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zone He nle y Sp ec Revi e ial Iss w ue

Hooray, Henley. Or has the music education sector lost the plot?

In Colour Life after Henley: ‘Now it’s up to us’ Cover feature

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march 2011 / digital issue 21

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What’s next after Henley? A special report on Darren Henley’s Review of Music Education in England by Clare Stevens


‘Now it’s up to us’

Katherine Zeserson fires our opening salvo in the great Henley debate p5

A Week in the Life Multitasking with Brian Cotterill p19


Voice in a Million at the O2 p23

Hear My Music

A new advocacy organisation p29

Education in the Big Society The first music Free School? p17

Singing for Water

Choirs celebrate World Water Day p20

Go Figure

Figurenotes comes to Scotland p26

Theta Music Trainer

Online aural training software reviewed p31 zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


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zonedigital edition March 2011 Editor Cathy Tozer Contributors

Hooray, Henley? The publication of Darren Henley’s Review of Music Education in England on 7 Feb 2011 has caused a right ruckus at Zone magazine – and in the wider music education world. After receiving an initial flurry of relieved press releases from the great and the good in music education, we dug deeper and found not a few in the sector who are perplexed, sceptical and even downright angry about a report that invites as many questions as it provides answers. In this Henley Review Special, we look at the bigger picture. Journalist, Clare Stevens sets the Review in context with an examination of how it came to be commissioned and how the government and the music education sector have responded, before asking ‘What next?’ (from page 7). Director of Learning and Participation at The Sage Gateshead, Katherine Zeserson expresses concern about aspects of the Review and reflects on ‘our national vision of education itself’ (opposite, page 5) while David Price, Senior Associate at the Innovation Unit, Nick Howdle of Youth Music and Deborah Annetts of the Incorporated Society of Musicians contribute their own responses. Clare Stevens, David Price and Katherine Zeserson continue the debate at musiclearninglive!2011, Zone’s national

festival of music education, which takes place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow on 3 & 4 March 2011. Drake Music Scotland and Hear My Music – both of whom are leading sessions at the conference – have contributed articles to the magazine on Figurenotes (page 26) and Self-Advocacy in Community Music (page 29) respectively. Other contributions include a report on Sing for Water by WaterAid (page 20), an interview with music teacher, Nathalie Richardson about her proposal to open a free state music Primary school under the government’s Free Schools scheme (page 17) and regular features, ‘A Week in the Life’ with Director of Music at Lanesborough School, Brian Cotterill (page 19) and ‘Q&A’ with aspiring rock singer, Annalise Elgar (page 23). We round the issue off with a review of the new online aural training resource, Theta Music Trainer (page 31). So, are you a Hooray Henley or a brave dissenter? Email us at and we’ll publish the best responses online at! Cathy Tozer Editor

Katherine Zeserson WaterAid Thursa Sanderson Nathalie Richardson David Price Liz Nicholas Nicola McTeer Nick Howdle Brian Cotterill Emily Carr Deborah Annetts

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‘Now it’s up to us’ Nobody has a monopoly on The Right Way To Do Music Education, argues Katherine Zeserson, Director of Learning and Participation at The Sage Gateshead – Consortium Partner in Sing Up, the National Singing Programme – as she kicks off Zone’s debate on the Henley Review.


or a Secretary of State for Education to commission a Review of Music Education that secures significant investment in children and young people’s music-making at a time of severe economic constraint is – without question – A GOOD THING. For that Review to stimulate rigorous discussions leading to improved outcomes for children and young people in the long-term would be an even better thing. Much of that latter task falls to us and what follows are my first contributions to the debate.

I think the single greatest achievement of the Music Manifesto was the forging of a coalition of

partners (albeit a fragile one) across what we began to call our ‘sector’. We started talking about our different professional identities, practices and objectives - community musicians, instrumental ‘I have listened carefully for the voice of children and young people in the Review and am not yet hearing it.’ tutors, classroom teachers, professional performers, Higher Education colleagues – and focussing on areas of common purpose. By the 2007 publication of Report No. 2, a core truth had emerged – nobody had a monopoly on The Right

Way To Do Music Education. In fact, no one had a monopoly on what ‘music education’ even was. The notion of partnership took centre stage, based on the idea that to enable all children to fully realise their abilities in and through music we’d need a landscape of diverse provision that was responsive, progressive and inclusive. Informal, formal and non-formal sites of music-making – within and without schools – were recognised as having different and equal validity, or so I perhaps naively thought. And that was when we started talking about Hubs – partnerships providing a variety of opportunities in a local area to include all children and young people in making music and

The Sage Gateshead’s Foundation Studio. Photo: Chris Duran

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


The Henley Review

‘If the education system as a whole reverts to a Gradgrindian focus on facts, then our concerns about music will be dwarfed by a much greater crisis of culture, ethics and citizenship.’

Katherine Zeserson


zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

The Henley Review

learning; irrespective of economic circumstance, musical taste or academic propensity. So it is encouraging to find Hubs so firmly recommended by Darren Henley. It is, however, puzzling to read that they are likely to be led by Local Authorities – I’m wondering on what evidence he believes this will be the best way of ensuring effective partnership provision? How does this recommendation square with principles of outcome-based planning and best value? Or with open, transparent tendering processes? Another key focus of the last five years has been on the workforce – who is in it, how we are trained and prepared, what our responsibilities are. Whilst it is reassuring to see Review references to the importance of workforce development, it does sit at odds with – for example – nationwide reductions in PGCE music provision. It also really concerns me to see the focus on bringing Conservatoire graduates – which in current UK practice means predominantly classical musicians – into schools. Don’t we want to see excellent musicians of all kinds entering the teaching workforce?

And then there’s the pyramid of achievement... I am always disturbed by models of music that look like mountains we have to climb, with the weak falling from the slopes as the going gets tough on the ascent to the peak. Music is not a mountain, it is a whole universe and we each have a lifetime to explore it. Very few of us proceed in a straight line ‘The REAL point of 'music education' – to help people grow into creative, confident and collaborative citizens, whether they end up as singers or surgeons... or both!’ or know where we want to go when we set out. As a society, we must value the eagerness to participate as much as the ambition to excel and ensure that both are effectively resourced. If we don’t do that, then we fail to include all citizens equally – which is morally bankrupt. I have listened carefully for the voice of children and young people in the Review and am not yet hearing it. I wonder to what extent the recommendations account for their directly expressed experiences and aspirations. I think it unethical and unwise to discount their perspective;

we must work hard to ensure that children and young people are included in the process of writing the National Plan for Music... And finally, I come to the classroom; not very much focussed on in the Review. This is the real heartland, isn’t it? Our national vision of education itself. We must avoid subject sectarianism, so that in our concern to protect an entitlement to music we do not lose sight of the wider issues. What is the place of creativity in education? What is the objective of schooling? If the education system as a whole reverts to a Gradgrindian focus on facts, then our concerns about music will be dwarfed by a much greater crisis of culture, ethics and citizenship. So as we start to understand and implement the outcomes of the Henley Review, and help write the National Plan for Music, let’s keep remembering the REAL point of ‘music education’ – to help people grow into creative, confident and collaborative citizens, whether they end up as singers or surgeons... or both! The Sage Gateshead

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Plus ça change: What’s next after Henley? The Henley Review of Music Education in England was published on 7 February 2011 after much nail-biting by the music education establishment. Clare Stevens examines the roots of the Review, its 36 recommendations and the responses from a highly fragmented sector.


t doesn’t take long for the dust to settle on a music education report. My bookshelves are crammed with them, from the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Joining In: An Investigation into Participatory Music (1997) through various chunky National Association of Music Educators (NAME) publications and three Music Manifesto reports to the most recent Ofsted evaluation of music in schools 2005-2008 – Making More of Music – and

Darren Henley

a host of others. And that’s just from the last 15 years or so. Will the impact of the Henley Review of Music Education in England, published on 7 February 2011, prove to be stronger or longer lasting than any of these? Background Received opinion is that the era of New Labour was a good one for music education in England. It was certainly a time of unprecedented activity, ignited by Sir Simon Rattle’s Channel 4 documentary, Don’t Stop the Music, which highlighted the threat to music provision posed by delegation of budget management from Local Authorities (LAs) to schools, some of which, it was feared, were not prioritising music. The universal provision of instrumental lessons in state schools free of charge that had nurtured so many musicians of Rattle’s generation was being eroded, with some education authorities instituting fees for lessons that proved

a barrier to low-income families. The then education secretary, David Blunkett, paid heed to Rattle and introduced the standards fund, allocated to LAs and ring-fenced for Music Services. The national charity Youth Music was founded, with a mandate to ensure that children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds had access to musical activities outside school hours. A campaign for music education led by Evelyn Glennie and Julian Lloyd Webber caught the attention of Blunkett’s successor, Charles Clarke and schools minister, David Miliband, who is married to a professional violinist, and the result was the Music Manifesto, published as an 18-page booklet in 2004 with Marc Jaffrey appointed as its champion. The Music Manifesto had five key aims: • to provide every young person with first access to a range of music experiences • to provide more opportunities for young people to deepen and broaden their musical interests and skills • to identify and nurture ‘our most talented young musicians’ • to develop a world-class workforce in music education • to improve the support structures for young people’s music-making It was signed by representatives of government, education, arts organisations, the music business and individuals, all of whom pledged to support and help deliver its objectives. Two much more detailed Music Manifesto reports followed in 2005 and 2006, including analysis and proposals which informed music education in England for the remainder of the Labour administration. Out of all this activity came initiatives such as the national singing campaign, Sing Up; the three In Harmony projects in Lambeth, Liverpool and Norwich, inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema; the KS2 wholeclass instrumental and vocal teaching programme, Wider Opportunities; expansion of the government’s Music and Dance Scheme with the launch of new Centres for Advanced Training to produce a better geographical spread; and the

Musical Futures project, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and pioneering pupil-led music learning at Secondary level. The coalition government’s approach to music education While still in opposition, the Conservative party indicated a high level of interest in music education, albeit expressed more overtly by Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey of the shadow culture department than by their opposite numbers at education. In office, however, education secretary Michael Gove turned his attention to music and, last September, he asked Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM and chair of the Music Manifesto Partnership and Advocacy Group (now wound up), to undertake a three-month review of music education, jointly commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and supported by an administrative team from both departments. Gove stated that he would like the review ‘to be open and outward-facing and to take account of the wide range of views and issues from across the music sector’. However, he stipulated that Henley should base his work on a number of specific assumptions – for example, that public funding should be used primarily to meet the government priorities of every child having the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and to sing, with a clearly defined journey of progression; that delivery models should meet the needs of children and young people as defined by parents and schools rather than being supplier-led; and that recommendations should include thoughts on initial training and continuing professional development (CPD) to improve the skills and confidence of both classroom teachers (a response to Ofsted criticism) and specialist teachers and orchestral musicians in teaching music in schools. Gove also stated that, as proposed changes would not be achievable before the start of the new

01 / mar 2010 ©© zone new media 2010 zone magazine digital edition 21 march 2011 zone new media 2011 /

continues on p 11


Summary of Recommendations made by the Henley Review

Recommendation 17

Recommendation 1

Authority Music Services, Arts Council England client

Schools should provide children with a broad Music Education,



Youth Music should operate under a set of tightly targeted

which includes performing, composing, listening, reviewing

organisations. The focus for Ofsted’s work in this area should

objectives, defined and monitored by the Department for

and evaluating.

be on the quality of teaching, leadership and management,

Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and

with the aim of raising standards and increasing levels of

Arts Council England. Its administration costs should be in line

achievement among pupils.

with other lottery distributors and, like these other bodies,

Recommendation 2





Youth Music should be prevented from spending any

Singing should be an important part of every child’s school life from Early Years through until at least Key Stage 3. Recommendation 3

Recommendation 12

government or lottery funds on lobbying and public affairs

Arts Council England should fund its client organisations to


deliver Music Education programmes in accordance with the

All children at Key Stage 2 should have the opportunity to learn

National Music Plan. All of these programmes should operate

an instrument through whole class ensemble teaching. Ideally,

under the same quality framework, inspected by Ofsted.

Youth Music should be required to maintain the central resources of the Sing Up programme (the Song Bank and

this would be for a period of one year, but at the barest minimum, one term of weekly tuition should be offered.

Recommendation 18

Recommendation 13

website), which should be made available to schools to use on

Music Education in school and out of school should continue

an on-going basis. Funding for the four year Sing Up initiative

Recommendation 4

to be funded through a mixed economic model. This should

has always been scheduled to end in March 2011. However,

There should be a clear progression route for children after the

include ring-fenced funding from central government, funding

as part of the transition funding in the 2011-12 financial year,

initial free opportunity for instrumental tuition is made

from Arts Council England, funding from Local Authorities,

a slimmed-down Sing Up should receive some funding to help

available. This route would be means tested, with parents

funding from the National Lottery and through fees from

it to ensure that the legacy of the initial four years of

above an agreed income level expected to fund, or part fund,

parents. In addition, it is anticipated that funding will also

investment remains in place.


come for national and local projects from private sources,

Recommendation 5

including charities and foundations and through sponsorship

Recommendation 19

from industry and from philanthropists.

Both Arts Council England and Youth Music may wish to examine the possibility of supporting an In Harmony style

Music should continue to be offered by schools at Key Stage

model moving forwards, perhaps through the development of

4 and beyond, allowing pupils to gain GCSE, BTEC and A level

Recommendation 14

qualifications in the subject.

Schools, Local Authority Music Services, Arts Council England

a standalone charitable trust. Although In Harmony is an


expensive initiative, early evidence suggests that whole school

Recommendation 6

organisations should work together to create Music Education

provision in a single school with a single lead cultural

Schools should facilitate live music-making opportunities and

Hubs in each Local Authority area. These Hubs should receive

organisation creates radical improvements in educational

performances for children and young people. Arts Council

ring-fenced central government funding to deliver Music

attainment for the children involved. It is recommended that

England funded organisations and other recognised Music

Education in each area following an open, advertised bidding

existing projects be funded for a further transition year against






Education organisations should be encouraged to play a

process. It is anticipated that there would be a lead

the membership criteria currently being developed by the

meaningful role in providing these opportunities, however they

organisation (which is likely to be a Local Authority Music

Department for Education and the Department for Culture,

should link more closely to curriculum objectives.

Service in almost all cases, but in some cases could also be

Media and Sport. If these projects fail to meet the minimum

an Arts Council England client organisation or other recognised

criteria, they should not receive further public funds.

Recommendation 7

delivery organisation). This lead organisation would be directly

Beyond the classroom, children should have the opportunity

funded to undertake the leading role in each Hub. The

Recommendation 20

to take part in vocal and instrumental ensembles. These

Department for Education should ensure that public funds are

The Music and Dance Scheme and the National Youth Music

should either be offered in schools or by bringing pupils

invested to provide the highest quality Music Education for

Organisations should continue to receive funding from the

together from schools in a wider locality.

children and young people efficiently and with the greatest

Department for Education, from Arts Council England and from

accountability for the money spent.

Youth Music. We should acknowledge their role in showcasing

Recommendation 15

foster. The public funding for these organisations from the Department for Education, Arts Council England and Youth

the high level of talent that our Music Education system can

Recommendation 8 The best model for Music Education includes a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental and vocal music tuition

All partner organisations working together in Music Education

and input from professional musicians. Partnership between

Hubs should be encouraged to make back office cost savings.

Music should be directed towards developing young people’s

organisations is the key to success.

It may also be possible to make savings across a number of

musical performance to the highest level. Gaining a place in

local areas through the development of wider partnerships.

one of our National Youth Music ensembles is a considerable

Recommendation 9

This could include the merger of senior management and

achievement both for the young person concerned and for the

The provision of Music Education should remain a statutory

support functions over a number of Local Authority areas. It

teachers who have helped them to get there. It should be

requirement as part of the National Curriculum.

may also be appropriate for particularly successful Local

celebrated as such. Given the considerable investment in the

Authority Music Services to undertake to offer Music Education

Music and Dance Scheme, the Department for Education

Recommendation 10

provision in neighbouring areas.

should ensure that this continues to offer the best possible value for money.

The Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should work together to develop a national

Recommendation 16

plan for Music Education in England (The National Music Plan).

Currently, musical instruments are purchased on an ad hoc

Recommendation 21

basis by music services and schools. This should be replaced

Much primary school classroom teaching of music is provided

Recommendation 11

by one centralised national purchasing system, building on the

by non-specialist teachers. The amount of time dedicated to

Ofsted’s remit should be expanded to include the reviewing of

recommendations of Sir Philip Green in his recent report to

music in most Initial Teacher Training courses is inadequate

standards in Music Education provided in schools by Local

the Cabinet Office about government procurement.


continues on p 12

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

The Henley Review

continued from p 9

financial year 2011-2012, the review should include recommendations for ‘a transitional stage to take us from the current to the future landscape’. Henley: The evidence and the verdict Darren Henley’s first step was to issue a call for evidence, inviting deliverers of music education, both in and out of school, including public, private and voluntary sector providers of music services to children and young people, schools, parents and carers to make known their views to him, focussed by five consultation questions. Hundreds of

documents were submitted in response, all of which were read by Henley himself. He also discussed aspects of the review in person with 72 people in 55 meetings and visits to music education settings across the country. Publication of the review was delayed until ministers from the DfE and DCMS had had a chance to consider it and formulate a response which was published alongside it and addressed each of Henley’s recommendations. Music Education in England takes the form of an analysis of the current music education landscape and 36 recommendations for change or in some cases preservation of the status quo – see pages 10 and 12 – each accompanied by an explanatory note summarising the thinking behind them. In company with the authors of so many previous reports, Henley identified the inconsistency of provision across the

country from one Local Authority to another as the main challenge that needs to be addressed. Henley: The government’s response The government broadly endorsed the findings of the review and pledged itself to addressing some of the issues raised immediately. Others will receive further consideration while some fall outside the government’s remit. Most importantly, the DfE has now confirmed £82.5m funding for 2011-12, most of which is for Local Authorities ‘for the purposes of music education’ (though as several commentators have pointed out this represents a reduction in real terms to the current level of LA funding). It has pledged £500k for the year to support In Harmony and will also give some transitional funding to Sing Up, which must become self-sufficient by next year. The government will draw up a national plan for music education, to be ready for implementation at the start of the 2011-12 financial year. As part of this process, it will agree a national funding formula that over time will iron out the largest inequalities in music education funding to Local Authorities that have emerged over the last ten years or more. continues on p 12

Singing Playgounds. But for how much longer? Photo: Clare Stevens

So, Henley is out and there is much to

‘Looked-After Children’ are mentioned, the

routes. Discussions within our networks

welcome. The report gives reassurance to

Review makes little allowance for those

confirm that it would be dangerous to assume

parts of the sector and forewarns others of

beyond the mainstream. Some fantastic work

progression follows one standard route.

change. But, how will the Henley Review and

has been done in this area – often delivered

the government’s response move forward the

by small, grassroots organisations – which can

Quality is an essential ingredient to success

agenda for English music education?

be seen as appropriate to the Pupil Premium.

but if we want a diverse and creative musical

We are delighted at the prospect that music

Despite initial reference to Creative

be one single definition of best practice.

environment for young people, there cannot

providers will work in genuine partnership to

Industries, the Review itself does not contain

There is also little consideration of wider

Many areas of practice have evolved their

create ‘Hubs’ where young people can

the word ‘creativity’. How will music

music genres, including folk, rock, pop and

own definitions of quality. We now need to

access high-quality music opportunities,

education feed the growth of those Industries

urban music, which are key parts of that

consolidate these to increase our

regardless of geographical or personal

and the skills they require as well as

creative economy.

understanding and appreciation of the

There is no sense in Henley’s Review that


circumstances. Stakeholders from across the

nurturing wider creative skills? The Review

sector have already contributed to thinking

places a great deal of emphasis on talented

around local and regional provision which

musical instrumentalists but only 3% of the

children and young people have the potential

could potentially assist Hub development.

thousands of people in our creative sector

or creativity to contribute to their own

We look forward to working with DfE, DCMS,

(the UK’s 3rd largest export industry) are

development. Instead, there is an

Arts Council England and others to achieve

incredible skills base we have at our

However, as we build a National Music

performers. Recognising the high percentage

assumption that music education

the best possible musical outcomes for

(Education) Plan, we need to urge

of young people who see themselves as

experiences should be delivered to them.

children and young people.

government to recognise and consider issues

creators, Arts Council England stated in their

that are ominous in their absence from the

consultation paper for Achieving Great Art

In our experience, the most successful and

forefront of the Review.

For Everyone, ‘We want the music sector to

fulfilled young musical people take musical

Nick Howdle is Director of Programmes at

recognise young people as creators of their

journeys that are individually suited to them,

Youth Music

own musical experiences’.

frequently swerving prescribed progression

Although ‘Special Educational Needs’ and

Nick Howdle, Youth Music zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


Summary of Recommendations made by the Henley Review

continued from p 10

musicians to spend two years teaching in schools before they

examines how learning from the Sing Up and In Harmony

to create a workforce that is confident in its own ability to teach

move onto their performance career.

projects might be developed as a model for narrowing the gap in attainment through the use of the pupil premium.

the subject in the classroom. It is recommended that a new minimum number of hours of ITT for primary music teachers

Recommendation 27

be spent on the delivery of Music Education.

Leadership training among the Music Education workforce is

Recommendation 33

at best patchy. It is recommended that a credible and

As part of the National Music Plan, further work should be

Recommendation 22

experienced management training provider be commissioned

undertaken to develop a national plan for the use of

All primary schools should have access to a specialist music

to provide a nationwide management development scheme

technology in the delivery of Music Education – and to ensure


targeted specifically at music educators.

that the workforce is up-to-date with latest developments. This review should examine how technology could enable better

Recommendation 23

Recommendation 28

Secondary school music teachers should be allowed the time

All music teachers should be encouraged to register on a

teaching of music (particularly in rural communities) as well as ways in which new methods of creating music that embrace

to work closely with their local Music Education Hubs and

national database, which allows them to use a kite mark. This

technological innovation are taught in the classroom.

feeder primaries.

would provide parents with a base-level of quality assurance.

Recommendation 24

Recommendation 29

The Music Education world is fragmented and uncoordinated.

A new qualification should be developed for music educators,

The existing place of graded examinations in school

There are too many organisations that have overlapping areas

which would professionalise and acknowledge their role in and

performance tables should be better communicated to pupils,

of interest. These organisations need to join together to create

out of school. Primarily delivered through in-post training and

parents, schools, Further and Higher Education providers and

one single body.

continuous professional development, musicians who gain this


Recommendation 34

new qualification would be regarded as Qualified Music

Recommendation 35

Educators. It would be as applicable to peripatetic music

Recommendation 30

A review of charitable organisations working in the Music

teachers as it would be to orchestral musicians who carry out

To make it easier for parents to understand the full breadth of

Education sector should be undertaken with the aim of

Music Education as part of their working lives.

music-making opportunities for their children, schools should

ensuring that money donated to these charities is being spent

be encouraged to use their websites to communicate to

in the most efficient and effective way.

Recommendation 25

parents and carers the totality of Music Education

Conservatoires should be recognised as playing a greater part

opportunities in their local area.

in the development of a performance-led Music Education

Recommendation 36 As suggested in the recent White Paper, ‘The Importance of

workforce of the future. All graduates from Conservatoires

Recommendation 31

Teaching’, it is recommended that the lessons from this Review

should study the necessary components within their

Arts Council England’s Take It Away scheme, which provides

be applied to other areas of Cultural Education including

undergraduate courses to enable them to leave with the

loans for the purchase of instruments, should continue.

Dance, Drama, Film, the Visual Arts, Museums, the Built

Qualified Music Educator award.

However, it should be focused on providing loans for those in

Environment and Heritage.

full-time education of any age. The full text of the Henley Review and the government’s

Recommendation 26 The Conservatoires should work with Teach First to create a

Recommendation 32

response are available on the Zone Magazine website,

Teach Music First programme, which enables our best

It is recommended that the Department for Education

continued from p 11

However, a decision on the place of music in the national curriculum will not be made until the curriculum review announced in January is complete. A few days after publication of the review, Michael Gove was interviewed by Tom Service on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters. Describing himself as a fan of music education, he confirmed that the £82.5m funding for 2011-12 was designated specifically for music and could not be used for, say, museum visits or sport but said that ‘not all of it will go to Local Authority Music Services because some of it is for Sing Up and In Harmony’. He added that he hoped the national plan would ‘involve those at LA level, musicians and other industry bodies including the Arts Council in making sure we can guarantee that in each Local Authority area there will be a music hub responsible for securing the additional support that schools will need in order to ensure that there is peripatetic instrumental

tuition, that there is scope for ensembles – singing and playing, that there are sufficient and better trained music teachers not just to maintain but to enhance the quality of music education’. Pressed about his position on music’s place in the national curriculum and in the so-called English Baccalaureate (E-Bacc), however, he refused to be drawn. ‘People will have a hunch about where my heart beats on this matter,’ he said, ‘but by definition if you’re going to have to balance the requirements for schools to teach certain things as a matter of compulsion with a desire to give the very best schools the freedom to set their own priorities, there’s a balance to be struck.’ Henley: The music education sector’s response Initial reactions from some movers and shakers in the education world to the review were enthusiastic. There was relief that the popular Sing

Children from Sing Up, the National Singing Programme


zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

The Henley Review

David Price Was Henley Review Day such a great day for

OFSTED assessed music provision in Primary

Service. A National Music Service with a single,


and Secondary schools as less than ‘good’ in

centralised (and cost-effective) back-office

On Monday, February 7 the UK Secretary of

half of schools inspected over a three-year

function would not only save a ton of money

State for Education, in responding to the

period? When does a review become a piece

and prevent the patchy quality of provision so

Henley Review of Music Education, declared

of advocacy? I suspect it’s when myriad

frequently referred to in reports but also

it a great day for music and that everyone

representative groups bombard you with

ensure that priorities are common across

involved in music in the UK should be

pleas to mention their project/provision and

regions and best practice shared quickly.

pleased with the government’s response.

you produce a report which, as this one does,

Well, perhaps now that the sound of party-

praises everyone and therefore upsets no-

3. That the lasting impression is that our

having a single voice for music education is

poppers and backs being slapped has died

one. Why did the Review, for instance, not

organisations are effective and the quality of

so pressing).

down, it might be an appropriate time for a

mention that the notion of coordinated local

provision is excellent. Why, therefore, would

in an unseemly scramble to make it into the pen before the gate closes (which is why

provision (‘Hubs’) was first mentioned in the

anyone feel the need to follow Henley’s

Music Manifesto report six years ago? If it was

urging for a single national body speaking for

there's a very real possibility that the hidden

My concerns around the Henley Review are

approved then as a good idea - and it was -

music? Fragmentation alone is not a good

agenda behind the government’s support for


and we have had Music Services charged with

enough reason - if it’s working in its own

the Review is to get it off the political hook

slightly chaotic way, why the panic to fix it?

when such a scenario occurs. Having

more objective consideration.

‘It’s entirely possible that we

I’m not a conspiracist by nature but I believe

The net result of the Review and the

supported all the stuff which goes on outside

around the edges and didn’t focus enough on

could lose music at all stages of

government’s response to it is a huge,

school hours, it can claim that kids are still

the core of music education. What goes on in

the curriculum in most of our

collective sigh of relief and, frankly, there'll be

getting a ‘rich cultural experience’, it’s just

schools by 2013.’

little sense of urgency on this issue. There was

that second period on a Thursday is reserved

1. That it was largely discussing the stuff

Primary and Secondary schools as part of the ‘core’ curriculum is where the bulk of music in this country is made - by kids aged 5 to 14.

creating Local Area Music Partnership Plans

some classic political posturing before the

for 'real' academic subjects, not mucking

Review got published: everyone expected the

about on guitars.

I lost count of the number of times I read in

for the past four years, why is it still necessary

worst in terms of funding so that when Music

the papers that week that music education

to say we need better local music

Service jobs and a few projects were

But that's the problem. Fewer than 10% of

receives £82m per year. No, I’m sorry, music

coordination and recommend that the same

financially saved for another year (and it’s only

kids access music instrumental tuition. If you

education receives a heck of a lot more than

Music Services be responsible for it? The

another year) we were all meant to be grateful.

add up all the kids who take part in all the

that - think of every classroom music

unpalatable truth is that many Music Service

If the music community had attended the

other stuff - projects in the community,

teacher’s salary for a start. The whole debate

‘plans’ haven't been worthy of the name and

recent Whole Education event, there might

playing in their local orchestras etc - you

pre and post the publication of Darren

yet making the same call seems to be the

have been a new sense of urgency instilled.

might get that figure up to 25-30%. Music in

Henley’s Review has placed the extra-

new ‘big idea’ of the Review.

For they would have heard Mick Waters

the Primary and Secondary curriculum is the

(former head of curriculum at QCA and a man

only place where every young person gets

curricular work of Music Services’ instrumental tuition services above the core

Please don't get me wrong - I’m not having a

well used to reading the political runes)

exposure to music education and, please

provision in every Primary and Secondary.

pop at Music Services. Some of them do

strongly suggest that music and other arts

take note, media outlets and politicians:

There was more space spent discussing the

coordinate activities very well indeed but for

subjects will be taken out of the compulsory

there is much more to music education than

much-heralded In Harmony projects (which

most of them it’s simply not what they are

core curriculum when the National

learning to play a musical instrument!

currently run in a handful of schools at an

good at, nor does their lack of external

Curriculum Review concludes in two years

unsustainable cost) than there was on the

connections make it possible. Their core

time. We’ve already seen large numbers of

So, will we still look back on Henley Review

quality of the core entitlement in the

business is providing small-group

schools taking steps to remove their music

Day as a great day for music if, in a couple of

curriculum. Which brings me to...

instrumental tuition and why shouldn't they

options post-14 so as to funnel students into

years’ time, it's preserved for the minority but

be left alone to do that? The Review is

the new English Baccalaureate subjects. So

lost as a universal entitlement for everyone?

2. That it was almost entirely uncritical of the

essentially asking them to do what the Youth

it’s entirely possible that we could lose music

quality of current provision and structures.

Sports Trust does for sports in local

at all stages of the curriculum in most of our

David Price is a speaker, advisor and trainer,

How is it possible to do a comprehensive

communities but with no recommendations

schools by 2013. We know that the

working in education. He is a Senior

review of music education and not refer to

as to how to restructure themselves. Well,

government is determined to reduce the

Associate at the Innovation Unit.

the most recent OFSTED review of music

here’s a radical idea, one I would like to have

number of subjects within the core

This article was taken from his blog:

provision in school? Could it be because

seen in the Review: nationalise the Music

curriculum: cue subject pitted against subject

Up campaign had been reprieved (though at the time of Zone’s publication the level of support had still not been announced) and that money had been found to support Music Services. NAME recognised the ‘care and understanding with which Darren Henley carried out the review’ and

commended Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey for their continuing financial support of music education in the short term as well as for their acknowledgement that ‘music is an enriching and valuable academic subject’. The Federation of Music Services said that ‘by backing the report’s

recommendation for a national plan for music education, the government has shown its commitment to work with us, schools and all music educators to make Darren Henley’s vision a reality – to provide all children with the music education

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

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Following consultation with our 5,500

However, questions over future funding and

The ISM has launched a campaign calling for

members, the ISM submitted a substantial

models remain uncertain as does the place

music to be included in the English

document to the Henley Review of Music

of music in the curriculum and whether or

Baccalaureate and we are asking our

Education and we are pleased to see that

not Michael Gove, Secretary of State for

many of the recommendations we made

Education, will reconsider his decision to

current generation of young people. Exposing

were taken on board.

exclude music from the English

children to music throughout their Primary


and Secondary education is critical: music-

In the meantime, the government will be

making improves children’s achievement in

introducing a National Music Plan which is

The Review itself made a number of excellent

members and everyone who cares about music to help.

recommendations in support of music,

This is something we at the ISM are very

other key areas of education such as literacy,

expected to be published toward the end of

including the protection of music within our

concerned about because the current

numeracy and social skills. Taking part in

this year. This plan will provide a more

curriculum, that music must be available at

exclusion of music from the English

music at school also ensures that we

detailed response to Darren Henley’s

Key Stage 4 or GCSE level, recognition of the

Baccalaureate is having an immediate

generate both the audiences of the future

recommendations and the ISM will be

professional standards of music teachers

impact on its place in schools. We have

and the talented musicians who work in our

working hard over the coming months to

and a commitment to support Local Music

already been contacted by members who are

constantly growing creative and cultural

ensure that music retains its rightful place at

Education Hubs.

faced with GCSE Music being sidelined as

economy. We also know that the public

the heart of our young people’s education.

Head Teachers scramble to increase

supports music in schools: in a recent

We welcome the government’s response

attainment figures across the five subject

YouGov poll commissioned by the ISM, an

acknowledging music as ‘an enriching and

categories included within the qualification.

overwhelming 97% of adults who expressed

Incorporated Society of Musicians and Chair,

an opinion thought that children should be

Music Education Council

taught music in schools.

valuable academic subject’ and committing to funding Music Services in the coming year.

This could be potentially devastating for our

Deborah Annetts is Chief Executive,

Deborah Annetts, ISM 14

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

The Henley Review

continued from p 13

they deserve’. The ABRSM described it as ‘unprecedented in its holistic perspective on music education in this country’ and praised its emphasis on a clear progression route for children who show aptitude in music and its call for a new qualification for music educators. Arts Council England concurred with the view that ‘an over-reliance on projects rather than sustained activity has sometimes contributed to a lack of clarity on all sides about how to focus that activity on a common objective’.

edges’ and seeming to equate music education with learning to play an instrument rather than focussing on what goes on in Primary and Secondary schools – ‘where the bulk of music in this country is made’ – as well as for being almost entirely uncritical of the quality of current provision and structures. He fears that because the review is largely positive and Music Services and some projects have been saved by a short-term injection of an inadequate amount of cash, the net result is ‘a huge sigh of relief’ and little sense of urgency. Henley: The sting in the tail

But there are dissenting voices, expressing concern about issues such as the challenge of implementing Henley’s plan for local music hubs when Secondary heads of music are so stretched that they cannot look beyond their own school

But it was the NUT’s response that really got to the nub of the matter. ‘Many Music Services have already been hit by cuts to Local Authority budgets,’ said its general secretary, Christine Blower. ‘With

What’s in it for them? Katherine Zeserson argues that the Henley Review is biased towards classical music. See page 5

gates or about the swing away from creativity towards a more traditional, didactic interpretation of what music education is. They note the limited discussion of music technology, popular music and world music in the review. Some of the most trenchant observations have come from bloggers Jonathan Savage of Manchester Metropolitan University and David Price, founding director of Musical Futures. Savage welcomes many aspects of the review but is sceptical about the government’s response. He believes that Michael Gove will ignore Henley’s plea for music to be kept in the national curriculum; he thinks the wording of the £82.5m funding announcement leaves a lot of ‘wriggle room’; and he has concerns about Henley’s suggestions about teacher training, particularly regarding conservatoire graduates being persuaded to join the Teach First programme. David Price criticises the review for ‘largely discussing stuff around the

Inflation running at near 5%, the freezing of funding does not ‘protect’ Music Services as the government claims. This is a real terms cut which ‘Unless vested interests and conflicting ideologies are set aside, the sector will never






necessary to produce a coherent national plan for the future.’ will be compounded by the possibility of Local Authorities losing up to 10% of their music budgets as the government moves towards a national funding formula. There is no point in pontificating about the benefits that music brings to children and young people if you do not fund it properly. Securing funding for just one year does not give schools the confidence to invest in something they may not be able to fund the following year.’

The NUT’s concerns were borne out by reports as this issue of Zone went to press of one council meeting after another voting to make drastic cuts to Music Service funding. Given that they are also cutting basic public services such as street cleaning and lighting and care for the elderly, not to mention libraries, it is hardly surprising. There are also reports of vociferous demonstrations by students and parents forcing councils to look again at their budgets but many Music Services are considering options for working on completely different financial models. This may not, of course, be a bad thing – different need not necessarily mean worse. But it is likely to mean the loss of genuinely open access. What next? Richard Hallam, who, as national music participation director, has been at Darren Henley’s side through the review process, told Zone that the responsibility for raising the starting tape on the next stage of the process, the development of a national music plan to take us beyond March 2012, lies with the DfE’s Angela Ruggles. ‘At present, all of her time is being spent sorting out the technical details of the funding for next year which is obviously of pressing importance,’ he says. ‘I am sure she will get information [about the national plan] out to the sector generally as soon as possible – not least because everyone I know is wondering about how they will get involved! I think Angela is really hoping to get things sorted by July so that 2012 to 2015 can be sorted out earlier than circumstances have dictated for the 2011/2012 funding.’ To those of us watching from the sidelines, there is an obstacle to progress that sadly may be more fundamental than funding issues and it’s one that Darren Henley clearly identified. ‘The music education world is fragmented and uncoordinated,’ he said bluntly. ‘There are too many organisations that have overlapping areas of interest. These organisations need to join together to create one single body.’ As these organisations have published their reactions to Henley, each focussing on their particular area of interest, that fragmentation has been all too apparent; the words ‘turkey’ and Christmas’, not to mention ‘cats in a sack’, come to mind. But unless vested interests and conflicting ideologies are set aside, the sector will never speak with the single voice necessary to produce a coherent national plan for the future. If it doesn’t, the Henley Review may well become just another forgotten document on the DfE’s bookshelf.

Visit for all weblinks

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The UK National Festival of Music Education

musiclearninglive!2012 musiclearninglive! comes back to Scotland in 2012. Register your interest online. Presented by Zone New Media

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be back!

Freedom to Choose – Education in the Big Society We’ve all heard teachers and parents bemoaning the lack of music in certain Primary schools but how many of us would put our money where our mouth is and place music at the heart of the Primary curriculum? Music teacher, Nathalie Richardson plans to do just that by opening a free state music Primary school under the government’s Free Schools scheme. Cathy Tozer caught up with her at the proposal stage.

CT What inspired you to consider opening a free state music school and what is your prime motivation? NR I’ve been running Step Up Music Theatre School in South London for 15 years and currently have four branches in Blackheath, Sydenham, Bromley and Essex. I also run after-school clubs in local Primary schools and teach singing and piano privately. As a result, I’m aware of the impact of music on the lives of my students and have encountered many children from different backgrounds whose lives have been dramatically enhanced through access to good tuition and inspired teachers. I’m also aware and of how little music some of them learn at school. Even if they do quite a lot of music, it’s often not taught by specialists. My interest in music began with free tuition at Primary school where I started playing the recorder. I also learnt the guitar and moved on to the piano when I joined London’s Centre for Young Musicians (CYM). I was very lucky to have this amount of access to free music tuition and feel it should be an entitlement for all children – not just those who can afford to pay. As well as access to free music tuition, my main motivation is to provide a school in which music tuition can positively influence teaching in the core academic subjects. The skills that children learn through music set them up for life whether they choose to pursue music as a career or not. Playing an instrument requires focus, discipline and commitment and these skills can be applied to all academic subjects. In my experience, music classes provide a cross-disciplinary approach to learning (for example, mathematical and reading skills are improved by learning rhythms and decoding notes and symbols) that is invaluable. CT How long have you been planning the project? NR I’ve been planning the RIMU Primary Music Academy – to be based in Greenwich – for two years. The Free Schools scheme has given me the opportunity to develop the concept of a music-

focussed Primary school. The idea behind the scheme is not just to provide much-needed school places but also to have the freedom to create a school that is unique and will offer an alternative choice of education. CT How will your school differ from other Primary schools and what will it provide that other Primary schools don't already? NR Every day, all children at RIMU will have their normal core academic subjects, plus French from Reception and Latin for Years 5 and 6, combined with a specially devised music programme which will include Kodály, Rhythmics, recorder and keyboard tuition, vocal and instrumental ensembles, theory of music and performance workshops. All students will have drama and dance in their weekly timetable as well as the opportunity in Year 5 to study verbal and non-verbal reasoning, giving them the chance to apply for Grammar schools if that’s the path they wish to pursue. Our aim is that each subject, including music, will be taught by specialist teachers, although all teachers at RIMU will come from a musical background. CT Free Schools are a very new and somewhat controversial concept. Why do you think your school should be funded? Isn’t there a danger of taking money away from ‘conventional’ schools? NR I believe there is a clear need for a school that will not only offer school places in Greenwich but also a unique choice of education to parents who want greater access to a musical education for their children. I have had confirmation from Greenwich Children's Services that there is a need for more school places in the area. I am also aware that Music Services have been greatly reduced by many Local Authorities due to lack of funding. As far as taking money away from ‘conventional’ schools is concerned, the children will fulfill the same academic criteria as in those schools. CT Could you explain how funding works?

NR The core principle is that Free Schools are funded on the basis of equivalence with the funding of maintained schools and academies in the same Local Authority area. CT Is the RIMU Primary Music Academy based on any particular established model, for example, Hungarian schools? What kind of music curriculum

will you embrace? For example, will you follow a particular methodology or musical ‘style’? NR Although I’ve been influenced by schools in Europe as well as some UK schools who work hard to include a varied and interesting programme of music, RIMU is very much my own idea based on my experience of teaching music and my experience with my own children who are both currently at Junior Guildhall. My son, who is four, is on the Kindergarten Course and my daughter, who is six, has just started on the String Programme playing the violin. It was through their experience with Kodály and Rhythmics that I became really interested in both these teaching methods. Cyrilla Rowsell, who teaches on the Guildhall String Programme and is Secretary of the British Kodály Academy, has been hugely inspirational and has kindly agreed to be a patron of RIMU. The school will be very much driven by singing which I believe is key to developing a child’s musical ability. We will embrace many musical styles from classical to jazz, world music and musical theatre. CT Your own background in school management is with private after-school stage schools. How do you

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feel this equips you to run a successful ‘mainstream’ school? NR The children who attend Step Up come mainly from mainstream state schools. My team and I work hard to give them as much variety as possible in courses and performance experience and many

have gone on to have great success in their chosen careers. We currently have children performing in West End shows, we appeared on Don’t Stop Believing on Channel 5 in July 2010 and continue to have students who leave Step Up to go on to wellestablished organisations such as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Two students recently won scholarships to their chosen colleges.

years when she worked for City and Guilds. As all of her children have attended Step Up and two are members of acts that I manage, she understands from a parent's perspective the commitment required. There are four other members of the steering group at RIMU: Lucy Tregear has helped with the development of the literacy aspect of the timetable and Philip Viera with business planning; Andrew Hayler and Stacey Shepherd Williams have both worked at Step Up for many years and have a huge amount of experience in teaching music and the performing arts. Stacey is currently Head of Drama at a Secondary boys’ school and is very experienced in the workings of the state system. In addition, Blackheath Conservatoire, CYM and Trinity Laban have all confirmed that they would like to be partner organisations. Conductor, Charles Hazlewood and Cyrilla Rowsell have agreed to be Patrons of the school and will be lending their support and expertise to the project when required. Andrea Spain at Trinity Laban and James Thomas at Hackney Music Service are both interested in helping with recruitment. I also have a great deal of experience of recruiting staff but the most important thing is finding the right teachers with the same ethos and end goals as myself.

Running a business requires the same skills as running a school. You have to be highly organised, good at communication and able to manage budgets and interact professionally with your staff and clients. Most importantly, you have to create the most special and wonderful environment that you can for the children. I have achieved this at Step Up and believe that, with the right staff and support, I can achieve the same thing at RIMU.

NR We have set up a website where parents can register interest. We will also advertise in the local press, in education journals, through various websites, in local nurseries, doctors’ surgeries and churches and by direct leafleting.

CT What about your team? Who are your staff, managers, governors, partner organisations? How do you select them?

CT How will you ensure that the school remains genuinely inclusive and doesn't become a ghetto for pushy middle-class parents?

NR My business partner, Lorna Mullard, came on board last September and will be Director of Curriculum while I will be Head Teacher and Director of Music. Lorna managed a team for many

NR As a Free School, we will still be bound by the strict rules of the admissions code. However, if the proposal is accepted and we are sure RIMU is to open, we will make the concept of the school


known to less privileged parents by running meetings at local parent groups and working with existing organisations that provide activities for families in need of financial assistance. We have already made ourselves known to music organisations working in deprived areas (such as Greenwich and Lambeth Music Services) and they are happy to assist us in making our school known to disadvantaged children. CT What kind of provision will you make for (i) children with special needs or learning difficulties? (ii) children who are gifted and talented? NR We will have extra teaching assistants to deal with children with special needs. Any gifted and talented children will have access to further music tuition through our partnerships with Blackheath Conservatoire, CYM and Trinity Laban. We are looking at external funding from other charities to help us fund this, such as Awards for Young Musicians. CT Your ambition is to open other similar schools. How realistic is this and what is the timescale?

CT How will you recruit pupils?

NR We intend to open RIMU in September 2012 and would like to see further music-focussed schools open in the future. We would also like to see the music aspects of the RIMU timetable incorporated into existing Primary schools. I am interested in developing a teacher training aspect to the school so that more teachers can be equipped to teach music at Primary level. I believe this is the key to improving music in schools. RIMU Primary Music Academy -

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A Week in the Life of... Brian Cotterill As Musical Director of the Surrey Songsters, choral director, composer, organist and South-East Representative for NAME, Brian Cotterill still manages to teach five days a week as Director of Music at Lanesborough School, the choir school of Guildford Cathedral. Where does he find the time? Monday The alarm wakes me at 5.00am and I arrive at school shortly before 6.00am. Coffee, photocopying, replying to emails, assessment admin, more coffee and then I set up the classroom for the Cathedral Choir morning rehearsal at 8.00am. For the rest of the school, it’s Hymn Practice today instead of Assembly so a good opportunity to run through some new material. Four periods of curriculum music lessons this morning ranging from Year 3 to Year 8 before a speedy lunch followed by School Choir rehearsal for most of lunchtime. Three more periods of teaching in the afternoon and then the School Orchestra rehearsal after school, practising items for a performance next week. A Year 6 Parents’ Evening rounds off the day and I’m home at 9.00pm. We’ve got school inspection next week and I must organise my lesson plans for the inspectors. Tomorrow, I think.

Tuesday I arrive at school at 6.00am again but I’m hopeful that today might be a little easier than yesterday. The Cathedral Choir is sounding in great voice this morning. A really enjoyable Year 4 lesson on Ostinato and Canon then an exhausting Year 8 lesson on Tribal Groove (African body percussion) but I do manage to sit and chat in the staffroom for

10 minutes at breaktime today – a rare treat. School Choir rehearsal at lunchtime and then I’m off to a local Primary school to do Sing Up work. We run the Chorister Outreach Programme for the Guildford diocese and I run two singing sessions with a local school in preparation for our termly Sing Up concert at the Cathedral next week. The children are in good spirits and sing well today. Back to Guildford in time for Choral Evensong at the Cathedral – an oasis of calm at the end of another day. I still haven’t done my inspection lessons plans though. Tomorrow, I think.

lunchtime but they’re actually becoming rather good. Wonderwall is quite challenging for some of them but they’ve really worked hard recently. The Staff Meeting after school is all about next week’s inspection and reminds me that I still haven’t done those lesson plans. Tomorrow, I think.

Friday I’m in school early again as I have to put my assessment grades onto the school system before 9.00am. It’s straightforward but time-consuming

Wednesday Associated Board exams in my classroom today so the Year 4 string groups will have to move to the Hall. All boys in Year 4 learn either violin or cello for a year and they are all performing in an informal concert at school this evening. The exams seem to go well but I do find the concentrated accompanying rather tiring. I usually do Games on Wednesday afternoons but the exams prevent that today. The evening concert is a great success with some memorable individual performances and the string groups in fine form. When am I going to get those lesson plans done? Tomorrow, I think.

Thursday Something of a lie-in today in that I don’t get to school until nearly 7.00am. I sort out some timetabling issues for one of the piano teachers and set up for the Cathedral Choir morning rehearsal. I remember just in time that the Guitar Ensemble is rehearsing in the Library this morning and hurriedly organise music stands for them. The singing in Assembly this morning is wonderful – the boys certainly sing some hymns better than others! Both of today’s Year 6 curriculum music lessons are hard work though and I’m not sure why – is it the boys or is it me? The Senior Rock Band plays as loudly as possible at

nevertheless. One of the instrumental teachers has phoned in unwell so there’s a bit of sorting out to do with that. The morning’s lessons go well and I enjoy covering a PE lesson. At lunchtime, the Junior Instrumental Group is depleted because of pupil illness but we have a good go at things anyway. In the afternoon, I take 15 boys to a local retirement home to perform a concert for the residents. The boys sing and play well and are rewarded with staggering quantities of chocolate and biscuits. After school, I rehearse the Surrey Songsters – our junior choir which has grown out of the Sing Up work – and then it’s home in good time. And what about those inspection lesson plans? Well, I suppose that’s what weekends were made for, isn’t it?

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Singing for Water

It’s World Water Day on 22 March and WaterAid are inviting choirs to join their Sing for Water campaign to help raise funds for clean, fresh water in Ghana and Malawi.


ing for Water helped us to raise our game. With a little bit of extra work, we realised that we could be really, really good.’ That’s the verdict of choir leader, Valerie Whitworth from Omagh, Northern Ireland who joined the growing network of singing events in aid of WaterAid.

Val has been leading a community singing group for over ten years. She was inspired to set up her own event after hearing about Sing for Water at a voice camp in Dorset. Val was excited about the idea of bringing many singers in her area together for a special one-off performance. Having moved to Ireland from London, Val knew instantly that it was singing that would make her feel rooted in her new environment and so set about bringing like-minded individuals together. The group numbers about 30 in total and follows the Natural Voice style of singing where all songs are taught by ear and practitioners abide by the inclusive philosophy of ‘if you can speak, you can sing’. Val draws on an eclectic range of music from around the world that can be sung in parts – from African to Eastern European to traditional English folk. When


planning Sing for Water Omagh, she chose songs which would help everyone to focus on water – something we often take for granted here in the UK. According to Val, ‘When I first heard about Sing for Water and found out that a child dies every 20 seconds due to lack of clean water, I knew I wanted

to do something to help. My passion for singing means that I thought setting up Sing for Water Omagh would be the best way of giving something back.’

Omagh really will transform lives in Ghana and Malawi.’ ‘Everybody had a lovely evening, singers and spectators alike,’ said Val. ‘Putting on a professional show made us have to take our singing more seriously; I did have a bit of a panic that I hadn’t conducted in public before but it was just last-minute nerves and everything turned out just fine on the night. It was such a great experience that I can’t wait for next year now and am already talking to a choir in southern Ireland about joining forces. We had 40 singers this year but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get to a hundred next time?’ Sing for Water was initiated by composer, Helen Chadwick as a project to raise money for WaterAid at the Mayor’s Thames Festival in London. Large and small groups of singers have raised money in many different ways including a concert on a pier, 'Sing & Swim' in an outdoor pool, performing at local festivals and as part of mass choir events in London, Bristol, Newcastle Gateshead, Leicester and even at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Every September, hundreds of people take part in With the help of resources supplied by WaterAid, the original Sing for Water event – a mass choir Val set about rehearsing her small but perfectly performance at the Mayor’s Thames Festival in formed choir who were London. The joined by singers from performance is now a All songs are taught by ear and practitioners Belfast, Donegal and key part of the abide by the inclusive philosophy of ‘if you festival and attracts other parts of Ireland. Their Sing for Water big crowds. ‘The buzz can speak, you can sing’. performance took place of that many people in Strule Arts Centre last singing together is year and raised more than £5,000 for WaterAid’s quite breathtaking,’ says Victoria. ‘You can’t help work. but to feel uplifted and inspired. There’s something very beautiful and happy about it.’ Victoria Rouse, Community Fundraising Manager at WaterAid, was delighted. ‘It costs just £15 to Throughout the year, choirs around the UK have give someone access to safe water, hygiene and been inspired to organise other unique Sing for Water events. Often, they are a great opportunity to sanitation so the funds raised by Sing for Water

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

link up with other choirs and learn from each other. Each Sing for Water performance raises funds for WaterAid projects in Ghana and Malawi through ticket sales, sponsorship or public collections. Helen Chadwick says, ‘Sing for Water is all about people creating events under their own banner and in their own way. Anyone who enjoys singing can join us.’ ‘We really let people run with their creativity on the project,’ explained Victoria. ‘After all, it’s a fun music event for everyone who loves to sing and we’ve had some fantastic events involving whole communities.’

One of the biggest Sing for Water events outside of the Mayor’s Thames Festival takes place in Bristol. In 2009, over 600 singers from across the West Country and beyond united and raised almost £40,000 for WaterAid. Organisers, Chris Samuel and Ali Orbaum and a team of volunteers spearhead the event which is taking place again this summer. Sing for Water West will take place on 9 July 2011 at the Bristol Harbourside Amphitheatre. Choirs and singers are invited to join up and be part of the big event. Ali Orbaum said, ‘Putting on Sing for Water events has proved to be a great way of getting new people involved in singing as well as raising money and

awareness for a fantastic cause. Knowing that every £1 we raise will help to give clean water and sanitation is an inspiring incentive to come together as a community of voices.’

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


Sing for Water in Sheffield sing the Verdi Requiem. We like joining in with

and, if you think just for a minute or two

other musicians to celebrate or mark

about what it means not to have clean water

Help, I seem to have started organising a

particular occasions but so far it has always

or sanitation, it reminds us how lucky we are.

Sing for Water event! I am haunted by

been somebody else organising the event.

Carfield Community Choir

Our event is the day before World Water Day

nightmares where either nobody comes at all, I have ten people on stage, we sing

We sing at several local churches and in

but we chose it for the very practical reason

everything we know and it’s still only 8pm –

sheltered accommodation at Christmas; the

that several of us do other things on a

envelopes and a film we can show as part of

or the alternative where we are besieged by

Walled Garden in Meersbrook Park invite us

Tuesday, but Monday is our normal rehearsal

the evening.

people wanting to sing, they underestimate

to sing for their summer Garden Party and

day so we knew everyone was free.

their running time, it goes on for three hours

Autumn Apple Day; and we have had great

and the audience loses the will to live...

fun being part of the local Low-Carbon

We have several other small groups taking

of money for Water Aid – just £15 can really

Cabaret (no amplification, no heating,

part now and we are also offering the

improve someone’s life – and also that it will

March 21st 2011 is the date of our Sing for

spotlights courtesy of volunteers on a

irresistible attraction of a cake stall. We will

be a celebration of singing together, perhaps

Water event in Sheffield this year. It’s being

stationary bicycle).

start the evening by singing a few rounds –

the first of many.

I hope that we can raise a significant amount

everyone, audience and singers – then each

organised by Carfield Community Choir which is based in the Heeley/Meersbrook area in

At our first rehearsal in January, one of our

group will do a short set, finishing with the

the south of the city.

members said she had heard about World

Sing for Water anthem. I’ve got my fingers

Water Day and it seemed a very good reason

crossed for that one – stamp on beats one

to get people singing together.

and three, clap on two and four, sing triplets

Sing For Water Sheffield – 7.30pm on 21st

over the top...

March, Abbeydale Grange School, Hastings

We are a small, local community choir with an age range from 10 to 70-plus. There are no

Liz Nicholas

auditions and no requirement to read music.

WaterAid is a fantastic charity for bringing

On our own, we will never be able to fill an

people together – it’s such a basic human

WaterAid’s central office has been great,

Aid. Singing is not compulsory but is

entire evening’s programme and we will never

right; it has no religious or political affiliations

supporting us with posters, collection

encouraged. Tea, coffee and cakes for sale.

Rd S7 2GU. £2 on the door in aid of Water

WaterAid is looking for more people who love to sing to organise their own Sing for Water or join in with an event on World Water Day on 22 March 2011 and throughout the year. For information on putting on your own event, free singing resources and information on upcoming events including Sing for Water West in Bristol on Saturday 9 July 2011, visit or email To join Sing for Water in London at the Mayor’s Thames Festival on Sunday 11 September 2011, please contact Kate Forde by emailing

Helen Chadwick

World Water Day is a key moment in the year in the

In many parts of rural Africa and Asia, women and chil-

Each year, thousands and thousands of people mark

fight against poverty. Around one in eight people across

dren, mostly the girls, are tasked with collecting water

the event by campaigning, fundraising or putting on

the world have no access to safe water and a stagger-

for the whole family. This can take hours each day,

events to do their bit to make a difference. This World

ing two fifths, that’s 2.6 billion people, live without

walking miles in the baking heat to collect water from

Water Day, WaterAid is asking choirs to get together

basic sanitation. In 1992, the UN declared every March

any available source. It is not uncommon for this water

and Sing for Water, raising vital funds to help people

22nd to be World Water Day to highlight the shocking

to be visibly dirty and teaming with parasites. In fact,

take their first step out of poverty.

truth and to galvanize governments and all people

the diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and a

across the world to take action.

lack of sanitation kill more children under the age of five than anything else.


zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

Q&A: Voice in a Million – One Girl’s Dream of Performing at the O2 Arena 11-year-old Annalise Elgar (distant relative of composer, Edward) has always dreamed of singing on a big stage. On 4 February 2011, that dream came true when she and 28 Year 6s from her school performed in a Voice in a Million concert at the O2 Arena to raise awareness of adoption and fostering. Cathy Tozer spoke to Annalise and her mother, fitness instructor and part-time backing vocalist, Ann-Mari Thomas. Annalise Elgar CT Hi Annalise, I hear you’ve always dreamed of singing at the O2 Arena.

AE Yes, there was a rehearsal in the afternoon. The person who ran it was called Jo (Jo Garofalo, Creative Director of Voice in a Million). I liked her because she was smiley and enthusiastic.

CT How long was the concert? AE The concert was two hours long. CT Do you know if it was recorded or filmed?

AE It’s not so much about the O2 – although singing there was an amazing experience – just about being on a big stage and singing to lots of people. I’m inspired by programmes on the Disney Channel like Camp Rock. My favourite singer is Demi Lovato and, along with the rest of my friends, I’d love to make a living singing and dancing like Mitchie Torres (Demi’s character in Camp Rock) or Hannah Montana!

CT Did you do any warm ups or games? AE Yes, we did the Mexican Wave and then Jo called out all the different schools’ names and we had to scream when it was our school. We also did this thing where Jo sang a few lines and we had to sing them back to her. CT Oh, like a kind of call and response. What did she sing?

CT How did you get involved in the VIAM concert? AE The Grand Old Duke of York! (laughs) AE I got involved through my school (Horsell CE Junior School in Surrey). Every Year 6 in the Senior Choir was invited to take part – 28 of us in all – and our teachers, Miss Oakley and Miss Benton, rehearsed the songs with us and took us to the concert. CT How many singers were at the O2 and how old were they all? AE There were seven and a half thousand singers there. They were all ages from 8 to 18 and every single one was listed by name in the programme! CT Were you given the music and words in advance? How much was there to learn? Was it easy or hard? AE The school gave us a CD so we could practise at home and we rehearsed every week during Choir Practice. We did about six rehearsals altogether and we had to learn 13 songs, some in unison but most in harmony. It was hard work but a lot easier with the CD. My favourite song was Oh Happy Day and my least favourite was Tears in Heaven because it’s quite sad. I also liked Don’t Stop Believing and Sweet Child of Mine – probably because my favourite music is rock!

CT Was this the first time you’ve sung in a big venue? What did it feel like? AE It felt really exciting and a bit scary. It was great to see the O2. The singers took up nearly a third of the arena in these enormous banks of tiered seating. I was at the front at the bottom.

AE Yes, both. If you go on the VIAM website, you can buy the CD. CT What did you enjoy most about the experience? AE It was really fun and exciting and I liked that it was about helping people. It was quite moving to hear people’s stories. Some famous people got up to speak like the comedian, Andrew Barton, who talked about being adopted, and the musician, Rick Wakeman. CT How do you see yourself achieving your dream of making singing your living? For example, do you have vocal or instrumental lessons?

CT Your Mum, Dad and brothers were in the audience. Could you see them from there?

AE I love all the singing and performing we do at school plus I sing all the time at home. As far as lessons go, I’m learning piano with my Mum – just basic scales and which notes are which at the moment. I did start the guitar but Mum stopped teaching me cos I didn’t practise!

AE No!

Ann-Mari Thomas

CT What did you wear?

CT You went to the concert. How did you enjoy it?

AE We all had to wear black trousers and they gave us white tops with the VIAM logo on when we got there.

AMT It was incredible. I had shivers up and down my spine from the word go and I was in tears by the second song. The whole thing was aimed at getting a massive emotional response from the audience and designed to make people think hard about the adoption and fostering process.

CT Did any children do solos? What were they like? AE Yes, there were about 40 soloists on a special stage in front of us. They were really good. My favourite was this boy of about 8 with an incredible voice!

CT You took your two sons, both of whom have special needs, to watch their sister on stage. Can you tell me something about their experience?

CT Did you wish you’d been chosen to do a solo?! CT Was there a rehearsal at the O2? Who ran it? What did you think of them?

AE Kind of. It looked really good fun!

AMT I wasn’t expecting them to enjoy the concert but they surprised me. My younger son liked the boy

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


AMT Like her, it’s something I always wanted to do yet I’ve never managed to make my living solely from it. I don’t think there’s enough work unless you’re right at the very top. However good you are, you have to be lucky as well so I’d tell her it’s important to have something to back it up with because the work is so sporadic – it comes and goes. CT So you don’t see Annalise following in the footsteps of her famous ancestor, Edward Elgar?! AMT I don’t think she’d know who I meant! CT What do you think Annalise has gained from her experience?

singers but wasn’t so keen on the girls. My older son was bopping along in his seat and singing along to the songs he knew so I know he had a good time!

CT You work part-time as a singer and backing vocalist. Would you encourage Annalise to become a professional musician?

AMT I think it’s been a very good experience for her and she’s gained a lot from it. It was a very long day (she and her friends were at the O2 from 2- 10.30pm) and she had to be well behaved and focussed throughout the rehearsal while making sure she saved enough energy for the evening performance. It’s definitely shown her what she’s aiming for if she’s serious about making a living from singing!

a difference' to the thousands of children

For information on how you or your group

who participate in the events and recordings.

can 'make a difference', take part in future

participate in the Voice in a Million Virtual

events and join The Voice in a Million Choir,

Choir. Simply record and upload your voice


at home or at school and contribute to One

In support of the British Association for

Individuals, schools and groups can also

Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), Voice in a

Million Voices from across the world on one

The Voice in a Million project strives to

Million has successfully staged spectacular

record-breaking recording.

achieve awareness of the plight of millions of

shows for two consecutive years at the O2

children worldwide that are orphaned,

Arena, gathering 7,500 children from schools

abandoned or separated from their birth

and groups across the nation to perform

parents and in need of a loving family for life.

simultaneously as part of our mass choir.

Through live arena-scale concerts and

Voice in a Million's mission is to record

celebrity support, we bring attention to

thousands of children at events worldwide to

children who have no mother or father to

achieve our record-breaking goal of

nurture and guide them, whilst also 'making

recording ONE MILLION voices...



zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

Photos: Stewart Attwood, Herald & Times Group

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 Š zone new media 2011 /


Figure it out with Figurenotes

Thursa Sanderson, Drake Music Scotland’s Chief Executive, explains why they are piloting this Finnish notation system.

pendent music-making. From its early days running school and community projects in and around Edinburgh, the organisation now works throughout Scotland offering a programme of high-quality music projects often in partnership with other music organisations and education authorities. Why Figurenotes? Over the years, Drake Music Scotland has had great success with people with physical disabilities and profound and complex needs, working in Special schools and with groups of adults to provide programmes of music education and creative projects. Technological solutions often

provided the key to meaningful musical activities for these groups. However, the situation was quite different for people with learning difficulties who were physically able to pick up an instrument and play. Although the technology was sometimes appropriate, it was not always as satisfying as playing recognisable tunes on ‘real’ instruments. What was lacking was a way to help them learn to read music and support progressive musical learning in the same way as had been achieved with physically disabled people. In 2008, Drake Music Scotland heard of the work of two Finnish music educators at the Resonaari

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rake Music Scotland was established in 1997 with the aim of creating musicmaking opportunities for people with disabilities of all ages, using conventional instruments combined with a range of technologies for those otherwise unable to play. These include Soundbeam, a motion sensor device that can be controlled even by very small movements and, more recently, Brainfingers which controls events on a computer screen using facial muscles and alpha/beta brainwave activity. The guiding principle was always to give participants as much control of their instrument – technological or otherwise – as possible and support inde-

School in Helsinki ( who had been teaching adults with learning difficulties to play and read music with great success over a period of ten years. They had developed a tool called Figurenotes©, a notation system using colour and shape to define the musical elements of pitch and duration and based on the ability to match identical symbols. Each musical note has a corresponding Figurenotes symbol and with the help of stickers attached to their keyboard or fret board, learners are asked to ‘play what you see’. The duration of a note is indicated by a corresponding lengthening of the shape, a crotchet being the standard size, a quaver half as long and a minim twice as long. Rests are represented by blanks and sharps or flats by arrows indicating the direction to go to raise or lower the note. There is also a way of showing chords using the expression, ‘Play a friend, not a neighbour!’. The real beauty of Figurenotes is that it represents the same information as ordinary written music and, rather than being an alternative system, takes the learner through three straightforward stages of transition, the second stage placing the Figurenotes on the stave, the third discarding these for coloured notes and finally the fourth stage – conventional music notation. An example of a simple tune in the first stage is shown below.

Learners can pick up rhythms and play recognisable tunes or parts from the start. They are therefore motivated by this success to progress more quickly. Annona Thornton, music teacher at Lilybank SEN School in Inverclyde, finds that Figurenotes gives pupils with special needs the tools to make music independently and provides an answer to inclusion, with her pupils now joining the orchestra at the local mainstream Secondary school, Port Glasgow High. ‘Pupils are achieving what seemed to be impossible,’ she says. ‘Using Figurenotes gives confidence which, in turn, seems to encourage the desire to communicate. It is the first step to so many possibilities.’ Other notable successes to date include work with pupils on the autistic spectrum. Jill Reeves, a teacher at St Crispin’s School in Edinburgh, finds that her autistic learners have been able to succeed in reading music for the first time: ‘The concrete, visual nature of the system makes sense to my autistic learners. Figurenotes has increased their confidence and ability to concentrate. One pupil has learned to use the Figurenotes software and recreate existing tunes - this shows executive function and the potential to be creative - very significant for ASD learners.’ Drake Music Scotland has also teamed up with Connect, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s education and outreach department, to promote iCompose, their new national composition competition, and encourage those unfamiliar with conventional notation to write music in Figurenotes.

Figurenotes © Kaarlo Uusitalo, 1996 Figurenotes applications © Markku Kaikkonen and Kaarlo Uusitalo, 1998

Another key feature valued by SEN teachers is that

Figurenotes enables differentiation within a shared group activity, different pupils with various levels of ability being able to work together on the same piece of music. Through Drake Music Scotland’s involvement as ‘inclusion partner’ with Sistema Scotland and their Big Noise project in Raploch near Stirling, two children with learning disabilities from Castleview SEN School on the campus where the orchestral project is based are now integrated into a mainstream orchestra, having learned to read music with Figurenotes. Mainstream music instructors have also found that Figurenotes enables all children to engage in music-making. Julie Carrie, YMI Support Tutor in East Ayrshire, says that it is ‘a great motivational tool for new learners’, used successfully with nonmusic readers transitioning from P7 to S1 who quickly jumped from Stage 1 to Stage 3 once they got the hang of it. Maggie Malloch, who has explored use of the system with Pre-school nurseries in Dumfries and Galloway, commented, ‘Figurenotes is so intuitive it needs little or no explanation which is such a benefit when dealing with pupils who find verbal instructions difficult. I have also seem some very distractible children maintain focus for longer than ever before’. Annona Thornton adds, ‘There is no doubt that it supports progression in music. For example, one boy who has struggled for three years to complete the second half of a melody played it immediately when given it in Figurenotes form. Within a few days, he could play the whole tune from memory. For us at Lilybank, this is a very exciting development. I have been a music teacher in both mainstream and special needs for many years and have used many approaches but Figurenotes has helped our children progress in music beyond all expectation.’ Drake Music Scotland’s Figurenotes project, funded by a Creative Scotland Inspire grant, involves a number of partnerships to pilot the system with the education authorities referred to above and other organisations such as the

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sistema Scotland. With the SCO’s Connect music education team, the use of Figurenotes as a composition tool is being explored while children with learning difficulties from the special school on the Stirling campus where Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise project is being developed are now taking part in the orchestral programme. Drake Music Scotland’s Figurenotes software was launched at the first UK Figurenotes conference at the City Halls, Glasgow on 26 November 2010. It offers the possibility of creating and reproducing pieces of music and parts in Figurenotes and composing new material. The outcome of the pilot projects, showing successful musical learning for a wide range of groups, were presented at the event through practical demonstrations and performances by the Finnish inventors of Figurenotes as well as Drake Scotland’s team and partners. The Figurenotes software and other Figurenotes resources will be available in the near future.

Further information can be found on the Drake Music Scotland website or by emailing


zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

Hear My Music

Hear My Music is a new organisation based in Scotland that uses music to enhance self-advocacy skills for vulnerable people. Founders, Emily Carr and Nicola McTeer explain their work.


ommunity music practitioners, Emily Carr and Nicola McAteer have always been passionate about the impact that music can have on people’s lives. Both Nicola and Emily have worked extensively using music as a communicative tool and have witnessed first-hand the effectiveness of this. Using their skills, experience and shared beliefs, they came together to set up Hear My Music.

advocates are now often trained to support their peer groups in many issues. However, there is a growing concern among such organisations that self-advocacy skills among individuals with more complex communication needs are difficult to acquire and have been slightly overlooked.

suggested that core skills central to the selfadvocacy process such as making choices, gaining confidence, expressing emotions and communicating intentions can be achieved by individuals of all abilities and groups through participation in creative music sessions. It also

Self-Advocacy Nicola’s background as a self-advocacy support worker enabled a link to be drawn between selfadvocacy skills and music-making skills. Emily and Nicola feel that this is a key relationship and have spent three years researching this link and subsequently developing a project model that uses music sessions to enhance self-advocacy.

Nicola and Emily, through Hear My Music, have developed methods to tackle this issue, strongly believing that individuals with complex needs have every right to access self-advocacy. They also feel that there are fewer alternative approaches to developing the self-advocacy skills of all individuals and use music-making sessions to bridge this gap.

suggested that music sessions can work successfully as an alternative approach to addressing specific advocacy issues.

Self-advocacy is often described as ‘speaking up for yourself’ and the term is also representative of the self-advocacy social movement within learning disabilities. In the past 20 years, organisations have been formed throughout the country with the aim of supporting vulnerable people in speaking up for themselves and their local communities. The movement has also progressed to getting individuals with learning disabilities involved in government lobbying and policy. As a social movement, it is very successful and confident self-

Hear My Music has developed research suggesting that music sessions can meet the needs of individuals with complex needs whilst also working with more confident self-advocates to tackle specific issues. In 2009, Nicola led a 12-month pilot research project entitled ‘music interaction as a vehicle to develop self-advocacy for people with learning disabilities including those with complex needs’. Throughout this project, both Nicola and Emily worked with individuals and groups of varying ages and abilities. The results of the project

Hear My Music is a not-for-profit company that delivers projects through music workshops to enhance the self-advocacy skills of vulnerable people. These workshops can be offered to groups or individuals and can include opportunities for creative composition, improvisation and performance. Creative musical interaction can enhance communication, self-expression and confidence, allowing for the development of selfadvocacy. The processes used are especially accessible for those who find conventional communication methods such as language a challenge. The primary aim is to expand the understanding of an individual’s preferred communication method and use this understanding to enhance the individual’s self-advocacy skills.

Monitoring and research Emily and Nicola share the belief that music interaction is a powerful communicative tool; however, this practice can be perceived as ambiguous. Through Hear My Music, Nicola and Emily constantly review their practice and develop research to strengthen and support work that they believe can have a major impact on individual’s lives. Self-advocacy is difficult to measure, particularly in those with communication difficulties. To monitor each individual’s self-advocacy progress, Hear My Music has created a musical self-advocacy cycle. This cycle has five stages which can be monitored relating to an individual’s achievements within

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


music sessions. Each individual is given a baseline advocacy stage based on questionnaires and observation. Once a baseline has been established, every session thereafter is monitored and given a stage on the self-advocacy cycle. The flexibility of the project model allows research to be fluid and unique to each project. While every individual is working towards moving to a new stage on the cycle, there is a huge variety in how these stages can be achieved. Each case is worked out

based on a technique called co-improvisation where the musician improvises to reflect the individual’s creative expression. Some individuals respond by taking complete control and showing when and what to play. This shows creative control and is an essential step to developing effective self-advocacy skills. Others take time to learn how to express themselves. In these cases, the musician provides a musical sound world and lets the individual manipulate it at their own pace. In all cases, original musical material is created in these sessions and this material forms the basis of the final product.

monitors an individual’s progress on the selfadvocacy cycle. As every individual is different, it is paramount to keep the model this flexible while maintaining important common themes.

Case Studies (*all names have been changed) *Jane age 15 Jane took part in a project involving several Special Educational Needs schools and mainstream schools across the country, culminating in a performance in The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. She rarely made eye contact

The group sessions vary from structured musical games and action songs to free improvisation. Once a large amount of musical material has been drawn from individual sessions, this material is used for the group sessions and is developed further. Group time then takes the more traditional form of a rehearsal. Using an individual’s own musical contribution during group time has been found to be an exceptionally effective tool in integrating those who find it difficult to work in a group to be a fully functional member.

and her school staff reported that she often showed a dislike for sounds but they were unaware of her musical preferences. After several weeks of rhythmic games, exercises and creative improvisation, she was able to make strong eye contact with the practitioner and communicate her preferences for different styles of music. She was filmed performing which was then showcased at the concert hall. *John age 12 John participated in a five-month project within his Special Educational Needs school. At the start of the project, John

The project culminates in a performance involving all students that took part. The music for the performance is all original and is based on melody, rhythm, texture and sound worlds that have been developed within individual sessions.

found it difficult to sit through a group session and did not participate or interact. We worked with John on a one-toone basis and used his habitual tapping and humming sounds to explore musical sounds, motifs and textures. John became familiar with the musical expansion of these sounds and this music that we had created in conjunction

individually using a variety of methods including video footage, staff and carer questionnaires and, most importantly, the participant’s reactions. The project model Hear My Music projects run in a range of different settings and ways. When working on a project in an Additional Support Needs (ASN) school, the musicians spend one day a week for up to 20 weeks in the school. Towards the end of a project, students from local mainstream schools are integrated within the project and work with the musicians to develop their communication skills with their peers through music. The day in the ASN school is spent working with groups and individuals. The individual sessions are


Hear My Music works with existing self-advocacy organisations. Organisations will often tackle a specific community issue and music sessions can be used to strengthen and enhance the ways of dealing with such concerns. In these cases, a very effective tool is songwriting as a group using a choice ‘menu’ method. The process itself of songwriting can be very useful for the self-advocacy process and the final product can also be a useful tool for conveying messages to a community. The project model for Hear My Music is exceptionally flexible however: every project uses the same techniques of enhancing interaction and communication through music and every project

with him was then used in a group situation. John subsequently became comfortable participating in a group situation and performed in front of family and friends, much to the surprise of his family!

Hear My Music is looking forward to delivering many more projects and continuing to promote the practice of self-advocacy through music. Hear My Music will be an exhibitor at musiclearninglive!2011. More information on Hear My Music can be found at

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /

product review Theta Music Trainer product: Theta Music Trainer what: Online aural and musicianship training resource price: Free account to access basic resources; full resources available for subscription of US$54/year or US$7.95/month from:

intervals. It was great fun. To be honest, the first few levels were extremely straightforward but this game would certainly be of benefit to children learning melodic intervals. It also worked extremely well on the interactive whiteboard in my classroom and before long I had a group of enthusiastic Year 6 boys trying to beat my score.

I doubt that the boys would have been so enthralled with what amounts to aural tests and music theory without this excellent resource. The ten games are


he opportunity to play around with internetbased music games was highly appealing when I was asked to write this review. Theta Music Trainer has developed a set of online games designed to teach the fundamental skills of music. It is designed for musicians of all levels who want to deepen their understanding of music but clearly helps improve their ability to play music by ear. I logged on and immediately dived into a game called Melodic Drops which tested my aural recognition of

Paddle Pitch (reminded me of early video games of paddle tennis and football) was equally fun but took the boys a bit longer to understand. However, I particularly enjoyed Parrot Phrases in which a melody is played and has to be recreated on a simulated keyboard. The boys steamed through this until they reached a more advanced level which certainly challenged them more.

simple to learn, fun to play and certainly challenging. There are 20 levels of difficulty within each game, providing plenty of scope for pupils of all abilities. A daily ‘workout’ of aural and theory work has surely never been this fun before! I, for one, shall certainly be using it at my school. Brian Cotterill

Brian Cotterill is Director of Music at Lanesborough School (the choir school of Guildford Cathedral), joint Musical Director of the Surrey Songsters and a freelance organist, choral director and composer. He is also the South East Representative for NAME.

Would you like to contribute a review to Zone Magazine? Do you have a publication, resource or product you’d like to see reviewed?

Please contact us either via or email

zone magazine digital edition 21 / march 2011 © zone new media 2011 /


Zone Magazine Issue 21  

Zone music education magazine - special issue focussing on the Henley Review of Music Education in England

Zone Magazine Issue 21  

Zone music education magazine - special issue focussing on the Henley Review of Music Education in England