary School in Gorleston. It is free to attend and any boys are welcome to join in, regardless of their level of musical background. They have several public performances to work towards throughout the year and the choir has real potential to grow. For more information contact Rachel Salton at

Norwich Young Voices We are delighted to now include Norwich Young Voices in our Music Service provision!

Norwich Young Voices is an established choir for young people from Year 7 upwards who want to sing a variety of music. The choir is directed by John Stephens and rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings during term time from 5.30pm in Norwich. New members are welcome to join and can come along for a free taster session to see what it’s like before joining. In line with other Music Service ensembles, there is a standard termly charge regardless of the number of ensembles students join. That means there’s no additional cost to join the choir if you are already a member of one of the ensembles led by Norfolk Music Service! There are also discounts for pupils in receipt of Free School Meals and Looked After Children. Find out more online.

Auditions for National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Calling all young singers! NYCGB is holding auditions in Norwich on Sunday 18th November and would love to hear as many talented young singers as possible! Booking is open now to audition for the National Youth Training Choir, National Youth Boys’ Choir and National Youth Girls’ Choir.


Norfolk Music Hub |

Norfolk Youth Samba A reminder that CarnavalesCo are continuing the successful Norfolk Youth Samba project this term. Open to anyone from Year 6 to 11 it is an ideal opportunity to play Brazilian street percussion as part of a large ensemble. As well as the weekly open workshops at City Academy Norwich, there will be chances to perform at some high profile events throughout the year. For more info please contact ukcarnavalesco@gmail. com or simply turn up at 5pm on any Wednesday during term time. No previous musical experience is necessary. Noise and fun guaranteed!!

Leverhulme Bursary Awarded Congratulations to Scott Ribbons who has been awarded a bursary towards attending Aldeburgh Young Musicians After finishing his GCSEs at Lynn Grove Academy, Scott Ribbons has decided to pursue his musical education at Access Creative College in Norwich. He has also been given the opportunity to study advanced musical training at Aldeburgh Young Musicians, based at Snape Maltings, who have offered him funding from the Leverhulme bursary to assist him in his quest to perform and compose music at the highest level. Scott says: “I am passionate about performing and composing and am so grateful to those who have helped me so far with my education. I am certain that the professional guidance and encouragement that I will receive from Access and AYM will help me to further my musical ambitions.”


Karolina Reu “Through working with Norfolk Music Hub I have gained experience and contacts in the music industry, such as event organisers and venues as well as private teachers and vocal coaches.” Karolina has taken part in many opportunities offered by Norfolk Music Hub, including singing in the band for The Big Sing event in May 2018 and for Make Music Day, live streamed from Great Yarmouth. “I moved to England 5 years ago and it was one of the biggest decisions of my life. When I joined school I went into Year 10 and music was the first subject that I chose to study. The big difference that I noticed was that music lessons in England are equally based on theory and practical sessions. My English was very poor and I only knew the most basic phrases through studying English at my school in Lithuania. I started learning very quickly in the classroom here and I was learning songs in English. I always wanted to know the meaning behind lyrics, so when I looked them up and memorised the lyrics I would learn different words and remember what they mean. This was a huge help for me and I am glad that by doing something I love I was able to improve different skills too. When I started studying at a music school in Lithuania, I hated classical music. I was 7 and to me it was extremely boring to listen to a piece written hundreds of years ago, when I just wanted to listen to something I could sing along to. As I got older I learnt to appreciate classical music and slowly started loving it. When I came to England and started having singing lessons, I sang pieces from musicals and one day just decided to try opera and I haven’t stopped since! Now I like listening to different genres of music and I appreciate them all, but I always go back to classical; it brings me so much joy and I am always extremely happy when I sing opera. In Year 11 I decided to apply for colleges where I would be surrounded by other musicians and professionals because I would be able to get help with anything I needed to achieve my goals. I studied Level 3 Music Performance at Access Creative for 3 years where I gained experience in performing and working with other musicians. I then moved up to Level 4 Artist Development where I was able to really look at myself as a musician and figure where I wanted to go and how I would do it. I now have a place to study Music at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in 2019. I am hoping to pursue music as a career and I want to be a performer. I have always wanted to be a singer and I want to be on the stage singing for others. I want to perform in musicals and operas, because it is important to do what you love and I love singing!”

Read more about Karolina’s story on our website.


News from Norfolk Schools With the recent news of declining numbers in arts subjects nationally, there are secondary music departments across Norfolk that have bucked the trend and are increasing their uptake. There are success stories to be celebrated in our secondary schools and many different approaches that departments are taking to drive music education in their schools.

Viewpoint from Thorpe St Andrew High School Pete Edwards, Head of Music “Music should be deeply embedded in the life of a school and often it is but in the current climate the value of music is overlooked (along with other arts subjects). At Thorpe St Andrew School we take the view that music is for everyone and that not ‘doing music’ at level 2 or level 3 doesn’t mean that a student is excluded from music in any way. I am in a fortunate position in that the leadership of my school really value music; we contribute a lot to the wider school life but I would be wise not to forget how precarious a position we are in being that we are a niche. In a world of tightening financial constraints, anything we can do to prove our value is vital. There are three of us in the department and we all teach vocational and academic courses. Currently we have a larger cohort of BTEC students than GCSE but both qualifications are co-taught in the same lesson. This is tricky and has its disadvantages but we make the most of the shared composition and

performance elements of each course. There is, or at least has been, a perception that BTEC courses are for musicians without training or just drummers and guitarists who learn through YouTube. While it’s true, a number of the learners on our BTEC course don’t have a regular instrumental teacher when they start the course, but they have no less ‘natural’ musicianship than their peers.

There is a wider pool of talented students who want a career in music but don’t want to follow the traditional path. Most of the typical BTEC musicians want to be immediate rather than strategic in their learning. These musicians can be highly motivated and are independent but there is little structure to their approach. It’s our job to focus their enthusiasm and guide them into learning technique and theory. GCSE numbers are falling nationally but young people who want to learn about music as part of their options choices are, in my experience, put off by

studying set works or the perception that GCSE is for ‘classical’ musicians. I’ve found that BTEC students are often more open-minded to world music and classical music when you can explain the benefit to their potential career of ‘stealing’ ideas, processes and techniques from different genres and experiences. Vocational courses measure the final performance or composition but there is also an emphasis on the judgement of the students progress towards the end result as well as the final ‘product’, how well they responded to adversity or challenge and how they responded to feedback. When we implemented our BTEC course three years ago we planned to introduce a vocational course at Sixth Form so there was an obvious pathway for our students to follow. The vocational course (our choice is BTEC Level 3 in Music Performance) has had a really positive uptake and numbers are growing to a level where the course is more financially viable and not offered as a loss leader to keep students in the centre, which A Level can often be.” BTEC students performing at Norwich Arts Centre


Norfolk Music Hub |

Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust

Registered Charity No 1076384

Norfolk Young Musician Competition John Innes Centre Colney - Norwich

13 January 2019 Sunday

Six prizes to be won

Norfolk Young Musician

Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music Prize

1st Prize £200 2nd Prize £150 3rd Prize £100

Badminton Prize

for promising wind player - £150

for promising string player - £150

Mrs E Sturgeon Prize

for promising pianist - £150

TO ENTER visit to download entry form or email CLOSING DATE 14 DECEMBER 2018

We are grateful to our partners and the organisations we are working with this term:

Norfolk Music Hub is led by the Music Service. Professional Development Centre 144 Woodside Road Norwich NR7 9QL 01603 307710 @NMHub



Norfolk Music Hub: Autumn Newsletter 2018  

Our latest jam-packed issue of news from Norfolk Music Hub features a wide variety of opportunities and events for children and schools acro...

Norfolk Music Hub: Autumn Newsletter 2018  

Our latest jam-packed issue of news from Norfolk Music Hub features a wide variety of opportunities and events for children and schools acro...