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Music Education UK

Summer 2011 / Launch issue 1

The view from Wales Musical Futures in Australia A Day in the Life: Su Hart Developing the KodĂĄly legacy Digital Learning News, Reviews & Listings

bringing everyone together

Going up in smoke? Why music education in England is on a burning platform

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for musicians who teach

Become a part of the MU, the largest organisation representing musicians in the UK, to benefit from an extensive range of FREE benefits, services and training. The benefits for those who teach include: — £10m of Public Liability Insurance cover. — Access to CRB checks. — Teachers’ pack including advice leaflets and support material. — Continuing Professional Development. — Legal assistance & support. — Access to an accredited Teaching Diploma. — A specialist MU Teachers’ Section. — £2,000 of instrument insurance.

The MU’s teaching collaborations include: — An online Child Protection Awareness Training (CPAT) course, in partnership with the NSPCC, ABRSM and MusicLeader, at — A partnership with the UK’s largest online database of tutors, — A partnership with the National Union of Teachers (NUT), working together to promote music education in the UK. For more information, please email or visit

LA or were in some cases just Music Service Plans. The 2009 plans which

Music Education UK REGULARS

38 State of the Union Partnership and collaboration with the Musicians’ Union


8 Music education in Wales: a warning for England?

THE CENTRE POINT 5 Editorial 6 News 16 A Day in the Life Community musician, performer and choral leader Su Hart 32 Q & A Jazz pianist, composer and tutor Huw Warren 42 Listings FEATURES

20 Editorial Technology Editor Tim Hallas welcomes readers 21 It’s technology but is it music? Brian Duncan’s whistlestop tour for novices 22 Music Medals go digital Charanga Music have taken ABRSM’s resources online 24 Review: the Korg Monotron The new synthesiser is put through its paces 24 The Apptitude test 1 Beatwave

Anita Holford’s report reveals a chequered picture of provision across the country


12 Apocalypse now?

26 The Apptitude Test 2 NanoStudio 8 World Stage Festival Party time in Bristol


27 Musical Futures in Australia Why students are queueing up Down Under

39 Yes You Can Play Great Rock Guitar Does our reviewer Robert Ahwai agree?

29 Developing the Kodály legacy László Nemes’ keynote address at musiclearninglive!2011

40 Inside Music An Early Years resource from The Voices Foundation

34 East, West, home is best Music teaching in the UK and South East Asia compared

40 Hearing the Voices of Creation A creative multimedia resource on understanding faiths and the environment through poetry, prayer, story, dance and music

36 Instrumental partnerships Yamaha’s music education work

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Marc Jaffrey’s call to action for the music education sector in England. Warning: contains strong language.

Next issue published in October 2011 Subscribe to Music Education UK at


! ow n ne r nli ates formal o ok al r -fo s Bo peci /Non gate

“I believe out of all the music education organisations you are best

S ary ele m rd Pri ecto s

placed to really serve teachers and the ‘industry’ as a whole.” musiclearninglive!2011 delegate

musiclearninglive!2012 The fifth national musiclearninglive conference is the first in London

March 12 & 13 2012 (Mon & Tue) Institute of Education, London Jude Kelly


James Frankel

Jude Kelly is Artistic Director of Britain’s largest cultural institution, Southbank Centre and former Chair of Culture and Education for London 2012.

James Frankel is an Adjunct Faculty member at Teachers College Columbia University where he teaches courses on music technology.

Jude is an award-winning theatre director. After founding Battersea Arts Centre she joined the RSC then took over the helm at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. As both Artistic Director and CEO of the country’s largest regional theatre, she established a popular ‘centre of excellence’.

He is a widely published author with books including Teaching Classroom Music in the Keyboard Lab, The Teachers’ Guide to Music, Media & Copyright Law & (as co-author) YouTube in Music Education. He is Managing Director of SoundTree which provides music, audio and video technology solutions for educators.

Among her many successes in theatre, Jude’s production of Singin’ in the Rain transferred to the Royal National Theatre and won an Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production. She also directed Ian McKellen in The Seagull, Patrick Stewart in Johnson over Jordan and Dawn French in When We Are Married. Jude left Yorkshire to found METAL, an artistic ‘laboratory’. It provides a platform for collaborations between art forms and strategic projects which affect the built environment, people and communities. Jude represents Britain on cultural matters at UNESCO. She has also jointly chaired the Curricula Advisory Committee on Arts and Creativity with Lord Puttnam. Currently, she sits on the cultural board at LOCOG, following her chairmanship of the culture team at London 2012.

Before taking the helm at SoundTree, he was the instrumental and general music teacher at the Franklin Avenue Middle School in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey for 11 of his nearly 15 years in New Jersey Public Schools. He is on the Board of Directors for the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) and is the current president of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI). In addition to his writing, Dr Frankel is a highly sought-after speaker and clinician at local, national, and international music education events.

musiclearninglive!2012 includes a strand focussing on music technology in education.

About the conference musiclearninglive! conferences are for EVERYONE involved in music education and the richness and diversity of the programmes reflect that. You’ll find hands-on workshops, live performances, case study presentations, inspiring keynotes and controversial panel discussions – combined with plenty of time to network and meet new colleagues. In 2012, we’re coming to London for the first time. We are delighted to welcome as keynote speakers Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre and, from New Jersey, the dynamic music technology education specialist, James Frankel. We also have strands focussing on world music, innovation through partnership, community music, jazz and music education in South East Asia.

For further information – including details of special Early Bird offers, travel and accommodation – and to register online, please visit our website:

musiclearninglive!2012 is presented by Music Education UK | Zone New Media, Innovation Centre, Broad Quay, Bath BA1 1UD, UK | +44 (0)20 3303 0888

LA or were in some cases just Music Service Plans. The 2009 plans which

Music Education UK Editorial


elcome to the launch edition of Music Education UK magazine! After 10 years and 21 issues of Zone magazine, we thought we’d celebrate with a new name and a sparkling makeover. We hope you’ll agree the new name is apposite in the sense that the magazine now ‘does what it says on the tin’ (Zone was great and we’re still published by Zone New Media but it was difficult for newcomers to find us on the net). As we’re expanding into other territories (Singapore this year and Malaysia in 2012), it seemed like the perfect time to make the change. Makeover-wise, we’ve gone for a cleaner layout with news and events published principally online at We’re publishing on iPad from September 2011 and you’ll be able to find this and future editions of the magazine in the iTunes Store. We’ve also introduced a digital learning supplement, The centre point, edited by Music Technology Consultant for Hertfordshire Music Service, Tim Hallas. As well as his work for Hertfordshire, Tim writes a column for Music Tech magazine and is working on a book on the practical use of technology in music education. In this first supplement, Tim reviews the Korg Monotron synthesiser (page 24) and introduces regular feature The Apptitude Test in which he looks at what’s available for music educators in the world of Apps (page 26). We also have articles by Charanga Music’s Mark Burke on digital ABRSM Music Medals (page 22) and Brian Duncan on music technology for the beginner (page 21). Meanwhile, you’ll no doubt be wondering why there’s a burning skeleton playing keyboards on the cover of the magazine. All is revealed in Marc Jaffrey’s article Apocalypse now? (page 12) in which he argues that ‘the music education sector is standing on a burning platform’. Things appear to be particularly gloomy in Wales where, as Anita Holford reports in her article Music education in Wales: A warning for England (page 8), it’s ‘likely that you’ll face the ‘worst-case scenario’ of poor or little music-making in class, having to pay for lessons through school (or perhaps only

Editor Cathy Tozer

Publisher Ian Clethero

Digital Learning Editor Tim Hallas

Subscriptions & distribution Ian Singleton


Print & digital advertising

Robert Ahwai, Mark Burke,

through private tutors) and limited choice in type, genre and method of music-making’. Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom as choral leader and forest whisperer, Su Hart, and jazz musician and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama tutor, Huw Warren, make clear in our regular features A Day in the Life (page 16) and Q & A (page 32). Add to that a vibrant look at what’s on offer at Bristol’s brand new World Stage Festival in July 2011 (page 18) and we hope you’ll agree that as long as music retains its ability to excite and inspire, there’s a lot to be said for working in the music education sector. On that note, I’d like to finish with two quotes. László Nemes, Director of Hungary’s world-famous Kodály Institute, gave a keynote speech (published here on page 29) at this year’s musiclearninglive! conference in which he quoted Zoltán Kodály: ‘What is the most important prerequisite for achieving success in the study of music? I can answer that question with a single word: singing. But I can say it over and over again, three times if you like, singing, singing, singing again.’ Su Hart’s description of her 20 years ‘on and off’ singing with African forest dwellers, the Baka (page 16), includes the following: ‘From the first time I heard the women’s spiritual singing, I could not forget the shimmering sound, the yodel that cuts through the forest at night, giving women power and crucial for the success of the hunt. These vocal expressions are the oldest in the world.’ For me, these quotes sum up the essence of music education as the encouragement of the expression of self – timeless, uplifting and universal. Cathy Tozer Editor

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Music education conferences UK: musiclearninglive!2012

Richard Crozier, Brian Duncan,

March 12 & 13, Institute of


Education, London UK: musiclearninglive!2013

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February/March 2013

Rachael Groom, Su Hart, Ian Harvey,

Music Education UK is published by

Zone New Media Asia Pte Limited

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Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


NEWS Mayor launches London music education fund

Award for Sing Up Sing Up, the National Singing Programme, has won the annual Royal Philharmonic Society education award. At a ceremony held at London's Dorchester Hotel on 10 May 2011, the award was presented to Programme Director, Baz Chapman by international pianist Imogen Cooper CBE. The ceremony featured a performance by Sing Up Platinum School, St Mary’s RC Primary.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced a new music charity to boost music education for children in London. The Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians (MFYM) will provide children who have significant musical talent and commitment with outstanding opportunities. Born out of the Mayor’s Music Education Strategy, the charity is a key strand of The Mayor’s Cultural Strategy and is in line with the recommendations in the recently published Henley Review of Music Education. 400 7-11-year-olds across 33 London boroughs will be awarded four-year music scholarships through MFYM, providing them with an outstanding chance to progress their music education through: • small group instrumental tuition • access to instruments and Saturday music school • individual mentoring • regular performances There will also be opportunities for around 10,000 children up to the age of 18 to enhance their music education by working alongside professional musicians. This ‘Partnership’ scheme is an extension of an existing GLA pilot project. Launching the initiative at a reception on 12 May, Boris Johnson said: ‘Music can transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds, enriching the mind, teaching valuable skills and


discipline and, importantly, providing a source of invaluable self expression, personal enjoyment and lifeenhancing career options. If a young Londoner has a talent for music and the commitment to progress, I want them to be able to do so regardless of their starting point. The Mayor’s Fund for London's Young Musicians will help to make this not just an aspiration but a reality for those who could otherwise be overlooked.’

Baz Chapman said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to win the education award and would like to congratulate all the nominees in the category. We believe that singing is a key part of the foundation of all music-making and learning. Tens of thousands of individuals and organisations across the country – teachers, head teachers, vocal tutors, young singing leaders, parents, schools, Music Services and community music organisations as well as our outstanding staff teams – agree and have helped Sing

RWCMD to open new £22.5m facilities This summer sees the opening of new £22.5 million facilities at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. The landmark development, which began construction in the summer of 2009, includes: • the 450-capacity Dora Stoutzker Hall (see photo) for rehearsals, public recitals and masterclasses • the 160-seat Richard Burton Theatre • an exhibition gallery to display the college’s theatre and costume designs • four new full-sized, double-height acting and movement studios • a new ‘front door’ to the college opening onto a central foyer and performance spaces • a new café bar and outdoor terrace overlooking Bute Park The development will mark a new gateway to Cardiff City from the

north, providing first-class facilities for the college, attracting new audiences to performances and masterclasses and increasing opportunities for local performing arts organisations to promote their work. Campaign patron Bryn Terfel said: 'These are state-of-the-art facilities

Up dramatically change the culture of singing in our Primary schools for the better. This award is for all of those people as we look forward to a bright future for music in our schools.’

Singapore magazine launch Music Education UK’s sister publication, Music Education Sg, will launch in Singapore in July. The magazine, which includes contributions from teachers, students, parents, musicians and education organisations in Singapore and South East Asia, is the first part of a Music Education Hub for Singapore and is the only publication of its kind in the region. The project has already attracted local and international sponsorship. The full Music Education Sg Hub will be launched in October, adding online, social media and mobile platforms to the printed magazine.

that I could only have dreamed of when I entered the profession. They will beckon talented young people from around the world to study in Wales. When these emerging artists step into the professional world, they can be confident that they have been prepared to the highest level.’

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |









Music education in Wales – a warning for England? A review of music education in Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government was published last December. Can it make up for years of stagnation in the sector? Anita Holford reports.


f you’re at Primary school in Wales at the moment, your likelihood of being able to participate in music will depend on where you live and how much money your parents have. If that sounds similar to most of the UK, sadly, in Wales, it’s far more likely that you’ll face the ‘worstcase scenario’ of poor or little music-making in class, having to pay for lessons through school (or perhaps only through private tutors) and limited choice in type, genre and method of music-making. You may be lucky enough to be in a place where

than five years now, since the Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG’s) Music Development Fund (MDF) was slashed and ring-fencing removed (see box, page 11). An evaluation in 2006 by if the music education world in England is ‘fragmented and uncoordinated’, it’s even worse in Wales. Estyn, the education inspection body in Wales, reported that as a result of the Fund, there were

Student DJ. Photo courtesy of TAPE Community Music and Film Ltd

there is high-quality, and varied provision, thanks to enlightened Local Authorities or grant-funded music projects (although these are rare). But otherwise, it’s the proverbial ‘postcode lottery’ of ‘patchy provision’. It makes a dismal story of Local Authorities snaffling away money for children’s music-making as a result of the removal of ring-fencing. And if the music education world in England is ‘fragmented and uncoordinated’ (Henley Review, February 2010), it’s even worse in Wales. The situation has been deteriorating for more


more pupils taking part in a wider range of music activities, more pupils taking music GCSE and impacts were being felt beyond school. But it reported that nearly all Local Authorities were now making cuts in provision and, in some cases, specialist tuition had stopped altogether. At around the same time, Helena Braithwaite MBE, former music advisor for South Glamorgan County Council (also BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ first education officer), organised a letter to First Minister Rhodri Morgan. It was signed by more than 30 of Wales’ most prominent teachers,

music leaders and performers – including Bryn Terfel, rock band Super Furry Animals, Kathryn Jenkins, Karl Jenkins, Alun Hoddinott and harpists Catrin Finch and Elinor Bennett. The letter said that the signatories could not sit by while youth music in Wales ‘stagnates and dies’ and called on the Welsh Assembly Government to write a ‘music manifesto’ for Wales. ‘Nothing happened for a couple of years,’ says Braithwaite. ‘But then Jane Hutt, then Education Minister, agreed to meet with us.’ As a result, in September 2009, the Minister announced a review of music education for 3-19 year olds, led by Emyr Wynne Jones, School Improvement Officer for Carmarthenshire County Council (a former music advisor and Chair of Cagac, the Welsh authorities’ Music Services association). Membership of the advisory group consisted of teachers, representatives from higher education, Music Services, two youth orchestras, Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the organisation for young Welsh speakers), the Arts Council of Wales (ACW), Estyn and WAG. The review gives a clear and strong message about the effects of the lack of strategic direction and underfunding, pointing to huge inequalities in provision, fragmented and over-complex delivery, no national entitlement for access to instrumental/vocal tuition or other music-making and, according to ACW (Children’s Omnibus Survey 2008), a widening gap in participation levels between social economic groups ABC1 and C2DE. It outlines a national vision ‘to address the inequalities and uncertainties and achieve greater co-ordination and coherence’. So far, so good. The vision (that WAG has accepted) covers both Music Services and community/informal music-making, mentioning entitlement to a ‘broad range’ of experiences, an ‘effective structure of co-ordinated partnerships’ and a ‘flexibility of approach to cater for the diverse range of abilities and interests of young people’. It also recognises that that there’s a ‘lack of co-

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

ordination and joined-up thinking between statutory providers and community organisations’ and a need for ‘a more strategic approach that also recognises demand’. The Review doesn’t, however, suggest how these things might be addressed or who should, or could, be involved. The focus of the report is very much on Music Services and the national youth ensembles with the rest of the input largely from classical music organisations (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, Sinfonia Cymru) and other major players such as Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. As Emma Coulthard, Music Development Officer for Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service, points out: ‘The review was helpful in

showing that there’s a lot of disparity here. But it isn’t fully representative of the whole music education community.’ Cardiff Council is one of the few councils that has retained the MDF in its base budget where it’s used for a music development strand of work. Activities range from rock and pop, samba and steel pans to singing festivals, music therapy and wider opportunities-style, whole class instrumental work and funding has also been secured from commercial partners. Coulthard believes that the review doesn’t go far enough in encouraging other Music Services to adopt a broader approach and opening the way for new partnerships: ‘It doesn’t put in place anything that’s going to create change… I’d hoped that, out of the reviews in Wales and England, people

would look honestly at how music education is facilitated across the board, because instead of restructuring, the system has been hobbling on, just making small adjustments.’ There’s a particularly strong focus on supporting the national youth ensembles (brass, choir, jazz and orchestra). ‘It’s assumed that the national ensembles are the pinnacle of achievement for all young musicians,’ continues Coulthard. ‘In Cardiff, the numbers involved in keyboard, guitar, electric guitar and world music are rising rapidly and it’s important that these pupils have an equal opportunity not just to access but to achieve the same level of excellence.’ continues on page 11

Arts Active Musicmix project. Photo: Chris Dawson

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |



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continued from page 9

Emyr Wynne Jones is aware of the gaps: ‘We would accept that we didn’t consult as widely as we’d have liked to have done. We were working within limited resources and a limited timescale. Even some Music Services felt they weren’t properly represented. We would definitely have liked to have consulted more widely and to look into things in more detail.’ Although the focus is on safeguarding Music Services, one of the review’s boldest recommendations is to ‘rationalise the number’ of Services to ‘safeguard funding for learners and improve equality of access’. Currently, ten LAs in Wales have their own Music Service; eleven operate shared services for up to four authorities and one (Powys) has no Music Service. As Jones points out: ‘This perpetuates the inconsistencies. Wales is a small nation yet we have 14 different models of Music Services.’ He believes that new models of working in education in Wales (four regional consortia have been set up to improve standards and make best use of resources, including looking at ways to share or co-ordinate aspects of their Music Services) will make it Arts Active Musicmix project. Photo: Chris Dawson

Music Services funding in Wales Late 1980s/early 1990s • Eight Welsh counties reorganised into 22 unitary authorities – smaller counties found it hard to provide similar levels of Music Services.

easier for those outside Music Services/Local Authorities to make their voices heard. There’s likely to be one music representative per consortium who will network and co-ordinate for that area, which Jones believes offers an alternative to the regional music education Hubs model proposed for England.

• Local financial management of schools introduced – smaller budgets for music were delegated to schools and weren’t ring-fenced. 1999–2003 • £8 million Music Development Fund established with funding from WAG and the Arts Council. Given to Local Authority Music Services over four years and ring-fenced. 2004–5 • Fund extended but cut by 40 per cent. • Money was transferred to Local Authorities and ring-fencing withdrawn.

WAG’s response (published quietly, along with the review, with no official press release) appears to accept most of the recommendations – but there are very few concrete commitments and no suggestion of any form of overall plan or strategy. Says Braithwaite: ‘The response from WAG was shocking. At the moment, it seems unlikely that anything will come from it. The MDF showed what a relatively small amount of funding can achieve and it enabled Music Services to broaden their provision. It would be tragic if we weren’t able to give the same opportunities to our young people as they have in other parts of Britain.’

decline. We need money in the short-term – otherwise, music will become something available only to those who can afford it.’ With recent education assessment results (Pisa) placing Wales below average compared with 67 other countries, schools, Local Authorities and WAG are now desperate to raise standards of literacy and numeracy. In this scenario, perhaps fighting to save the status quo is all that can be hoped for. But as Emma Coulthard says, ‘It’s not just about money, it’s about the philosophy of music education and what it’s trying to achieve, and about bringing together all the stakeholders to make the best of all of their areas of expertise. Music Services are a tremendous resource that could form the basis for new ways of working.’

About the author Anita Holford is a writer and communications practitioner specialising in working with organisations

2009–11 • Review of music education in Wales announced. • CânSing launched – a two-year, £500,000 pilot programme to provide training to help Primary and Secondary teachers to teach singing. Dec 2010 • Review of music education in Wales published, along with WAG’s response.

Jones’ biggest concern is the lack of action from WAG. Three months after the review was published, a report from BBC Wales suggested that £500,000 has been cut from Music Service budgets since the review was published. ‘By the time the report was in the public domain, the information was already 12 months out of date and it described a deteriorating situation. The picture is much worse now... When Jane Hutt gave us the remit, she said we would need to work within existing resources and we did. But now something needs to be done to arrest the

zone edition 01 / mar 2010 new media 2010 Musicmagazine Educationdigital UK magazine: Summer 2011©| zone

with a social, public or creative purpose, particularly in music. T: +44 (0)1600 713758 E: A version of this article was first published in Sounding Board, the journal of community music published by Sound Sense.




Marc Jaffrey has 25 years’ experience as a creative leader of high-impact campaigns, recently championing the Music Manifesto – one of the most successful arts education campaigns in UK history. It gained a record £332 million of new investment in music education and created a range of landmark music programmes including Sing Up! He was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to music education.


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

now? The music education sector is standing on a burning platform. 2011 will be a critical year in the history of music education in England – one where music educators will either work together determinedly to put the fires out and build a more sustainable education platform... or fade, argues Marc Jaffrey. Unprecedented pressures from public sector cuts and education reforms, combined with the possible removal of music from the National Curriculum, threaten to overwhelm the music sector’s half-baked intentions to ‘do more by working together’. To many, this will appear an unreasonably gloomy prediction. After all, we have just had a hugely positive report about the value of music education and those who provide it from the Government’s independent Henley Review. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, welcomed the report and passionately told people that they should know the value of music ‘beats in his heart’. Alongside the Henley Review’s thumbs up for the role of music education is the fact that the UK has some of the finest school and instrumental music teachers, vocal tutors, community music educators, services for music, orchestras and higher education music colleges in the world. One might be forgiven for asking, what’s burning? And yet, I can see smoke in three areas. First, Henley stressed music must stay in the curriculum and classroom and find a place in the proposed English Baccalaureate, ‘otherwise, there is a risk the subject may be devalued’. That may prove to be the understatement of the decade. The Government has noted Henley’s concerns but is obliged to consider it as part of its wider curriculum review which is not due to report until next year. With the objective of giving greater autonomy to schools and specifying only a small number of non-negotiable subjects that the Government deems essential, the signs are not good for music. Too many head teachers currently see music as a ‘nice-to-have’ subject rather than a critical experience for all pupils that can deliver a range

of lifelong skills alongside musical ones. Without the obligation to ensure music in the Primary and Secondary curriculum, it is widely predicted that a majority of schools would be likely to drop music from the timetable. If music falls away as an academic subject at the heart of the curriculum, this will set off a destructive chain reaction. Music will become an

If I had a pound for every time a music educator has said to me ‘every child’s music matters’, I’d be a rich man. Instead, I’m irate.

extra-curricular activity centred on peripatetic instrumental teachers providing lessons to a handful of determined pupils with parents who can afford to pay. The loss of whole class music lessons will weaken demand and make it hard for Music Services and other suppliers of music teaching to schools to run viable businesses through economies of scale. This currently allows a range of other activities such as running ‘above school level’ bands right up to County orchestras. Critically, the opportunity for all to access a substantive musical experience will be lost. The vision, so long cherished and argued for in the UK, of a school and community music workforce combining to meet a child’s needs will be fatally fractured. A generation of pupil talent will never be discovered. Yes, we need reformation of music in schools – I, for one, would like to see much greater emphasis on learning through instrumental and vocal progression and performance – but removal from the curriculum, even in its current form, will devastate music education in schools not just ‘diminish it’ as Henley fears. Second, I can see smoke rising around Henley’s

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

sensible call for ‘local hubs’ and ‘partnership working’ between local music educators to support children, parents and schools. This was a central recommendation of the Music Manifesto and rooted in the simple idea that hubs should contain the sum total of high-quality and diverse local educators from the formal and non-formal sectors working in co-ordination to meet those needs. So far, so good. However, when the Music Manifesto called for hubs, it presupposed there was clarity on what a hub and its partnerships were there specifically to do. The only way to provide this clarity is to have a determined view about a child’s social, emotional and academic needs and how music can aid their development. Yet, with the prospect of a bidding process to win central Government money, there appears to be much more concern about how to ‘win the bid’ and introduce competition in contrast to sensible, collegiate conversation about collectively meeting educational needs. Yet, how can one talk about hubs and partnerships if this does not happen first and how does anyone think they are going to ‘win’ if they can’t? When I do hear educational needs discussed, it is often in the most bland and meaningless way. If I had a pound for every time a music educator has said to me ‘every child’s music matters’, I’d be a rich man. Instead, I’m irate. What does this phrase mean beyond a woolly call for the right of music for all children? Fair enough, but what does the sector specifically believe a meaningful educational offer should be continues on page 17


We all know music matters. We take it where it matters.

Training local people to run high impact music programmes for vulnerable children and adults around the world. t: 020 7735 3231 e:

To make a ÂŁ5 donation text MasT11 ÂŁ5 to 70070

To get off a burning platform,

you need a plan and to work

together to realise it. A safe and sustainable future is not beyond our reach even now. continued from page 15

to our most talented children, to children with special education needs, to those disengaged from learning and school and for a majority sitting in the middle just getting by? All I’ve seen is a valuable pyramid of need in the Henley Review. However, I imagine its author would expect it to be fully developed by educators. Is this happening? Maybe the Arts Council’s new ‘bridge’ organisations can step up and help. If the music education sector does not start to champion children’s needs more specifically, there is a very real danger it will be left to politicians and civil servants to decide. I doubt they want to. You can’t have meaningful hubs and partnerships without clarity on needs and purpose. ‘Working together for the benefit of children’ won’t cut it when you’re talking to a parent or head teacher. Is there a conspiracy of silence, one that supports the status quo? Because, when you ask tough questions of the sector about how successful they are in delivering music education to our most vulnerable children, you mainly get a lot of shuffling of feet.

cohesive professional body to champion the workforce and children’s needs. There are over 150 professional associations and a handful of national bodies who on their own represent only a minority of the workforce.

I’ve grown tired pointing out the limitations and what a let-down this is to the wider workforce and children. I know many in the current associations have valiantly tried but we simply have to do better. A strong national body that had parents, school music teachers, head teachers and wider child development and educational experts alongside community and instrumental musicians and tutors would go a long way to seeing off the threats I have discussed. If we can’t work together to make this happen, what hope is there of working together in hubs locally? To get off a burning platform, you need a plan and to work together to realise it. A safe and sustainable future is not beyond our reach even now. So, here are a few things I’d offer for inclusion in a plan. 1) Sell music’s value to senior school leaders and get them to champion the value of music in the classroom and school community.

For instance, how many music education providers can hand-on-heart evidence, right now, that they are working with the majority of children in care in their locality, have teachers that can teach notation to children with dyslexia or can provide music therapists to special schools? Some is not enough in my book. But those of you who are, stand tall and tell us what needs to be done.

They can also help put pressure on the Secretary of State to ‘keep music in’. But even if the obligation is dropped, they can choose to keep it in. The sector just needs a majority of heads to commit to this to significantly influence their own destiny. This should be a campaign on the scale of the Music Manifesto.

Third, a fire has been raging for some time around the inability of the sector to provide a

There is some brilliant work being done by providers and a few national bodies – but not

enough by everyone with strategic purpose, together. Lose this battle and momentum will be fatally lost. 2) Ensure that the Government’s National Plan for Music is specific in its requirement to evidence music educational needs for key groups of children (gifted and talented, special needs etc) and ensure bidders evidence how they will be met specifically. I’ve little doubt that if this is done, the need for partnerships will be self-evident. As it was when Sing Up was devised – the power of purposeful, needs-led partnerships is summed up in 95% of Primary schools being involved in the campaign. That is an example worth replicating. 3) Listen to parents, children and the wider school workforce and evolve the vision of services and hubs in response. Children need music education. They face an uncertain future and it provides them with artistry and skills that make them resilient, adaptive and emotionally evolved to face it. Children need the sector to champion this with the urgency of those who really find themselves on a burning platform. In situations like this, the real leaders stand out and only strong teams win the day. Stand up and let’s get to it.

Marc Jaffrey OBE is a director of Think Again Media, an agency that provides expert support on communication, people development and change management.

Children from Sing Up, the National Singing Programme

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


A Day in the Life of... Su Hart Vocal and choral leader, artist, singer and performer Su Hart leads a hectic life performing with her band, Baka Beyond, and running workshops and training sessions all over the UK as well as in Canada, Europe and Australia. Luckily, a 20-year love affair with African forest dwellers, the Baka, has allowed her to find an inner harmony.

6.30am Keep waking up before the alarm but at least I’m in my own bed after a week of nights away in different beds! I’ve been to a succession of places starting with ‘B’ this week – schools in Birmingham, Bolton, Blackburn and then a teaching teachers session in Burnley and a choir in Carlisle. A lot of great people and a lot of trains! The smell of bread drifting up from the machine in the kitchen must have brought me round – heaven! Coffee and hot bread. 8.00am It’s a sunny morning and I’m in a taxi only a 10minute ride up the hill to Kingswood Prep School to present song and dance to children from 5 to 11 for an Africa Day. There is a buzz in school – everyone is dressed up and all mixed up into different age groups too. They are lucky kids but don’t realise it. I sit at the back of the hall listening as Dale Templar, the producer of Human Planet, enthuses about the 70 countries and the amazing and sometimes very wild peoples she has filmed surviving in extraordinary ways. She is lively and the footage she shows is very beautiful. My heart leaps as she shows the Banyelli Pygmy people climbing for honey and making drumming on water. ‘They are just like my friends!’ I want to shout. With my husband, Martin, I have stayed with Central African forest dwellers, the Baka, on and off for 20 years – playing music together, learning their singing ‘Yelli’ which is a beautiful, many-layered yodelling which enchants animals. These forest people are the best listeners on the planet – they need to be or they would never have survived so long and so richly in their dense, intertwined world. There, you don’t see far, you hear far. For most of mankind’s time on the planet, we have been living as hunter-gatherers and their music and ways of living seems to strike a chord with everyone I teach.

actions not words. I mime them into a circle and get them to copy actions and then add claps. I break them into smaller groups and then get them to keep their claps and actions going independently of the other groups. They are really listening to get it right and sound good. I don’t let anyone mess about! It’s great to be a visiting teacher and have the element of surprise and mystery on my side. I take my hat off to teachers who have the same children day after day. After this warm up, I praise them – it’s always my objective to give attention to good things that I see or hear rather than feed people trying to get attention less positively. A great Baka musical gift to me (and now passed on to many teachers) is the way they end songs. It’s fun and also keeps discipline and quality of work up in a non-bossy way. The Baka end songs with a rapid ‘Eh eh eh a key a loy!’ and the response from everyone is ‘Umm’. It’s a simple notion but SO effective. Many schools have now made up their own, taken the idea and expanded upon it. Many of the Baka songs are deceptively simple: a rhythmic vocal tune, interlocking clapped rhythm and dance. Rhythm is the key, rhythm is the king! Rhythm in the voice, body, hands and feet. We start to learn songs – if the children drift, I stop them with the Baka call and keep the quality up that way. This is

very ‘boy-friendly’ music – there are no difficult words to learn, instead, the singing is music and rhythm with spaces where you are quiet to hear other people’s parts. They can’t stop! The film Avatar has helped me to transmit forest awareness. The Baka are the closest thing to the invented Avatars but they are real and I have firsthand contact with their ‘magic’. The Baka say they can go invisible and shape-shift and I don’t doubt it. I tell the group stories of the Baka transforming and singing songs that enchant the animals. It’s all true and the children’s eyes get wider and wider! It’s good to challenge their beliefs and norms. They walk out as if they are Avatars on a forest path, the only sound a few creaks from the wooden floor. The looks of disbelief and approval on the teachers’ faces show they are impressed! 11.00am Second group. We learn different songs; I keep everything short and full of actions, quickly changing tack at the first sign of attention wavering. They are great and having fun, this is the way. Sometimes, it flows – learning without any ideas feeling as if they are being drummed in. The children are willing to take control. When I ask them how we could make our songs better, they

9.30am I listen to the 30 excited children of all ages (the Year groups have been mixed up today) galumphing into the room chatting, minds whirring. I decide to try and win them round with Singing with Baka children


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

are full of ideas. The use of actions has kept them focussed and inspired. They easily transfer their ideas into dance moves. The singing work is all based in rhythm – rhythm in the breath, rhythm in the voice, rhythm in the body – and soon we have an order of song and action sections and we are performing. There is a group a room away learning drumming so, once our song/dance is strong enough, we go next door and combine their rhythm with our performance. Two more groups with new songs and rhythms later and it’s time to go. I never feel tired until it’s over but no time for that today! I hear the kids singing and swapping songs in the playground as I leave.

women’s spiritual singing, I could not forget the shimmering sound, the yodel that cuts through the forest at night, giving women power and crucial for the success of the hunt. These vocal expressions are the oldest in the world. After questions, we learn the rhythms in claps and voices that interlock. When this cradle of rhythm is strong, songs can be laid on top. The music weaves its own magic but for the frenetic and selfabsorbed, busy-brained Westerners, we find it takes time to surrender into a collective listening core. Once we achieve this communal listening and being together with breath and voice, people smile and by the end of the session everyone

leaves the room uplifted. Singers and musicians know this, don’t we? 8.00pm I'm home and Martin has some supper for me. Great! Just a quick listen through to a song I am teaching at the choir I run in Bath (Walcot Community Choir) tomorrow before a walk to the pub. We are lucky to live near the Bell in Bath where you can hear live music for free three times a week. We have a good dance! 11.30pm Fall into bed and rest! The Archers on Listen Again is the last thing I hear!!

4.00pm Straight from school, I catch a ride to Bath University, to the ICIA (Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts) where I am to give a talk, film session and singing workshop. It’s a session for students and all-comers and they are there because they have chosen to be and want to be. Over our 20 years visiting the Baka, Martin has made many films of forest life: of the Baka people and the challenges they face (their culture is in crisis: thousands of years of knowledge could disappear within a generation); of their traditional music and their guitar-based contemporary music. He has also made films showing how the Baka live; their skills in building homes and finding everything they need from the forest. Tonight, we learn ‘Yelli’. From the first time I heard the Workshop at Institute of Contemporary and Interdisciplinary Arts, Bath University


Devon Camp with the Full Moon near Tiverton. June


17-19. No Moon Camp (where we sing the spirits of We have run weekend camps in the UK since 2008

the forest awake at night in a forest ritual) near

I had singing lessons from the age of 14 with a

with the idea of creating the feel and sound of the

Stroud. Aug 26-28.

wonderful Geordie lady, Mrs Hilda Brown, who would

forest family group and then making music in a new

have liked me to join the church choir as payment.

forest-listening way. 50 of us camp, sing, play, eat and

Visit for more info.

relax together for a weekend, Baka style, and transform

For Baka recordings and films visit

we sang songs and laughed together. Starting the

British self-consciousness into forest awareness! In this

T: +44(0)1225 331636 M: +44(0)7760 421130

Walcot Community Choir was the community work

spirit, you cannot go wrong: everyone is tolerant; there is no separate group of performers as opposed to

I didn’t but we were close and even on her deathbed,

Hilda would have liked.

GLOBAL MUSIC EXCHANGE It is for everyone – non-readers, young, old, deaf, daring

audience; all sing and play to find the power of the whole. It’s important to get this right when you are

Global Music Exchange is the charity Martin and I set

or down – and we have fun with music. We also sound

talking about life and death! The group listens to the

up to return royalties from musical recordings to the

good! We follow the Natural Voice Practitioners Network

whole sound, loud ones stop ‘stealing the song’ by

Baka and it has been working to carry out sustainable

ideas of inclusivity, the power of finding our voices

dominating or directing (people like me, I always tell

projects since 1995. As cultural fair trade, the projects

together and learning a lot from singing music from all

them!) and quiet ones get braver to give more to the

are decided by the Baka themselves. They now have a

over the world – from Soul to Soweto and from Mozart

sound (there are always people in the group who sit

performance space, medical system and, most

to Mexican!

back and let the others do the work as they go onto

recently, a school where they will have short terms so

‘screen saver’ – you can song-steal by not giving

as not to disrupt their seasons of gathering in the

The power of voices together is a great thing between

enough). A united sound is a sound built from listening

forest. As this is such a small charity, virtually every

people. I know I’m speaking to the converted but

voices respecting and co-operating. I have the Baka

penny goes to the Baka. Donations from workshops,

members say ‘it’s better than therapy’; ‘it got me

sitting on my shoulder showing me the way they do

camps and individuals also go back.

through my divorce’; ‘the voices together make magic happen’; ‘I always feel so much better after singing’;

things. There needs to be a deep listening to each other and a contact between everyone and the space we are

There will be a charity ball for the Baka in Bath in

in or the music won’t gel to a level needed in the forest

September. Contact for

world for survival.


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

‘it’s a workout, it works out the negativity’.


A World of Music Cultures on One Stage Lovers of world music are in for a treat this summer as a brand new international festival dedicated to ‘the best of global performance’ and representing traditions from as far afield as South America, Africa and Europe comes to the South West. World Stage Festival Coordinator Rachael Groom tells us about the wealth of educational opportunities on offer.


his July, Bristol’s World Stage Festival is set to give locals and visitors alike a flavour of music and musical cultures from around the world as music, dance and theatre performers from as far away as France, Italy, Canada and America take over the city.

Representing the culture, traditions, beliefs, music and movement of Brazil is Afro-Brazilian dance group, Aché Brasil. Now residing in Canada, the group will be bringing their traditional drums and Capoeira dance styles to Bristol’s Colston Hall in an electrifying performance that combines exhilarating acrobatics, dance and martial arts with highly charged dance-music rhythms. ‘We perform to the rhythm of our drums and the music of Berimbau – an ancient, single-stringed, bow-like instrument that came from Africa,’ explains Mestre Eclilson de Jesus, Creative Director of Capoeira Aché Brasil. Merging dance, music and spectacle, Aché Brasil have played to 5,000 schools throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, enthralling adults and children alike. They have received

critical acclaim from all over North America and were recently nominated for a ‘Live Performers of the Year’ award at the West Coast Music Awards. ‘The kids loved this group! A riot of colour, movement and rhythm. Very energetic, excellent content. A very enthusiastic audience reaction. A very dramatic presentation of Native Brazilian music.’ Gloria Gietz – École Robb Road Elementary We’ve made a point of programming workshops to accompany each international performance and there are discounts available when booking groups into both the performance and workshop. Aché Brasil has two associated workshops, one in basic Capoeira, led by Claudio Campos from Bristol Capoeira, and one in Brazilian music using instruments from SambaReggae and Afoxé, the Carnival music of the North-East of Brazil, led by Jon Hardeman, musical director of Bristol-based Samba-Reggae band, Ilu Axe.

As well as hosting their own workshops, Washington DC-based dance group, Step Afrika! will be raising the roof with a percussive performance which uses kicks, stomps, claps and chants to create self-accompanied Gumboot and Zulu dance styles. ‘Stepping is like tap dance without tap shoes; it’s jazz, funk, rhythm and blues and rap without instruments!’ says Step Afrika! founder, C. Brian Williams. ‘The music comes from the interplay of hands and feet, from chants and hollers. It‘s a way to make music using the body as an instrument. I think young people growing up in your city will be inspired and surprised by the way this AfricanAmerican dance form has harnessed creative energy from across the world and influenced contemporary dance culture today.’ Step Afrika! reach tens of thousands of Americans each year and have performed on stages in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. ‘The Step Afrika! dancers are wonderful teachers and instil in young people a sense of discipline, focus, leadership, teamwork and creativity.’ Carol Bogash – Washington Performing Arts Society Representing the spoken word, dynamic trio, The Mayhem Poets are flying in from New York to deliver their own special blend of Slam Poetry. Theatre-trained and comedically gifted, these ‘lyrical virtuosos’ blend the raw material of hip-hop, theatre, improvisation and stand-up comedy to tell audiences gut-wrenching truths. ‘We are three guys with a pretty dangerous agenda: a deep love and respect for words. And we want to use the power of speech to


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

change your view of poetry. So stand back, that means we want to change lives,’ says group member, Kyle Rapps whose smooth-flowing, hard-hitting hip-hop style helped him win the Grand Slam Final in New York. Scott, the second member of the group, developed his style giving Shabbat speeches as an active member of his local Jewish community while mathematics scholar, Mason Granger has been dubbed the ‘Poet Laureate of Livingstone College’. ‘Many students who are often not energetically involved in language arts classes or extracurricular activities were among the most enthusiastic, engaged participants at the performances and workshops’ Sarvenaz Zelka – Teacher, Brooklyn NY.

the themes of The Queen of Colours through a movement and music workshop. World Stage Festival has its sights firmly set on bringing young and new audiences for the performing arts into the city’s venues and promises to make the festival affordable for children, schools and families with tickets starting at £4.00. There will also be free entertainment taking place outdoors where visitors can enjoy the atmosphere and plenty of shows without buying a ticket. Performances on stage every day from 10am–5pm include circus acts and street performers from Cirque Bijou plus exciting local talent. ‘We’ve been working with the likes of Youth

The Festival’s international slant aims to engage young people with the very best work from around the world. ‘We want people to look beyond borders and be inspired by the amazing artists who share a passion for work with the next generation,’ Festival Producer, Becky Chapman explains. ‘Young people do have a global outlook through accessing the virtual world but to come face to face with the cultural expanse of that world through the live arts validates their sense of themselves in the world with a different level of immediacy and power. In this first year, we have invited some of the best artists and teachers in the city to help us build our participation and learning programme alongside performances. Our hope is that connections built between artists in 2011 will

Above: Step Afrika!. Facing page: Aché Brasil

Spoken word workshops led by renowned poet, teacher and founder of The Poetry Slam, Glenn Carmichael, will be available in connection with The Mayhem Poets’ performance. As well as our three wonderful shows from the Americas, there’s plenty on offer from Europe with French theatre company, Les Voisins, presenting their extraordinary show, The Queen of Colours, suitable for 4 to 7-year-olds, and Italian theatre company, Teatro Kismet performing their entrancing and beautiful piece, Little Mysteries, which caters for children from 18 months to 4 years. Well-known, Bristol-based dance practitioner, Michelle Luckes will explore

Music’s Remix team in Bristol as well as the South West division of Access To Music, Youth Dance, the South West Music School, the Bristol Institute of Modern Music and local companies, Gathering Voices and The Kingswood Foundation,’ says Colin Gorrie, Artistic Producer of the Festival. ‘On top of that, we’ve teamed up with Making Music to offer a flash mob choir on the Saturday for people to get involved in and sing live on stage. Making Music will provide a vocal coach for members of the public to get two hours of free training and we’ll provide the rehearsal space and the stage slot. It’s going to be great! We’re actually still on the lookout for local performers so do get in touch if you have any up your sleeve.’

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

lead to the development of future international exchanges and collaborations that will, in turn, enrich Bristol’s and England’s performance culture. World Stage Festival is a chance for the local to think global. We’re already looking forward to next year!’

World Stage Festival takes place from 6-10 July 2011 in venues across Bristol. Tickets are available from each venue’s box office. For more information, call +44 (0)1179 249976 or go to


The centre point


elcome to this brand new section of Music Education UK magazine. This supplement will take a regular look at the technology available for music and how it can be used for educational purposes.

By way of introduction, my name is Tim Hallas and I am a music technology specialist and educator. I have worked in every type of teaching establishment under the sun and taught every age of pupil from Reception to Adult Ed! I currently work for Hertfordshire Music Service as their Consultant for Music Technology, teaching music technology from KS2 all the way through to A-Level. Music technology has an ever more important place in music education: as a tool for engagement with a wider range of students and

as a means of improving attainment for those with no traditional music background. These days, all music in every genre will at some point or another involve technology so it is important to keep up to date with what is available and how it can be transferred to education. Hopefully, whether you are a teacher, student or just an interested party, there will be something of interest to you here. In this edition, we have several interesting features including a report by Charanga Music’s Mark Burke on ABRSM online Music Medals, an article by Brian Duncan on the ins and outs of music technology, It’s technology but is it music?, and a review of the latest Korg mini synthesiser. A regular feature will be my look at Apps suitable

for portable devices including iPod Touches, mobile phones and tablet computers. With the tightening of budgets in schools and, particularly, music departments, we need to be on the lookout for new, exciting and competitively priced methods of incorporating technology into the classroom. As individual Apps are cheap and easily available, students with their own devices at home can install them themselves and allow the music learning to continue beyond the classroom. I hope you enjoy this supplement but I can’t get to every single piece of music tech equipment on my own so if you’d like to see a feature on a particular piece of hardware or software or if you’ve found an App I’d be interested in, please get in touch through or email

TTeaching eaching eac So Sound und R Recording ecording and Prod Production? uction? Pro Introducing Introducing Sounds Active Active Essential Essential Sound Engineering. Engineering. TThe he u unique nique new new music music technology technology teaching teaching resource resource des designed igned to to meet meet yyour our n needs, eeds, in schools schools and colleges. colleges. Fi Find nd out m more ore at ww

Essential Essential Sound Sound Engineering Engineering 20

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

It’s technology but is it music? For many a music teacher, the scary thing about music technology is that it seems so much more to do with technology than it does music. And as for technology… well, that’s strictly for geeks and teenagers, right?

toolkit for composing. It basically converts notes played on

distributed to its listeners. Nowadays, this activity centres

a keyboard to notes written on a stave and vice versa, it

on digital audio workstations (DAWs), typically software

generates printer-ready music copy and usually offers a range of functions to automate the production of scores and parts. The latest packages do a whole lot more but that’s enough to be going on with for now.

If only it were that straightforward, says Brian Duncan.

Next generation instruments is my catch-all term for all those wonderful (and sometimes weird) devices for


e live in an age where the mark of technical

making music, ranging from

stupidity has long moved on from an inability to

the now venerable synthesizer

programme the video recorder. Most of us have had to

to the Tenori-on (left). Even

become more or less competent in systems and services

iPod Apps. They don’t

that would have baffled our parents (and, indeed, still may).

necessarily feature in formal

Music is not immune from the relentless march of

like Cubase, GarageBand, Logic and Pro Tools. Just to

but can be excellent vehicles

confuse matters, these packages also function as music

technology. It was ever thus. Take one example: the

to teach the principles of pitch, rhythm and timbre. At

pianoforte was disruptive technology in the 1700s and the

heart, though, remember they are essentially distinctive

musical world had to adapt. Instrument-makers

voices for ensemble performance.

sequencers. Of all these music technologies, sound production is

had to retool; composers had to produce new works utilising the new expressive

Sound engineering consolidation

‘music technology’ curricula

perhaps the one furthest from music teachers’ comfort That leaves the ‘big two’ categories:

zones. But, just like playing an instrument, it is a skill and

capability on offer; keyboard players had to

art with techniques that can be learned and refined with

master an entirely new technique. Its effect on

Sequencing is almost exclusively a computer-based

practice. For a unified teaching framework, try Sounds

teaching music was just as revolutionary. The

activity. Sequencers like Cubase allow musicians to

Active Essential Sound Engineering.

sheer versatility of the pianoforte was such that it quickly

record, edit and play back music using MIDI (a standard

became the pre-eminent instrument on which to base a classical music education.

It’s All About The Creativity

Now, let’s be clear. Nobody here is claiming that the stuff

Despite the churn in today’s educational environment,

we think of as modern music technology is equivalent to

music is still arguably the main channel by which we

the piano. That would be taking the analogy too far.

nurture the creative talents of young people.

History does suggest, however, that technological change Music technology is a powerful means to that end.

in music is not all bad, that it generally doesn’t sweep away all that came before and that it has been known to positively contribute to the state of the art.

A cubase lesson

Elements of it may be a bit unfamiliar at first but then so

in which notes, timing and other musical data are

is learning a new instrument or musical genre.

converted into digital messages for communicating

Fundamentally, it’s the creativity that matters. And music

between hardware or software musical devices). Often

teachers are good at that.

That Technology Stuff

associated with a standardised range of synthesised voices (General MIDI), sequencing now more commonly

So go ahead, let technology take your music into a new

Leaving aside standard musical instruments –

features samplers, virtual instruments and drum

dimension. Confidently.

unarguably the original music technology – what are we

machines. If that all sounds unbearably technical, the

talking about? Trying to pin down a definition, it’s easy to

bad news is we just scraped the surface. The good news

get caught up in a shifting mesh of inter-related concepts

is that sequencing provides a real platform for musical

and specialised terminology, often with multiple

expressivity, one that is even accessible to students who

meanings. In education today, music technology appears

have no instrumental skills.

in four broad forms: notation software, sequencing,

About the author Brian Duncan looks after the Education side of DB

sound recording/production and, for want of a better

Sound recording/production is a much older technology

Audioware, home of Sounds Active teaching tools. His

phrase, ‘next generation instruments’.

clearly related to music but which at first glance looks a

classical upbringing was in piano and clarinet with a

lot more like engineering (hence, its other name, sound

little bit of saxophone; in middle age, his musical

The first and last of these categories are relatively easy to

engineering). It’s concerned with the audio recording of

passions are singing, piping and brass bands. And


music, the mixing of individual instrumental and vocal

technology. Go figure.

tracks and the processes which assist in creating a final Notation software such as Sibelius or Notion provides a

master recording that can be duplicated and ultimately

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


Music Medals go digital with Charanga


ver the past 5 years as part of my role as

Music Medals online practising resources

Digital Learning Partnerships Director at

The online practice assessments follow the exact format of the real-life

Charanga Music, I have had the pleasure of

assessments. Children choose which ensemble, solo and option they would like

meeting with and being involved in the training of over

in their online practice assessment and the Charanga online practice tool then

5,000 classroom and instrumental music teachers as

creates it.

they take their first steps in learning to use digital resources in their teaching. To justify a teacher investing time in becoming digitally enabled, I have always felt a keen responsibility to ensure that the

Screenshot 1: Choosing an Ensemble, Solo and Option

digital resources they are learning to use are in fact educationally valuable and not just entertaining but

Music Medals

ultimately pointless gimmicks. In my experience, the desire to combine educational added value with the ability for technology to engage

ABRSM’s Music Medals provide

and empower children is what drives digital learning

a framework of accredited

innovation. The resulting Apps that both capture a

assessments and teaching

child’s imagination and improve the learning process

resources, introducing

can be very powerful learning tools indeed.

essential musical skills and inspiring younger learners to

Instrumental teaching and learning is one area of

play and enjoy music together.

music education that is starting to embrace digital learning because of the benefits it can bring. As children and, today, as parents and teachers, many of

Music Medals focus on the

us have experienced having to practise a musical

flexible needs of instrumental

instrument between lessons and it’s rare to find

teachers and their pupils,

anyone that doesn’t think the experience could be

providing goals and tangible


rewards for progress supported by a range of affordable music

In trying to improve the support we provide for

Screenshot 2: The Ensemble as an interactive practice resource

for beginners.

children, effort is particularly being focussed on helping them prepare for instrumental assessments and exams and I am delighted that at Charanga we

There are five progressive levels:

have been able to work closely over the past year with

Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold and

ABRSM, a leading authority on musical assessment,


to develop a full range of online Copper Music Medals resources for teachers and learners of all instruments.

More about ABRSM

Many are familiar with the Grade exams offered by ABRSM. Their Copper and Bronze Music Medals provide stepping stones to Grade 1 and are a fun and

More about Music Medals

rewarding framework of assessments that introduce essential musical skills and inspire younger learners to play and enjoy music together. Now, teachers can help their pupils to prepare for their assessments using online Music Medals, available through the Charanga Music system used by many music teachers and over 60 Music Services around the country. Even if children aren’t entered for an actual assessment, they can still use the online resources to practise and improve their performance.


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Screenshot 3: The Solo

• Children listen to and watch a performance making use of the full ensemble parts in the mix and the animated instrument(s) • Having seen and heard ‘how it goes’, children select a tempo (almost certainly too fast!) and try it themselves • They can adjust the tempo to one that suits them as well as using the loop feature to break the piece down into more manageable chunks • As they become more confident, they opt to take their part out of the audio mix and go for a

Charanga Music

realistic performance • As part of this practising process, children

Charanga Music is a digital

become accustomed to coming in on time,

learning community of over

keeping their place and ‘keeping going’ through Screenshot 4: The Option

the trickier sections

10,000 music teachers with access to thousands of digital resources for teaching and

It’s all quite different from the way we used to

learning music.

practise (or not!). As you can imagine, children instantly pick up how to make the most of these resources and quickly evolve a strategy for learning and practising that suits them.

A well developed Partnership Programme enables many teachers and schools to access

The engaging and interactive nature of the resources and the features that enable children to

Charanga Music through their local Music Service.

control and alter their learning environment encourages them to spend more time playing their instrument. Do they even consider it ‘practising’ in the sense we understand? Whatever we want to call it, playing or practising, they will play for longer and we all know that’s a good thing.

For a list of Charanga Music Partners and details of how to become a partner, see site/partnerships

I’ve been lucky enough to have been actively involved in digital learning development since the Children can then work in two modes: they can use the practising support features at each stage to work on building up the fluency of their performance or

in that time. As digital learning comes more into the

they can run through the full practice assessment as a real performance in

mainstream of music education and the technology

order to experience the pace and format of the real assessment.

1990s and have seen technology come a long way

becomes more accessible, it’s more important than ever that organisations such as ABRSM contribute

Children will use the resources as a way to get to know the material and become

their expertise to the direction it takes.

fluent in its performance. We all want to give children support and Taking the ensemble element as an example:

encouragement in their learning and helping children practise online in a fun and interactive way

Screenshot 5: Practice controls

seems like a great place to start.

Mark Burke, Charanga Music

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |



For those working in KS4, this device

and signal chain.

can be connected to any other sound source via the auxiliary input as an

In conclusion, this is a great little

interactive effects unit for electronic

instrument for beginning to understand

compositions or it can be a performance

sound creation and for a student to be

tool in its own right. For KS5 work, a

learning synthesis on a real analogue

greater understanding of synthesis and

instrument is an added benefit.

the history of synthesisers is required Tim Hallas

and this synth offers a very clear layout WHAT IT IS Monotron analogue ribbon synthesiser MANUFACTURED BY Korg



PRICE £40-50 depending on supplier WEBSITE VIDEO

For those of us in the music tech field

It has 5 knobs to control the different

who grew up with G.A.S (Gear

parameters, a ribbon controller for

Acquisition Syndrome), there were

performance, a small built-in speaker

several things way up on a pedestal to

and a single switch to route the LFO. On

which we would always aspire. Some of

the back, there are two mini-jack

these I have achieved (yes, I have

sockets: one for headphones and one

owned a Les Paul) and some I have yet

to route external audio into the filter

to achieve (no, I haven’t yet played with

section. The rear panel is rounded out

the Beatles). However, for the music

by a volume control and a recessed

tech geek, owning an analogue synth is

control for adjusting the oscillator.

always one of the ultimate goals.

Technology Editor Tim Hallas reviews some of the useful Apps available for mobile devices.

In this series of articles, we will be looking at some of the music Apps currently available for mobile devices and discussing their relative merits and how they might be used in the classroom. I will attempt to cover a range of different style and this month we will look at Beatwave – a music creation App and NanoStudio – a typical music technology programme.

The oscillator is a simple one-waveform Once the preserve of universities and

generator with a moveable pitch centre

very lucky schools who owned genuine

to create pounding bass lines or soaring

instruments, analogue synthesis was

lead lines. The given waveform is some

confined to theory and dodgy

version of a sawtooth wave; to my mind,

emulations on the cheap keyboards at

this gives the best starting point for

school. With the recent advances in

sound-shaping for beginners. The filter

What: Beatwave

Cost: Free

software, synthesis has now become

section is based on the famous Korg

After the Yamaha Tenori-On was

affordable and easily accessible to all of

MS-20 filter section and the addition of

popularised by artists like Little

us. As this is now so achievable, the

the external audio input for this section

Boots and Bill Bailey, it was

exam board in England has started to

is worth the cost on its own! This will

inevitable that someone would

include elements of synthesis within the

allow budding DJs to plug in their mixers

develop a software emulation of the instrument as soon as Apps

A-Level specification. We now have the

or laptops for some superb analogue

became readily available. There are now lots of versions by several

problem that synthesisers within

feel. The LFO can be routed to either the

different software companies but, having used many of them,

software are too advanced for students

oscillator for Dubstep wobbles or to the

Beatwave is the one I really like and which works well in the classroom.

and it is difficult to learn the basics of

filter to create sweeping effects.

Unlike a lot of the other emulations, it includes important features – like saving – that allow us as teachers to recall students’ work at a

synthesis from them. The instrument is deceptively simple Korg is clearly thinking along the same

later date in order to listen to it.

and, having played with it for a few days,

lines as me and has recently launched

I can assure you that the sounds this

For those of you not familiar with using the App, when the grid appears,

its first truly analogue synthesiser in a

small synth makes are truly staggering.

a blue playback line will move across to indicate the direction and

very long time. This is a single oscillator,

Korg are also openly encouraging the

speed of playback. Each square on the grid corresponds to a single

single filter mono-synth with a variable

device to be hardware-hacked: they

note and, to activate it, you just press it with your finger. The exceptions

low frequency oscillator (LFO) for

have provided schematics and labelled

to this are the bottom two rows of squares; these are the percussion

modulation effects.

the circuits inside the case. So all you

rows with the bottom row being a snare sound and the one above

circuit benders out there can rip the The device itself is not much bigger

thing open and create even more crazy

than a standard guitar tuner or iPhone.



page 26

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

There’s not much point creating

Hubs Music Education

if no-o ne noti ces the m.

Talk to us. We’re building and managing Music Education Media Hubs to engage communities in Portsmouth (launching in September 2011), Hertfordshire (Oct 2011) & Singapore (Oct 2011).

For more information for Partners and Supporters, visit or scan the code* on the right with your smartphone.

*If you haven’t already got a qr code reader installed on your phone, visit to download one.

Music Education Media Hubs by Zone New Media Print | Online | Mobile | Social


ApptitudeTEST from page 24

being a bass drum. This is slightly counter-intuitive to those of us who are used to proper drum maps but only takes a second or two to get your head round. The App includes additional features like 4 layers of sound to create different parts that can then be balanced against each other if creating a whole track and each one can be given a different timbre to distinguish it. There are also tempo controls, pitch changes and basic playback controls. Additional content can be bought if you so desire, including the ability to record the output. In the classroom, I have found that all Primary students engage readily with this App and even the least able can get something that sounds

Sequencer panel

like music within a couple of clicks. As the pitches are based round the

relevant channel. Each synthesiser includes a huge number of presets

pentatonic scale, the notes all work pretty well together so the more

that are a great place to start for finding the right sound for your

advanced student can work out the intervals to create melodies,

project. For the more advanced user, they also include full synthesiser

harmonies and bass lines. The biggest drawback I have found is that

controls including waveform shaping, filters, envelope generators and a

students tend to add too much to any track. The App works best when

couple of basic effects (delay, modulation and waveshaping). The third

left relatively minimal – however, when told, the children tend to get

way to input parts is when using percussion sounds or pre-

this eventually.

programmed loops – these can be accessed by the drum machine devices on channels 5 and 6. The layout will be familiar to anyone who

Manufacturer’s website:

has used any of the Akai MPC series of drum machines or anything


similar. To record a part, press the record button at the top and hit the relevant drum in the rhythm that you require. The section will loop round and round so, if you aren’t that confident with playing multiple drums all at once, you can layer them over several times round the

What: NanoStudio Cost: £8.99 For regular Logic, Cubase, Sonar and Pro Tools users, NanoStudio will look remarkably familiar. A fully functioning MIDI sequencer capable of creating complex tracks using synthesisers, drum machines and samples, this App is also capable of full mix-down and export to allow for marking and for students to keep as evidence of work. The basic layout is viewed from the Song window and this will look like the

Mixer panel

arrange window in any bigger DAW. This window is the access point for

section. Obviously, anything that is recorded can then be edited from

reaching all the editing tools and by double-tapping on a block, it opens

the Song window to correct errors that you have made.

up the Piano Roll window. From here, you can draw, edit and delete notes or sections. By clicking ‘Done’, you return to the main window.

NanoStudio is not specifically aimed at the education market and, having tried it out a little bit with my students, it isn’t really suitable for KS2 or younger due to the number of hidden windows and the precision required. However, KS3 and above tend to be able to cope and can create some suitable compositions for KS3 work GCSE compositions. The level of detail is not really high enough to cope with KS5 work but could be useful for teaching the basics of sequencing to students who are enrolling in Post-16 Music Technology courses without any experience, before moving onto more comprehensive software. Although the cost of this App is relatively high compared to a lot of others, it is a fully functioning sequencer and is still significantly cheaper than the equivalent software available for a PC or Mac. Generally, an excellent App for older music students and worth

TriggerPad panel

investigating if your department wants to get some serious software There are three main ways to input parts. Firstly, via an external MIDI

on a budget.

device which is a bit clunky and defeats the point of the mobile nature of the App and the devices in general. Secondly, to input melodic, bass

Manufacturer’s website:

or harmony lines, the App includes several channels of synthesisers


that can be accessed from the top of the window by selecting the


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Queueing up for Musical Futures in Australia Why is music – by far the most popular cultural and social activity for young people – one of the least popular activities among teens at school? The Musical Futures trial in Australia seeks to address this, one of the great contradictions in music learning. As Executive Officer of the Australian Music Association Ian Harvey reports, the results are very encouraging with one school reporting lunchtime queues!


usical Futures is an approach to teaching and learning that responds directly to the challenge of engaging and sustaining Secondary-aged students in music-making. Neither a curriculum nor a syllabus nor a course of study, Musical Futures develops non-formal teaching and learning in the more formal environment of the school. The approach places the student at the centre of the learning and involves the types of learning and sharing of skills and knowledge that contemporary students engage in every day through their use of the internet and other technologies as well as sharing with peers.

Since its development and introduction in the UK in 2003, over 1,400 schools have adopted the approach. The UK experience has shown* that Musical Futures has led to: • increased engagement in, motivation towards, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of music learning

• dramatically increased participation through whole class delivery • sustained interest in music with significantly more students continuing to GSCE and A levels • increases in teacher skills, confidence and enjoyment • improvements in students’ musical skills

computers. Outside school, many kids have the opportunity to play, create and share music in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

Non-musical outcomes have also been reported in the areas of attendance and class behaviour. Australian Musical Futures project leader and CEO of the Soundhouse Music Alliance, Ken Owen, believes much of the success and appeal of Musical Futures lies in the fact that ‘the approach allows kids to make the kinds of music that are relevant and authentic to them. It is important to understand that in the past few decades, the relationship kids have with music has changed dramatically with the advent of technology such as the iPod, sharing on the internet and basic musical tools built into

Informally, many of them are very aware of and literate about ‘their’ music. Musical Futures brings that love and engagement with music into the classroom and helps the students build their skills, knowledge and confidence’. So – could Musical Futures be translated to Australia and would it work here? To find out, the Australian Music Association and the Soundhouse Music Alliance have been working in partnership with the Victorian and Queensland Education Departments in schools in a series of pilot programmes beginning in 2010. In all, 16 schools involving around 2,500 students have been implementing Musical Futures in Years 7 and 8. An additional school, Trafalgar Primary in rural Victoria, has been trialling the programme with its Years 5 and 6. These Australian pilots came about through a series of international partnerships. The content and materials have been made available through the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the body responsible for initiating Musical Futures in the UK, while the initial funding support has come from the US-based NAMM Foundation. As to whether Musical Futures has a place here * Hallam et al, Survey of Musical Futures, Institute of Education, University of London.

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

27 7

development through Continuing Professional Development programmes and activities • Musical Futures promotes the sharing of ideas, information and resources among teachers, schools and systems Within the pilot schools, we are seeing some strong positive outcomes reported by teachers and students alike. These include the following:

in Australian schools – the answer at this stage appears to be a resounding ‘yes’. While the Queensland pilot still has some way to go, having only started in July 2010, the Victorian pilot is drawing to a close and will be completed by the end of Term 1. The initial reports from the schools are positive and the outcomes for schools, teachers and students appear to be consistent with the UK experience. Not only that, but many of the Musical Futures outcomes tie in very nicely with a number of the recommendations from the National Review of Schools Music such as: • Musical Futures has increased access and provision to music through its whole class approach • the approach supports a continuous and developmental music education • Musical Futures integrates classroom and instrumental learning into a single coherent programme of music learning • Musical Futures is student-centred, relevant and meets the needs and interests of today’s students • Musical Futures is efficient both in terms of its delivery and cost-effectiveness • Musical Futures provides ongoing teacher

• Among the pilot teachers, there are reports of increased effectiveness, greater confidence and an increase in the range of the teachers’ instrumental and genre skills • Teachers felt that Musical Futures was engaging students who were previously disengaged, at the same time helping all of the students demonstrate their musical potential. This is evident through increased enjoyment, the ability to play an instrument, increased willingness to sing, improved listening skills and increases in the willingness of students to create, compose and perform • Teachers are also reporting improvements in attendance, attitudes and behaviour amongst students • There is also evidence of increased levels of extra-curricular activity including the formation of student bands, the purchase of instruments and additional lessons being taken outside the classroom Importantly, with the support and Continuing Professional Development provided by the Soundhouse team, all teachers have found Musical Futures to be not difficult to implement in their schools. Among the changes seen are significant increases in participation. For example, one of the Melbourne pilot schools had rarely, if ever, been able to offer Year 9 music as an elective subject.

After just 8 months of Musical Futures, this situation turned around with 79 of the 180 Year 8 students opting to continue music the following year. That is an unprecedented result! For many students within the pilot programmes, music and, in particular, school music has gone from a lowengagement, low-involvement subject to one that has captured the kids’ interest and attention. ‘It’s pretty cool’, says Andrew, 13. ‘I never really played a musical instrument before… I kind of feel more confident, like, more than normal at school. I want to be in a band.’ In a similar vein, one of the teachers from a Queensland pilot location reports that there are queues of students wanting to get into the music room at lunchtimes in his school, something he has never seen before. Reports from other schools show that the schools’ instrumental programmes have dramatically increased the numbers of students involved across the middle years. We believe that Musical Futures will find a place in many Australian schools, just as it has done in the UK. It doesn’t solve all the problems confronting music, teachers and schools but it is a genuinely 21st-century response to the greatest challenge faced by the sector —relevance. With Musical Futures, music – the most popular cultural and social activity for young people – could also prove to be among the most popular, most engaging, most creative and most valuable learning that can take place at school.


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Developing the Kodály Legacy In his keynote address to delegates at musiclearninglive!2011 in Glasgow, László Nemes, Director of the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary, explained the relevance of Kodály’s work to 21st century teachers, schools and pupils.


egardless of all the psychological research proving that musical skills can be successfully developed by appropriate training, most people still strongly believe that musicianship is based on some kind of special innate ability we are either born or not born with. Similarly, singing abilities are considered to be unequally distributed in the general population. ‘The task of the public school is to establish good foundations for the education of the whole person.’ (Kodály)

Educational programmes that balance the emotional and intellectual development of the child can lead to a healthy maturity and integration of the whole personality. Music education has to be started early and should continue well into the adolescent years. Exposure to music during these periods has lasting influence on the appreciation of music in later years. Kodály-based music education during childhood and adolescence not only develops musical skills but also has a strong impact on the child’s cognitive, language, social and emotional development as well as on speaking and fine motor skills. As a result of quality music education, children not only learn to read and count much faster but their productivity and health is much better as well. Research in the field of the transfer effect of music education has shown without doubt that music education has a positive influence on the development of creativity and emotional sensitivity. Those learning music intensively from early ages are more capable of investing energy into challenges requiring serious thinking and creativity than those not studying music. The structure of intelligence in children shows similar positive results: those exposed to music education are ahead of those not studying music with regard to a much closer connection of intellectual and emotional motivation and the balance of verbal and non-verbal areas. ‘What is the most important prerequisite for

achieving success in the study of music? I can answer that question with a single word: singing. But I can say it over and over again, three times if you like, singing, singing, singing again.’ (Kodály) School music education based on singing has a significant impact on the emotional well-being and mood of all children. The positive influence of singing can be felt by those who struggle with emotional problems. In the case of elderly people, research data shows that regular singing and active music-making diminishes depression and improves communication and the expression of feelings. It is therefore distressing that school curricula today fail to place the right emphasis on music education. ‘Music education in schools is not primarily the matter of music.’ (Kodály) ‘By learning music we do not only learn about music.’ (Kodály) Singing sets us free, encourages us; it cures us from behavioural inhibitions and diffidence. Singing recreates us, cures our bodies and our souls, develops our work capacity; it makes us more capable, it enhances our attention span and discipline. All this justifies Kodály’s thoughts: ‘Music education in schools is not primarily the matter of music.’ Composer, ethnomusicologist, music pedagogue and linguist, Zoltán Kodály [16 December 1882 Kecskemét – 6 March 1967 Budapest] was one of the most outstanding characters of 20th century Hungarian culture. Kodály inspired revolutionary changes in the teaching of music in Hungary before World War II. Together with some of his former disciples, he established new principles of music education which have come to be known as the ‘Kodály Method’ – more correctly, the ‘Kodály Concept’. This

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

internationally acknowledged concept of music education is the basis for general music teaching in Hungary and also plays an important role in the training of professional musicians. The basic principles inherent in the Kodály Concept are as follows: l Musical training should be an integral part of the general curriculum. The aim of the Kodály concept is not to produce a nation of professional musicians; it is to make people appreciate and understand music, to educate future audiences and to bring up a generation of concert-goers and music lovers. l Music instruction should be vocally-based. Kodály strongly encourages participation in choral singing. l Material used for teaching during the early years should be taken from folk music (‘the musical mother tongue’), compositions influenced by that folk music heritage and later classical masterpieces. Using children’s songs and singing games, children learn new musical elements which are later applied to the in-depth study of classical masterpieces. l It was Kodály’s belief that the ability to read and write music is just as important as general literacy. To establish this skill, he suggested adopting relative solmization (or the ‘tonic-solfa system’). Kodály did not only work on the theoretical part of his music educational concept. He provided the reading and singing exercises needed for practising from primary to professional levels. He also wrote numerous articles and essays on his educational concept and gave many speeches at international conferences. Together with his disciples, he edited several schoolbooks to be used in different types of schools, targetting different age groups. What is known now as the ‘Kodály Method’ was not invented by Kodály but, rather, evolved in the


Hungarian schools under his inspiration and guidance. The goals, the philosophy and the principles were genuinely Kodály’s but the methodology was not created by him. Actually, none of the practices generally associated with Kodály-inspired music education

Zoltán Kodály

originated with Kodály. The uniqueness of the approach came in the way in which separate techniques were combined into one unified approach which itself supported Kodály’s viable philosophy of music education (for example, Sarah Glover’s tonic sol-fa system, Émile-JosephMaurice Chevé’s [1804-1864], Émile Jaques-Dalcroze’s [1865-1950]). Mátyás Seiber, a Hungarian-born composer who lived in Britain from 1935 onwards and who was a student in Kodály’s first composition class at the Liszt Academy, recorded an interview with the maestro for the BBC in 1946. In this interview, Mátyás Seiber said, ‘It is obvious to everyone that English orchestras play fluently at first sight. What do you think is the reason for this?’

marvelled at the new English publications of 16th century polyphonic music, the art songs and the performances of Purcell’s music which, according to him, gave fertile land for new musical compositions in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. He was especially interested in the results of folk music research. He admired the music of Parry, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Walton and Britten; he marvelled at Britain’s choral tradition, the high artistic standards of the British choral societies, the workers’ choirs and the glee clubs. In his opinion, from John of Fornsete’s Sumer is Icumen in onwards, the most significant and most original British compositions can all be related to choral singing. He even cited Hubert Parry who once said to his disciples: ‘Go and write choral music as is only fair for an Englishman and a democrat.’ Kodály confessed that from the beginning of his career, something inside him kept drawing him closer and closer to choral music. This intense feeling drew him to Britain and that is why he always felt at home here. For him, British choral music remained an important inspiration. He hoped that in Hungary, due to the opening of more and more singing primary schools where children receive musical tuition on a daily basis, Hungarian public opinion about the importance of music education would be significantly changed. In one of his writings, Kodály refers to a scene from Thomas Morley’s textbook, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) where Philomathes feels ashamed after realising that he is the only one at the dinner table lacking the skill of reading music: Philomathes: Yester night (at master Sophobulus’s banquet), there were a number of excellent schollers (both gentlemen and others) but all the purpose which then was discoursed upon was Musicke. Polymathes (Philomathes’ friend): I trust you

were content to suffer others to speak of that matter. Philomathes: I would that had been the worst: for I was compelled to discover mine own ignorance, and confesse that I knewe nothing at all in it… Supper being ended, and Musicke books, according to the custome, being brought to the table: the mistresse of the house presented mee with a part earnestly requesting mee to sing. But after manie excuses, I protested unfeignedly that I could not: euerie one began to wonder. Yea, some whispered to others, demaunding how I was brought up: so that upon shame of my ignorance, I go nowe to seeke out mine old friend master Gnorimus, to make myselfe his scholler. Here is what Kodály thought about musical illiteracy: ‘An old Latin proverb says, Tam turpe est nescire Musicam quam Literas.’ (‘Not only people who cannot read are illiterate but also those who cannot read music.’) 61 years ago, the school year started later than usual in a school in Kecskemét. In her diary, the school director, Márta Nemesszeghy-Szentkirályi, recorded a simple date: October 27th 1950. There was no fancy opening ceremony nor a school decked with flags but, rather, a dark, cool and unhealthy room in a simple farmhouse heated with coal dust instead of coal. The room had only a dingy, cracked stave board, thanks to local alms. Back then, with such penurious conditions in the midst of the darkest period of the Communist era, nobody believed, probably not even Kodály, that this place would become something special. Only now are we aware that when that school opened its doors for its first class – Grade 1 – a sensational event took place. The first music primary school in Hungary, the so-called ‘singing primary school’ opened with one class in one single classroom. It all happened quite randomly in Kodály’s hometown. As Kodály in his declaration (‘In Retrospect’)

Zoltán Kodály replied: ‘Partly, it is due to the practice of playing many new compositions. Partly, it is because of the English education system. For 100 years, they have been teaching music in schools using the tonic sol-fa system. It is learnt by everyone, even by those who do not wish to become professional musicians. The result is security of musical reading and clear intonation.’ Kodály visited Britain in 1927 for the first time. He realised at once that his German professors at the Liszt Academy erred in referring to the music of Britain as ‘das Land ohne Music’. He The Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Festival of music, dance and theatre for all ages 6th - 10th July Join Bristol’s new International Performing Arts Festival, bringing Music, Dance and Theatre from Canada, France, Italy and the USA to venues across Bristol. Live performances, free street shows and interactive arts workshops available for audiences of all ages. Taking place in Colston Hall, Tobacco Factory, Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic and Anchor Square. Tickets £4-£20 01179 249 976 stated, ‘not because he (Kodály) was born there in Kecskemét had this experimental school opened but the reason was Ms. Nemesszeghy working there in that town’. When Kodály said this about Márta Nemesszeghy-Szentkirályi in 1966, there were already 107 singing schools in the country: 24 in Budapest and the rest in the countryside.

Kodály Memorial, Kecskemet

Lady Márta was a glowing and beaming inspiration for hundreds of students for 23 consecutive years at the Kodály School. Unfortunately, the aim of Kodály to create 5,000 such schools has remained and still remains a dream and an experiment. Nevertheless, Hungarian people can proudly regard high-level Hungarian musical culture as the consequence of Kodály-based music education in those primary and secondary level schools where, over the past twenty years, the quality of musicmaking has not been harmed in spite of cultural changes in the country. What has helped singing primary schools succeed over the past six decades?

l Government support for effective and valuable general music education at kindergarten, primary and secondary school level l Music education that is accessible for everyone since it is essential for each child’s development l A vocal-based core curriculum (national curriculum) with performance at the centre based on continuous and sequential development of musicianship to ensure children’s high-quality participation in musical activities l Opportunities created for instrumental studies l Textbooks with valuable musical material fostering life-long interest in music-making and embracing a diverse range of musical periods and musical styles in accordance with the age characteristics of the students l Support from colleagues and the whole school since school music education works best when the whole school culture is musical l And last but not least – the key word in education – the teacher: high-level teacher training We need musically trained educators: provision of music specialists is the key to quality music teaching with opportunities for professional development and postgraduate work. ‘There will be good music education in the schools when we train the teachers in the right manner.’ (Kodály) In the teacher training programmes of the Kodály Institute, besides training and developing our students’ musical skills, we promote the theory and practice of Kodály-based music education. Kodály-based music education is about spiritual enrichment through active music-making which has an enduring influence on the shaping of the human character and the human personality. It is about musical inspiration; the beauty of music, folk, classical and contemporary; the great

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

classics and the masterpieces of past and present. We music educators should always remember one of our most important missions: music education is about values of musical culture. If we do not want the music of Bach and Palestrina to disappear from concert stages, we have to teach Bach and Palestrina to the children in our schools and not some kind of ‘art substitute’. It does not take a genius to realise that in the long run, low quality of music education in schools will have a destructive effect on both professional music-making and the taste of audiences. Let us remember that all professional musicians and members of future audiences start their music education in a school environment. If we want to fill our concert halls with audiences, we have to educate the next generations of audiences. At various music conferences and symposia where Kodály educators get together, there is always a lot of talk about the characteristics that distinguish Kodály education from other music pedagogical approaches. It might be equally useful to make a list of characteristics that distinguish good music teaching from bad music teaching. As Kodály said, ‘a bad teacher may destroy the love of music for thirty years for thirty classes of pupils.’ ‘It is the bounden duty of the talented to cultivate their talent to the highest degree, to be of as much use as possible to their fellow men. For every person’s worth is measured by how much he can help his fellow men and serve his country. Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity.’ (Kodály)

Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemét, Hungary


Q&A Renowned Welsh jazz pianist Huw Warren divides his time between composing for large and small ensembles, playing with stellar musicians like June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Maria Pia de Vito and teaching at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). Cathy Tozer caught up with him at Bath International Music Festival.

CT: Hi, Huw. What are you up to here today? HW: Today, I’m improvising music to two Buster Keaton films, The Boat and One Week, as part of the MusicFest. It’s a double bill with Alexander Balanescu and Evelina Petrova who’ll be performing their own scores to animations of Cinderella, The Frog Prince and The Ant and the Grasshopper by Lotte Reiniger. CT: Sounds fascinating. Is this a one-off or part of an ongoing project? HW: Well, I’ve been working with Buster Keaton films for over fifteen years now with different people. The first person to show me some of the possibilities of working with silent movies was Billy Jenkins, the guitar player. I got a commission from Birmingham International Film Festival to write a score for Steamboat Bill Junior with him as the soloist and a band consisting of Mark Lockheart, Dudley Phillips and Steve Arguelles. Basically, I scored it out for everyone except him and said, ‘Every time you see Buster Keaton on the screen, just play what he’s doing!’

CT: It seems like you’ve had a busy year. Can you give us a flavour of that? HW: Where do you want me to start?! CT: How about with your composing? HW: OK, well, so far this year, I’ve written music for Alton College Big Band for Farnham Festival. I’ve also written pieces for a mixed jazz/classical line-up called New Perspectives for a festival in Shropshire in July and for Lara James, Head of Classical Saxophone at the RWCMD for string quartet and rhythm section. CT: How about playing? HW: Well, I’ve been in Italy with Maria Pia de Vito a couple of times and I’m just about to head off to New York to play at Rochester Festival with Paula Gardener who’s Head of Jazz at the RWCMD. I’m also doing a gig with friends in Brooklyn while I’m out there. CT: And teaching? HW: I do a lot of work in North Wales with my local Music Service, Gwasanaeth Ysgolion William Mathias (GYWM), helping to run their Big Band. I’m also visiting jazz piano tutor at the RWCMD so I do various bits of academic teaching there including a composition group for first-year students. On top of that, I’m doing a project linking the Historical Performance Department and the Jazz Department for the opening of the RWCMD’s new building in June 2011 which basically involves improvising on the music of Purcell with jazz students and Early Music students. CT: Anita Holford paints rather a gloomy picture of the state of music education in Wales in her article in this edition of Music Education UK (page 8). What’s your perception of the situation? HW: It depends on what kind of music education you’re talking about. The erosion of free music


lessons over the last decade is a really bad thing, I think, certainly for someone of my generation. It’s also true that there's a lot of variety of services between different regions in Wales. On the other hand, there's generally a higher level of involvement in music/song/drama at Primary level than in the corresponding age groups in England, mainly through the Eisteddfod. I know there are problems but I tend to see the positive side with jazz education. I see more and more people being interested in it and the results are evident in the kind of music they’re making. For example, this week, I’ve been doing an outreach project with the RWCMD where we took a group of five students up to North Wales for three days and we put them in all kinds of environments. On the first day, we got them to work in an arts centre in Caernarvon with the Music Service Big Band. The next day, we took them into a Secondary school where we did a workshop for Years 7, 8 and 9. I don’t think anyone in there had ever heard music like we were making but, to be fair to them, they kind of got into it; they were quite interested. And then, the next day, we did something in a Sixth Form college and we worked with guys who knew about rock music and dance music and nothing else and by the end of the morning, they were all going, ‘Where can we google this jazz business?’ So, for me, all that’s really positive stuff. CT: And have spending cuts affected your work? HW: I think spending cuts affect everything eventually, don’t they? It’s a question of what level you wish to analyse it at. In terms of doing concerts, there are certain things going on like Arts Council cuts and festivals losing funding which are bound to have a knock-on effect. CT: Do you teach outside Wales? HW: Yes, I teach on the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Summer School and I’ve taught at the Royal Academy of Music and in all kinds of

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

workshop situations. For about five years, I taught at this great summer school in Salzburg called Jazz and Improvised Music Seminar (JIMS). The tutors were mainly guys from New York and Austria and I was the sole Brit.

son Zoot, who’s on tour in Europe playing drums at the moment, has just been accepted to study jazz drumming at the Royal Academy of Music and physics at Imperial College. CT: Don’t tell me he’s chosen the physics!

CT: Did you find the atmosphere different in terms of morale? HW: Well, everything I say needs to be taken slightly ironically in the sense that when I was working there, the fees and working conditions were so much better than in the UK. The way JIMS was run was really high-profile, really well paid and you were really well looked after. They even organised a festival around it! When I compare that with the Guildhall, for instance, it’s a different kind of ethic. Coming to the Guildhall is always great fun but you have to pay for everything – your own travel, your own… CT: Coffee?! HW: Yeah! But on the other hand, JIMS has now lost its funding and the Guildhall Summer School is still running so you have to put it in that context. CT: Your wife’s a musician (multi-instrumentalist, Maria Lamburn) and you’ve got five children. Are they following in your footsteps? HW: Some are, not all of them. For example, my

HW: Yup! We always knew that with us being musicians and quite intense about music, our children would either love it or hate it – they would never be ambivalent. Also, I look on music education as being really long-term so something you might react against when you’re a teenager might not have an effect on you for another 10 or 15 years. As I said, we were in this school in North Wales the other day and it wasn’t like the kids were all gonna go, ‘Yeah, let’s do that, this is great, isn’t it?’ It could almost be 15 years later and suddenly they’ll go, ‘Remember that weird guy that came in and played some funny music?’ Sometimes, the benefits of education aren’t immediate. And that leads back to the cuts and trying to put an economic price on music education – which you can’t! There’s no price on that way of affecting someone in 10 years’ time or even in 10 minutes’ time! CT: Yeah, it’s a holistic thing, isn’t it? We’re trying to tell people that music education is essential to the whole person’s development and yet we don’t know if music will even make it into the English Baccalaureate.

HW: When you look at Higher Education, once you start getting prioritisation of so-called ‘useful’ qualifications, music is going to be low down on that list and improvised music is going to be even lower. It won’t stop people doing it, of course, because people don’t do it for that reason anyway. CT: They sometimes do it in order to rebel, don’t they? HW: Yeah or because they love it – one of the two extremes. Steve Buckley, the saxophone player, used to have a nice quote about meeting young kids who wanted to be really rebellious in music and they were playing rock or punk and he’d say, ‘No, you want to listen to Albert Ayler – that’s rebellious music!’ CT: I’m not sure I know who Albert Ayler is! HW: Oh, he was this American avant-garde jazz sax player but any kind of hardcore free noise would do. CT: I take it you won’t be playing hardcore free noise to Buster Keaton. HW: Oh, I don’t know, there are some scenes in The Boat where that might just work. I’ve asked them to mike the inside of the piano so watch this space!

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East, West, home is best For ABRSM and other examinations boards, the Asia-Pacific region is an area of explosive growth with increasing numbers of students sitting grade exams. Richard Crozier, ABRSM Director of Professional Development, contrasts the life and work of music teachers in the UK with that of their counterparts in Singapore and South East Asia.


s part of my work for ABRSM, I have the privilege of observing the methods of teachers in Singapore, South East Asia and the UK. It may be said that teaching and learning are the same the world over, nevertheless, it’s interesting to explore the differences and similarities from one country to another and in this article, I have chosen to focus on piano teaching.

In the UK, a great deal of piano teaching is labelled as ‘private’ tuition by which we mean that the teachers work in their homes, inviting pupils to visit, mostly during out of school hours. Most of the teaching is done during the school term and, although term start and finish dates vary across the UK, most private piano teachers will work on a three- or, in some cases, four-term year. It is less common for children to continue with their lessons during school holidays unless perhaps there is a specific exam, festival, competition or audition being prepared for. Piano teachers tend to work from around 4pm through till maybe 9pm on weekday evenings. Some teach on Saturday mornings and, occasionally, on Sundays but the bulk of the work is done Monday to Friday. Lessons are usually 30 minutes for beginners and may increase to 45 minutes or one hour as pupils become more proficient, say, post-Grade 5 level. There is no set scale of charges and I would guess that the majority of teachers in the UK charge the same fee per pupil for beginners through to, say, those of Grade 8 standard. Children often start learning at age 5 or 6 and should be benefitting from class music lessons at school as part of their National Curriculum entitlement, although it should be noted that the National Curriculum is currently under review and content may change in the near future. The curriculum is also different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In class music lessons, children should be introduced to composing, performing and


listening to music as well as making and controlling sounds; they should be engaged in vocal activity and using classroom instruments such as pitched and unpitched percussion, recorders etc. In the past few years, the Wider Opportunities initiative in England has also given Primary school children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument as part of a whole class experience. Here, the instrument could be anything from a conventional stringed, brass or woodwind instrument to a ukulele, chalumeau, penny whistle, pocket trumpet etc. Such classroom work should effectively complement the work of any private teacher, particularly a piano teacher. Many teachers use graded exams both to encourage pupils and as a way of measuring their progress but, for the majority, there is no set expectation of when a particular grade may be achieved and it is common for Grade 8, for example, to be reached in the mid-teens. Piano teaching in Singapore and South East Asia is, in many cases, rather different so let me now turn to that way of

working. Many piano teachers are engaged by music studios. The studio will comprise a retail outlet for instruments and sheet music, a number of small teaching rooms and maybe a small recital hall. Children often start learning very young – maybe 2-3 years old – in a music group which will include activities that are suitable for children of that age, for example, musical games, singing and simple percussion work. From such a group, individuals may go on to piano lessons at, say, five years of age. Learners will be expected to practise regularly

Richard Crozier at musiclearninflive!2011

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

and are likely to do so. Graded exam syllabuses provide the core diet for many learners; in many cases, the focus for most of one year will be on the preparation for the graded exam. In common with the UK, parental aspirations and concerns for their children in Asia are evident in a fast-changing competitive world; a world in which science, mathematics and technology play an increasing part all around young people and where the creative force of music in a progressive and educational setting can provide some balance and brain development of a different type. Parents value this aesthetic and cultural development alongside the usual school examinations and tough academic programmes. Support and encouragement in the home is common to both cultures and, increasingly, one is seeing children in Asian countries participating in school ensembles, bands and orchestras, thus enjoying the ‘sharing’, collaboration and team spirit to be found in music-making. Piano playing remains the favoured option in East and West alike – with parents having a willingness to invest in these expensive and much treasured instruments – but a tremendous leap forward in orchestral playing in South East Asia has resulted from media coverage of such icons as Vanessa Mae. In 1995, when I joined ABRSM, we launched the Certificate of Teaching (CT ABRSM) course in the UK, a professional development course designed to enable teachers to hold a mirror to their work and choose whether they wish to make changes. The course continues today and the majority of teachers taking part have chosen to adapt their working practices as a result. Perhaps the most

common cause of this hunger for change is the fact that very few teachers were taught how to teach. They have simply found a way of working and its effectiveness is perhaps measured by exam success, an individual teacher’s popularity and their ability to engage effectively with young people. Two years after the UK launch, we took the CT ABRSM course to Singapore and a year later to Hong Kong. It is perhaps no surprise that the situation was similar in both Asia and the UK. This year, we have some 28 teachers on the course in Singapore and 15 already signed up for the October start in Hong Kong.

Richard Crozier taught in Secondary schools as Head/Director of Music for 13 years and then worked as a peripatetic woodwind teacher before being appointed as County Music Inspector in Bedfordshire, followed by a role as an Ofstedtrained Inspector of Primary and Secondary schools. In 1995, he moved to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as Course Director for the

I know many UK piano teachers who would love their pupils to practise more consistently. What I have no doubt about is the need for teachers everywhere to prioritise the focus of their work as teachers. In simple terms, this means that music must be the focus of every lesson and that, in the majority of cases, shifting the emphasis away from written notation to aural-based fluency will prove to be the key to success in terms of developing musical playing. Apparent musicality achieved through mimicry is, in reality, short term-ist because the other key goal for all teachers is to develop independent learners. In other words, to give learners of any age the power to interpret and understand music for themselves.

CT ABRSM (Certificate of Teaching of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) one-year parttime professional development course for instrumental and singing teachers. Richard regularly undertakes the presentation of Continuing Professional Development sessions. He is past Chair of the UK’s National Association of Music Educators (1998-99) and a former member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Music Education. He is the author of Offbeat, a practical guide to pop and jazz for GCSE (Heinemann 1987); co-author of Carousel, a Primary music scheme (Ginn 1996); co-author with Paul Harris of The Music Teacher's Companion (ABRSM 2000); coproject director of All Together! (ABRSM 2004) and author of Musical Instruments for Children (Hamlyn

I know from my work with teachers the world over that a professional development course such as the Certificate of Teaching provides an ideal environment for this development to take place because it provides two key factors necessary for change: a mutually supportive community and the help and advice of experts.


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Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


Instrumental learning through partnerships We should be ensuring that every child in our schools has the opportunity to play and sing, says Bill Martin. But what’s he doing about it? As Music Education Manager of Yamaha Music Europe in the UK, Bill is responsible for implementing a whole range of music education partnerships benefitting schools, teachers and pupils.


n a highly evolved music education system like ours in the UK, there is a strong argument that the very least we should be doing for our young people is ensuring that they all learn to play and sing – I mean EVERY child. And if that were the only thing we achieved, at least all young people would be experiencing music-making with their peers that could help develop them both musically and socially as a result. We could be proud of that.

However, so few of our young people actually learn to play. Though we have excellent Music Services, their budgets are stretched further than ever so that more than 80 per cent of young people don't have Music Service lessons. While there are some who will learn privately, the overall picture is still of the majority with no access at all to progressive instrumental learning. Tomorrow’s Warriors / Yamaha Jazz Experience at Ronnie Scott’s

So, what of our music curricula? Let’s distinguish here between ‘icing’ and ‘cake’. In music, the sound and its communication are the source so learning to sing and play must be seen as the

‘cake’. Whether we like it or not, this makes everything else the ‘icing’. Without prioritising the ‘cake’ of performing skills, the ‘icing’ has nothing to adhere to and just crumbles. We can continue to fill the music curriculum with all manner of interesting musical ‘icing’ activities but without providing a core of progressive performing skills, we limit the potential of our young people to engage more than superficially in activities like composing, IT, Musical Futures, listening, improvising etc. While I've seen first-hand the positive impact that the Wider Opportunities (WO) whole class vocal and instrumental Primary school programmes can have when some of our inspiring Music Service teachers collaborate with the best class teachers, it is just not good enough to provide instrumental learning for only one year out of the nine in which National Curriculum music is (for now) mandatory. Just think how much better current classroom music activities would be if all young people could actually play, even to just Grade 1 level. And think how much more those young people would get from the activities.


Over the past few years, I've been hearing from increasing numbers of Secondary heads of music who are fed up with the fact that learning to play is largely banished from the classroom. They are hungry for change. Some of them are now bringing in progressive, classroom-based instrumental learning so pupils can develop the practical performing skills they need to become independent learners and musicians with a broad range of real musical options. Yamaha Partnerships So what’s Yamaha doing about it? Well, our group-teaching pedagogy, inspired by the earsbefore-eyes approach of Orff, Kodaly et al, has been operating since the 1950s. Since then, we have notched up a wealth of expertise, experience and success in delivering effective large group and whole class instrumental and vocal teaching. Our teacher training and assessment systems mesh very comfortably with school and Music Service teacher assessment needs, with very positive and encouraging Ofsted inspections

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

reports filed over the years. This has been a key factor in attracting our UK education partners since the late nineties. Community music school partnerships Our ‘50:50’ partnership model enables a school or Music Service to access instruments and equipment for either keyboard, guitar, drums or vocal courses with no capital outlay. The host institution uses the instruments to run an out-ofhours community music school and the resulting income, shared between Yamaha and the host school, covers the operating costs and secures the operation's sustainability. The school is also entitled to use the instruments for its daytime music teaching. An alternative to the ‘50:50’ model is the ‘School Profit Model’ where the school buys the stock but retains most of the income which can then be used to provide funds for the music department or Music Service.

Yamaha Class Band partnerships Yamaha Class Band is a whole class, classroombased wind band programme for students who begin on brass or woodwind either at the end of Year 6 (as a transition project) or at the start of Year 7 in their Secondary schools. While the project has been running for more than 15 years in mainland Europe, the English pilot, partnering Music Services in Coventry and Staffordshire, began in January 2011. Already the feedback from peripatetic music staff, class teachers and the participating schools’ senior management teams has been way above expectation. Schools in economically and socially challenged areas have said that as well as bringing much-needed practical music skills into the classroom, Class Band is already helping

them achieve cultural change within their schools. Street-wise Year 7s have been seen ‘wearing their instruments’ almost like a badge of honour and have told us that this feels like ‘a real band’! In addition, Class Band provides CPD for participating teachers along with planned opportunities for Class Bands in the UK to exchange with others across Europe. Yamaha sax artist and double MOBO winner, YolanDa Brown is the Class Band ambassador and regularly runs workshops with Class Band participants to inspire and motivate young players and their peers.

Wider Opportunities partnerships We are providing whole class Primary school programmes on keyboard and drums with whole class versions of our guitar and vocal courses coming on-stream. For example, our WO project with Sandwell Youth Music broke new ground in 2008, bringing our teaching approach, instruments, materials and CPD to whole class keyboard teaching. Today, around 800 Sandwell students are learning keyboard across 14 Primaries, an expansion fuelled by the first heads to join the scheme who noticed both an amazing turnaround in their students' musical development and much improved social skills, behaviour and learning attitudes.

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

37 7

State of the Union The buzz around partnerships has never been louder following the publication of the Henley Review of music education earlier this year. With over 30,000 members, many of whom work in education, the Musicians’ Union is a major voice in the sector. Diane Widdison, the MU’s National Organiser for Live Performance and Teaching, explains some of the organisation’s recently instigated partnerships and collaborations.

Partnership – arrangement where parties agree to co-operate to advance their mutual interests. Collaboration – working together to achieve a goal.

sponsoring a day of activities at their National Festival in July 2011.


Exam board and publishers, Rockschool, who are also sponsors of MFY, are long-term collaborators of ours. We worked with them to develop their Teaching Diplomas – aimed at professional musicians who want to enter the teaching profession – and, as an umbrella organisation, they process CRB checks for MU members.

ne of the recommendations made in Darren Henley’s Review of Music Education in England was that the sector should work more cohesively to share common aims and present one voice to the Government. ‘Too many disparate views’ has been one of the ongoing criticisms of the sector ever since the two Music Manifesto reports were first published yet musicians spend their whole working lives collaborating with other musicians.

Music is inherently a group activity, either by acting as a member of an audience or by playing in an ensemble or singing in a choir. Most musicians would say their most fulfilling musical experiences have been performing with other musicians so why is it that we have the reputation of not being able to come together with a common voice – or do we and it is just not heard? The MU represents over 30,000 musicians in the UK who work in all sectors of the music industry, playing and singing all genres of music. From burgeoning rock stars and established performers in the jazz, folk and rock worlds to those playing in top orchestras and West End shows, one common thread is that most musicians teach as part of their portfolio career. The MU has expanded and developed the services and resources it offers to musicians who teach and alongside has formed partnerships with other organisations. Our partnership with the National Union of Teachers was launched earlier this year to support members of both unions who work for Local Authority Music Services and to promote the importance of music education within the curriculum. The NUT is one of the principal sponsors of Music for Youth and we are extremely pleased to be strengthening our links with MFY by


Last year, we launched two projects which were the culmination of work with a number of partners. The first was an online course, Child Protection Awareness in Music, developed in conjunction with the NSPCC alongside the ABRSM and MusicLeader, and the second was with online teacher database, We have begun to address the issue of ‘kitemarking’ private music teachers on the latter’s website which again was one of the recommendations of the Henley report.

Does this represent working together effectively? We think so. In March, the MU hosted a day for all the partners we work with aimed at exploring other collaborative projects. This was extremely positive and the results will be reported in future editions of Music Education UK. Whilst, as a sector, we might still find it difficult to present one voice, we definitely have more in common than we think. Altogether now…

Other organisations we work closely with are Access to Music, where we contribute to their Music Educators Programme, and the Musicians Benevolent Fund, where we offer recipients of their award schemes bespoke career advice and opportunities to access MU learning events.

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


cover. Browsing through the offerings in

Year 7-10 boy/girl whose interest in

riff (more carrot)… you get the idea. I’m

the guitar tutor section of a music shop,

music is awakened by their new

afraid by the time any sort of carrot

I’d definitely choose this as one of the

awareness of rock. With no previous

appears in this book (p. 40), it may well

first to thumb through.

knowledge of or interest in music theory

find itself left on the shelf for future

(or none they can recall), they now want


Flicking through the pages, I’m

to play rock guitar and are enticed by this

impressed by the layout: uncluttered with

book and its claims.

large diagrams and decorated with

On top of this, the rock players shown throughout the book are mostly the

numerous colour pictures of famous rock

After a couple of interesting chapters

heroes of the 60s, 70s and 80s and I

guitarists in action. There is also the

about guitars, amps and general playing

know, again from experience, that the kids

technique, they are suddenly confronted

of today will not relate to most of them.

obligatory accompanying CD.

by musical terms such as ‘tonic notes’ All in all, a very attractive package but

without explanation of their meaning (a

I would definitely recommend Yes, You

what about the substance? Well, at a

few words would have done it) and

Can Play Great Rock Guitar to anyone

sumptuous 190 pages, it’s certainly a

scales in movable positions. All too

who has studied classical guitar or, say,

comprehensive study of the genre with

much, too soon.

piano at some level so knows some

scales, chords, classic riffs and solos TITLE Yes You Can Play Great Rock Guitar

music theory and wishes to explore the

written in friendly TAB plus some

This immediately leaves our pupil feeling

styles and sounds of rock guitar. As I

conventional notation, all backed up by

that they are in over their head and that

said before, it covers everything and if

WHAT IT IS Resource for students –

audio on the CD and expertly analysed in

it’s all too complicated, leading to a

you are not intimidated by phrases such

book & CD

musical terms. There is also some useful

complete switch-off before they can

as ‘the D major chord built on the minor

advice about buying your first electric

learn even the most basic riff. Learning

third of the root scale B’ then it does

AUTHORS Phil Capone and Paul

guitar and/or amp and other peripheral

rock guitar should be simple and fun. As

what it says on the tin. I, myself, will find


tips to help turn you into a Rock God of

the old cliché goes, ‘it’s rock guitar, not

it very useful as a teaching aid but I

the 21st Century.

rocket science’ but to these kids, it may

couldn’t recommend it to my pupils

well come across as rocket science if the

without a dose of smelling salts.


But can this book live up to its claim to


teach all aspiring guitarists to ‘play great


rock guitar’?

PRICE £12.99 (RRP), £11.69 (online)

first steps are not small steps. I find it very rewarding to see a pupil’s

About the reviewer

eyes light up as they realise they can

Guitarist Robert Ahwai has toured

Well, in my view, not all and certainly not

play a simple riff they recognise ten

and recorded with Chris Rea, George


minutes into their first lesson. Once they

Michael and Linda Lewis. He teaches

are sucked in and want to learn more

privately and for Kingston-upon-Thames Music Service.

Yes, You Can Play Great Rock Guitar screams the title in large black letters

Let’s talk about who it’s not aimed at

(carrot), I can introduce some theory

from a simply designed but eye-catching

and why in my experience. Take a typical

(stick) sweetened with another simple

Sample pages from Yes You Can Play Great Rock Guitar

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |



by the song in stave notation and activity

items such as Old Macdonald and Incey

ideas to support young children’s

wincey spider, it was good to discover

development, both musically and

fresh items such as Easter eggs.


About the reviewer Christine Wrigley studied music at

The songs and rhymes, many of which

There is much material of musical value

Birmingham University and flute at the

in the book as a whole, though I

Royal Academy of Music. She currently

are familiar traditional ones from a

personally would not think any less of it

teaches for Bedfordshire Music in Early

variety of cultures, are well suited vocally

had the Hokey cokey been omitted.

Years settings and a Special school. She

grouped according to activity, such as

The book comes with a CD which

Early Years and Primary practitioners the

Rocking, Looking and Listening, Finding

includes unaccompanied tracks of all

confidence to deliver a singing-based

those Fingers and Toes, Tickling and

the songs plus 17 instrumental tracks

music curriculum as well as teaching

Playing with Sounds.

with suggested movement activities,

Kodály Musicianship classes in London.

to children’s developing voices. They are

runs INSET courses designed to give

again providing useful ideas for those I enjoyed using the songs in the Joining

who wish to explore with their children

in section with one of my pre-school

the possibilities of linking music and

groups. Five little monkeys gave them

movement. There are ‘lucky bag’ cards

the opportunity to explore their

at the back of the book which can also

whispering, singing and shouting voices

be printed off from the CD, the idea

TITLE Inside Music Early Years

as well as improving their watching and

being that the children choose a song by

(Age 0 to 5 years)

anticipation skills – when would the

picking a card from the bag.

WHAT IT IS Resource for teachers –

Little baby, fast asleep was already an

Inside Music is good value at £24.50

book & CD

established favourite, with the children

(special launch price £19.50); I

taking turns at lying under a sheet and

recommend it as an accessible, user-

AUTHORS Beth Hill and Michael Stocks

performing the final ‘peekaboo’ as a solo

friendly resource for Early Years

when the sheet was pulled off. Clap your

practitioners and will be interested to


crocodile SNAP off the monkey’s head?

PUBLISHED BY The Voices Foundation

hands gave the children an opportunity

see how it integrates with the remaining

to choose their own actions as well as

4 modules to provide The Voices

helping them to develop a feeling for

Foundation’s promised structured

steady pulse. Along with well-known

progression of learning. PRICE £24.50 (special launch price: £19.50). Both +P&P This attractive new publication from national music education charity, The Voices Foundation is designed to inspire and encourage Early Years practitioners

TITLE Hearing the Voices of Creation

in a wide range of settings. It is the initial

(Teacher’s Pack)

phase of The Voices Foundation’s new 5module music education programme for

WHAT IT IS A creative multimedia

children aged 0 to 13 which is currently

resource on understanding faiths and

under development, though it can be

the environment through poetry, prayer,

used as a stand-alone resource.

story, dance and music

The main part of the book comprises 65

AUTHOR Victoria Fletcher

songs and 28 rhymes, appealingly laid out with one song to each page: words at

PUBLISHED BY Alliance of Religions and

the top, a colourful illustration, followed

Conservation PRICE Free. Contact Pippa Moss Within 10 minutes of watching this DVD, I was itching to use it in a classroom with an interactive whiteboard so I could share the clear, well constructed material with a Year 6 class.

Download free sample resources from Inside Music!

Performed for the first time in

Visit the download section on

November 2009 at an event attended

by Prince Philip and Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon,


Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

Hearing the Voices Of Creation

exploration of personal beliefs and their

There was only one piece of musical

non-judgemental world where

celebrated the major faiths coming

application in today’s world in a simple,

footage of a choir singing which

understanding can be gained from the

together before the UN climate change

straightforward manner. The presenter

disappointed me as I would have

stories and texts of many different

meeting in Copenhagen in order to

explains how the original performance of

preferred a more refined example. As my

religions. However, although it

launch their own action plans to protect

Hearing the Voices of Creation allowed

understanding of the overall learning to

incorporates some music and dance in

the planet.

the major religions to be brought

be gained from Hearing the Voices of

its examples, there is not enough to

together with a common focus. Video

Creation is really to learn from its social

warrant using it for its musical content.

According to the accompanying booklet,

footage of the event allows the student

and faith lessons, the intention is

‘through words, dance, ritual and music

to see how the material was interpreted

perhaps to show that joining together to

drawn from the diverse tradition of six

in its first performance.

share an experience to improve society – a ‘work in progress’ – is more the

world faiths, this DVD version created for schools celebrates those times and ways

Each of the four lessons (aimed at Key

intention than a single, perfect

About the reviewer

in which we have allowed other parts of

Stage 3 but easily adapted for KS1, 2

performance so I can understand why

Ruth McCartney is a music teacher,

nature to speak for themselves’.

and 4) has a starter activity, video clips

this particular musical footage was

musician and Senior Advisor for the

with suggestions for related follow-up

chosen. If I were using it in a music

Voices Foundation, working with

The booklet is a short, self-contained

activities, a main task and a plenary

lesson, I would find and include a better

teachers and students to ensure

resource divided into four lessons –

section. At the back of the booklet are

recording of the material (in this case, a

music is taught to a higher standard

Creation, The Crisis, Restoring The

links for the teacher to download longer

psalm) and compare the two. There are

within the Primary school. She has a

Balance and Images Of The Future –

video clips, more extensive text, related

no instructions as to how to create a

special interest in how the learning

which provide a route to explaining and

prayers and stories plus links to

performance like the first presentation of

process takes place for each individual

giving a clearer understanding of the

related sites.

Hearing the Voices of Creation, again

and is passionate about increasing

pointing to the journey towards an

musicianship and aural skills in all of

links between religions, how the creation is understood and, in turn, how the

The footage of poetry, prayer, story,

understanding of the necessity for all

her pupils. Ruth has worked for Sing

teaching from within each faith can be

dance and music shown in the DVD is

religions to work together to achieve the

Up as a facilitator and has run lots of

used to create a better world. Elements

well suited to the focus of the resource.

best possible combined result for today’s

courses for Yorkshire Youth Music.

of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism,

However, as a musician, I was surprised


Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are used to

that there was not more musical input

demonstrate, inspire and allow

either on the DVD or in the web links.

This is a superb resource encouraging a

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Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |


EVENTS July–September 2011 Play – Learn – Live. Inspiring future music learning 2 July 2011 Musical Futures, Roland UK, Rockschool and Walsall College are collaborating to present this CPD event designed for classroom music teachers and music practitioners. Walsall College, Walsall, UK.

World Stage Festival 7-10 July 2011 Live performances and interactive workshops from international performers to suit all age groups. Colston Hall, Bristol Old Vic, Arnolfini, Tobacco Factory and Anchor Square, Bristol, UK.

NYCoS Education Conference 20-21 August 2011 The National Youth Choir of Scotland’s annual conference for musicians, classroom teachers and choir leaders. Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, Scotland.

continent will meet to discuss the correlation between music and social change. Tallinn, Estonia.

Music Anytime, Anywhere: International Symposium on Synchronous Distance Learning 5-6 October 2011 The ISSDL is a virtual conference with four primary sites. Manhattan School of Music (New York), Peabody Institute (Baltimore), Royal College of Music (London) & Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore).

abcd 26th Annual Convention 26-28 August 2011 The Association of British Choral Directors’ annual convention celebrates the organisation’s 25th anniversary. Birmingham Conservatoire, UK.

Access2Orchestra 23-24 July 2011 This National Children's Orchestra project gives young musicians the chance to experience the excitement of playing in a symphony orchestra. Newcastle, Plymouth, Shrewsbury and Cambridge, UK.

Aberdeen International Youth Festival 27 July-7 August 2011 The very best in youth arts from around the UK and all over the world. Aberdeen, Scotland.

October–December 2011 Performing at the Heart of Knowledge: 3rd International Reflective Conservatoire Conference 17-20 March 2012 Researchers, performers and teachers gather to address key issues within music in Higher Education. Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, UK. earch/reflective_conservatoire.html

‘Sing the Forest Awake’ Malobe Camp 26-28 August 2011 Journey into the rainforest with the joyful, compelling music of the Baka people. Malobe is a playful nighttime celebration of the magic of the rainforest. Westley Farm, Stroud UK.

Music Education UK’s national festival of music education. Conference keynote speakers: Jude Kelly (below), James Frankel. Institute of Education, London, UK.

Leicester International Music Festival 15-18 September 2011 A chamber music festival rooted in Leicester’s strong musical tradition of working with the finest musicians and composers, including the Leicester Symphony Orchestra with Sir Malcolm Sargeant. Leicester, UK.

Music China 11-14 October 2011 International exhibition for musical instruments and accessories. Shanghai, China.

Musikmesse Frankfurt 21-24 March 2012 International trade fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and music business connections. Frankfurt, Germany.

SMA Conference 14-16 October 2011 The Schools Music Association’s 73rd annual conference. Stevenage, UK.

30th ISME World Conference 2012 15-20 July 2012 The International Society for Music Education presents ‘Music Pædeia: From Ancient Greek Philosophers Toward Global Music Communities’. Thessaloniki, Greece.


Music for Youth Schools Prom 7-9 November 2011 Inspirational performances from some of the country's finest young musicians and singers. Royal Albert Hall, London, UK.

NAME National Conference 23-24 September 2011 The National Association of Music Educators national conference provides training, development and critical debate for music teaching professionals. Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, Stone, Staffordshire, UK.

musiclearninglive!2013 Feb/March 2013 Music Education UK’s national festival of music education. Date and venue to be announced.

2012 onwards musiclearninglive!2012 12-13 March 2012

musiclearningliveSingapore!2013 July 2013 Music Education Sg’s first international festival of music education for the Asia-Pacific region. Date and venue to be announced.

29th British Kodály Academy Summer School 7-12 August 2011 Residential course in Kodály musicianship and methodology. University of Leicester, UK.


4th International Music Council World Forum on Music 26 September-1 October 2011 Speakers and participants from Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, the Arab world and the American

Want to get listed? Visit to browse event listings and to submit your own events to our editorial team.

Music Education UK magazine: Summer 2011 |

New for Bowed Strings The new ABRSM Violin syllabus (2012–2015) will be published in July 2011, along with revised scale and sight-reading requirements for all bowed string instruments. Further information on the new syllabuses can be found online at

New supporting publications Available from July 2011 • The new Violin Exam Pieces books contain a selection of pieces from the new ABRSM Violin syllabus. Recordings will also be available on CD and as audio downloads. • Books of Scales & Arpeggios and Specimen Sight-Reading Tests will be published for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. Grade


Violin Exam Pieces 2012–2015 Score, Part & CD


Cello Specimen Sight-Reading Tests



Double Bass Scales & Arpeggios


with w it




Double Bass

Exam Pieces

Specimen Sight-Reading Tests

Scales & Arpeggios

ABRSM Grade 1 Selected from the

2012–2015 syllabus

ABRSM Grades 6–8 from 2012

ABRSM Grades 1–5 from 2012

A ABRSM BRSM p publications ublications are a re a available vailable ffrom rom m music usic rretailers etailers w worldwide orldwide a and nd a att w ABRSM is the leading authority on musical assessment, with graded music exams available in over 35 subjects. cts. To find out more, visit our website:


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Music Education UK magazine issue 1  

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