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ed vaizey the shadow culture minister on the tories’ plans for music education pete moser on his long walk project in china and hong kong

in colour interview project profile digital learning product reviews

web & mobile

zone

march 2010 / digital issue 18


BRIDGING THE G GAP AP BETWEEN NOTATION NOTATION SOFTWARE SOFTW WARE AR ARE AND AUDIO AUDIO APPLICATIONS APPLICA PLICA ATIO TIONS 8LIJMVWXWXITMRVIHIJMRMRKRSXEXMSRWSJX[EVIGSQIW[MXLYRHIVWXERHMRK[LEXMWQMWWMRKERH[LEXMWRIIHIH 8LIJMVWXWXITMRVIHIJMRMRKRSXEXMSRWSJX[EVIGSQIW[MXLYRHIVWXERHMRK[LEXMWQMWWMRKERH[LEXMWRIIHIH ,IEVMRK]SYVWGSVI[MXLVIEPMWXMGERHEGGYVEXITPE]FEGOWXVSRKGSQTEXMFMPMX][MXL]SYVWXYHMSSXLIVWEQTPI ,IEVMRK]SYVWGSVI[MXLVIEPMWXMGERHEGGYVEXITPE]FEGOWXVSRKGSQTEXMFMPMX][MXL]SYVWXYHMSSXLIVWEQTPI PMFVEVMIWERHTPYKMR´W(%;´WEGPIERMRXYMXMZIMRXIVJEGIERH[SVOJPS[FIMRKEFPIXSKIXJVSQTSMRX%XSTSMRX& PMFVEVMIWERHTPYKMR´W(%;´WEGPIERMRXYMXMZIMRXIVJEGIERH[SVOJPS[FIMRKEFPIXSKIXJVSQTSMRX%XSTSMRX& EWIJJMGMIRXP]EWTSWWMFPI[LMPIVIXEMRMRKXLIUYEPMX]SJ]SYVQYWMG©XLIWIEPP[IVIRIIHIH©238-32HIPMZIVIH EWIJJMGMIRXP]EWTSWWMFPI[LMPIVIXEMRMRKXLIUYEPMX]SJ]SYVQYWMG©XLIWIEPP[IVIRIIHIH©238-32HIPMZIVIH ˆ3ZIV+&SJWEQTPIWJIEXYVMRK8LI0SRHSR7]QTLSR]3VGLIWXVE 3ZIV+&SJWEQTPIWJIEXYVMRK8LI0SRHSR7]QTLSR]3VGLIWXVE ˆ ˆˆ*YPP6I;MVI:78:78M1YWMG<10ERH1-(-GSQTEXMFMPMX] *YPP6I;MVI:78:78M1YWMG<10ERH1-(-GSQTEXMFMPMX]] ˆ&YRHPIH:78MTVIWIXWJSV:70);50+43ERH1MVSWPEZPMFVEVMIW ˆ&YRHPIH:78MTVIWIXWJSV:70);50+43ERH1MVSWPEZPMFVEVMIW ˆ28IQTSXLIJMVWXERHSRP]RSXEXMSRTVSHYGX[MXLEHZERGIHVIEPXMQI ˆ28IQTSXLIJMVWXERHSRP]RSXEXMSRTVSHYGX[MXLEHZERGIHVIEPXMQI XIQTSGSRXVSPXLEXMRGPYHIWZEQTWVITIEXWERHWGSVIREZMKEXMSR XIQTSGSRXVSPXLEXMRGPYHIWZEQTWVITIEXWERHWGSVIREZMKEXMSR ˆ0MROIHXEFERHRSXEXMSR-RXIVEGXMZIKYMXEVSVFEWWJVIXFSEVHERH ˆ0MROIHXEFERHRSXEXMSR-RXIVEGXMZIKYMXEVSVFEWWJVIXFSEVHERH GLSVHPMFVEV] GLSVHPMFVEV] ˆ%YXSQEXMGTSWMXMSRMRKSJWGSVIIPIQIRXW¯RIZIVLEZIXS[SVV] ˆ%YXSQEXMGTSWMXMSRMRKSJWGSVIIPIQIRXW¯RIZIVLEZIXS[SVV ] EFSYXEPMKRMRKLEMVTMRWH]REQMGWEVXMGYPEXMSRW EFSYXEPMKRMRKLEMVTMRWH]REQMGWEVXMGYPEXMSRW

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NOTION NO OTION Music

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‘I would like to set a challenge to the whole music education world: I would like you to have honest discussions about what in each of your areas really works and is worth enhancing, prioritising or replicating; and what could either done more effectively or efficiently by another organisation, or even not at all. Working out which initiatives have been successful, and what about them has contributed to this success is essential, and I call on the whole sector to engage with this discussion.’

Singing the Blues? With the Conservative party favourites to win the forthcoming general election Ian Clethero talks to Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture, about his party’s plans for music education

p11 Impact Assessment

Peter Baker talks to Richard Hallam, National Music Participation Director p5

Focus on China: The Long Walk

Inspired by the cockle-pickers’ tragedy in Morecambe in North-West England, Pete Moser has embarked on a hugely ambitious 10-year cultural exchange in mainland China and Hong Kong. Cathy Tozer interviews him p8

Focus on Scotland: Youth Music Initiative David McDonald, Scottish Arts Council’s Youth Music Manager p16

Perform! – Making More of Music

Gary Spruce from the Open University and Trinity Guildhall’s Francesca Matthews report on a new Primary project p19

Focus on Wales: Big Celebration of Little Voices

Emma Coulthard on a Primary singing initiative in Cardiff p22

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net

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web & mobile

zone

march 2010 / digital issue 18


zone Editors Cathy Tozer, Peter Baker

Review: Notion 3 p25

Contributors Emma Coulthard Richard Hallam

Review: Notion Conducting p26

David McDonald Pete Moser Ed Vaizey Reviewers

Review: The Girls’ Guide to Rocking p27

Amy Brian Cotterill Publisher Ian Clethero

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zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010


Impact assessment

Peter Baker talks to Richard Hallam about his work over the past 18 months as National Music Participation Director

PB We last spoke on your appointment as National Music Participation Director 18 months ago. One of your key issues was to spread best practice in music teaching across LAs. Since then the LAMPs have been lit and LAs are required to produce music plans. How is that all going? RH Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going very well and I have been impressed

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‘Music education has to be in the best possible position to continue to attract funding and show we deserve it’

with the commitment and enthusiasm of colleagues around the country. I made it clear that I wanted the 2008 Local Authority Music Plans (LAMPs) to tell it how it was in order to keep additional work to the minimum, and not gild the lily which tends to happen when applying for funding! So they were very much factual reports of what was going on in the LA or were in some cases just Music Service Plans. The 2009 plans which have just come in are now much broader, more thorough, more aware and engage with music in schools as well as music services. The Wider Opportunities programme has had a significant impact in many LAs. There have also been five DCSF pilot projects to encourage the spread of good practice and get different sectors to work together. So, there is now a much clearer and more effective way of mapping what music provision exists for the totality of young people than ever before. PB There has been a massive injection of funds into music services to meet the government pledge that all KS2 children will get the opportunity to learn a musical instrument free of charge by 2011. Is that still a realistic goal? RH It is realistic and we are likely to exceed the initial target of 2 million children learning a musical instrument. What is really exciting is that quality of the introductory programmes has been very good overall and in 96% of LAs over 50% of the children want to continue learning an instrument. 57 LAs have reported that between 70% and 100% of children want to carry on. Continuation is a problem in schools and LAs where Wider Opportunities has been seen as a short term project. Instrumental tuition beyond KS2 also requires a financial commitment from parents which has shown to be more likely from parents where culture is valued than from those where there is no tradition in the family. This area will need addressing. The Music Service Evaluation Programme (MSEP) run by the Federation of Music Services (FMS) is

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being very effective at sharing good practice and making links between services. Quality Assurance is thorough and the team of FMS evaluators have produced some perceptive reports which help services to evaluate their provision. FMS is planning to make this process more rigorous in the future. PB Sing Up is also well established and is three quarters of the way through the four year plan to make all schools Singing Schools by 2011. The word on the street is that provision has been enthusiastic but patchy. What’s your view on that and do you think the grand objective will be achieved? RH Sing Up is very much on track. It is becoming less patchy as is evidenced by 83% of schools having signed up to and engaging with the programme. I have asked for the LAMPs to map their own vocal strategies alongside Sing Up’s strategies and this has been useful and positive. It is interesting to note however that 21 years after the creation of the National Curriculum, there are still some schools not meeting the statutory music requirements of which singing is a part. PB Tune In – Year of Music was launched in September 2009 and focuses on celebrating young peoples’ music making and reminds us that young people’s personal, social and intellectual skills are developed by engagement with the arts. I say arts advisedly because although it says music it also encourages related arts like dance which is a step forward. What has been the response so far? RH Tune In encourages young people to showcase and celebrate their work in the arts. It gives the young people involved in the Wider Opportunities programme the opportunity to demonstrate to local people: this is what we have been doing, this is what has been achieved, this is something special. Of course Music for Youth (MfY) has been showcasing a wide range of high quality music performance by young people regionally and nationally for years with great success. To a degree Tune In is building on MfY’s good practice but more locally.

It has not gone unnoticed that MfY’s July Festival in Birmingham will be held as the new administration takes power so it is a very good opportunity to show the quality and range of music activities across the country and to engage politicians and policy makers so they are fully informed about what provision exists and what a difference it makes to young people’s lives. It has long been possible to surmise that engagement with music motivates and improves pupils’ personal, social and intellectual learning but Professor Sue Hallam’s report, which has been derived from hard evidence in over 140 research papers, proves this to be true. There are therefore very real arguments both from activity and research to make a good case for continuing to fund music. PB Which brings us on to funding. We are in the middle of a massive recession, we have an election coming up, whichever party gets into power will be making substantial cuts in services, indeed many LAs are already in the process of doing that and of course all the government funded music projects are technically due to finish in 2011 so the big question is: what will happen when the funding stops? RH Well of course all sorts of funding come to an end in 2011 because that’s when most of this government’s funded programmes stop. The new government has to make a new set of financial decisions and that’s why music education has to be in the best possible position to continue to attract funding and show we deserve it. We can demonstrate that admirably through the projects we have been talking about, all of which will come to fruition in 2011. LAMPs will continue until 2013 and the latest set of reports gives us the hard data we need to make the case for future funding. www.dcsf.gov.uk/tunein www.singup.org www.thefms.org.uk www.mfy.org.uk www.musiceducationzone.net

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


Richard Hallam, MBE spent 21 years as Advisor and Inspector for Music with Oxfordshire LEA where, as Director of Music, he was also the Head of the County Music Service. His teaching career has covered class teaching in primary and secondary schools as well as being a peripatetic teacher. He has experience of public and private sectors of education, the inner city as well as the rural environment. As an Ofsted Inspector he has experience of many different schools. He went to the Royal Academy of Music and on to Trent Park where he qualified as a teacher before embarking on a successful 15 year career as a freelance musician. He is often involved with working groups and steering groups at the national level. He was warden of the ISM Music Education Section in 2002/2003 and has been a member of the Music Education Council Executive for ten years. For the past 16 years has been on the Executive of NAME (for 2 years as Chair). He was part-time music adviser to the Department for Education and Skills for 5 years where he was also Chair of the Music Manifesto Steering Committee. He has now retired from Oxfordshire and is the National Music Participation Director.

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 Š zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net

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Photo: In a local school in Shanghai, Ajou Primary


The Long Walk: More Music in China Director of More Music, Pete Moser, talks to Cathy Tozerabout the challenges of a ten-year cultuural exchange programme CT Can we start with you? I notice that you’re a man of many talents (performer [Fastest-OneMan-Band-In-The-World], teacher, producer, writer and editor [Community Music: A Handbook]) and that you seem to wear a lot of different ‘hats’ (Artistic Director of More Music, consultant for the MusicLeader/Sound Sense Code of Practice, composer of Start Again, a celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Are you a Renaissance Man or a Jack of all Trades? PM What’s a Renaissance Man?! I think I’m somebody with a very clear single line of thought, a set of beliefs and way of working which I turn to many different aspects of work. I’m also a Jack of all Trades because I have that thing of being able to play lots of things quite well; I worked in theatre so I had to learn loads of instruments over the years but I don’t feel I’m a virtuoso on any of them. But I feel I hold all of the stuff I do with one very clear purpose which is about music and connecting with people and celebration. All of the aspects – whether it’s as a composer or as a teacher or as a producer or a performer – tie in to that central focus of music and communication and a love of people. CT Can you tell me a bit about what inspired the Long Walk project? PM As an organisation, we’re always looking for projects that can run for a few years and produce an artistic and social theme for our work. I live in Morecambe and when the tragedy happened in 2004, we started searching for the right response and we worked on some benefits and raised some money but the critical move started with a week I did for PRSF (PRS for Music Foundation) in Gateshead. It was a training week with musicians from the UK and China and I came away thinking wouldn’t it be extraordinary to do something musical with Chinese communities, with UK communities, and use the story of those migrant labourers as a starting point and as the context for a piece of work?

The Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, when twenty-three Chinese migrant workers died in the sea while digging for cockles, triggered a significant long-term programme of work for Morecambe- based community music company, More Music. The programme – which seeks to develop exchange and conversation between musicians and communities in the UK and China – is currently in its second phase. The first phase, The Long Walk, was a community development and performance project that took place over three years, allowing More Music to discuss issues around economic migration and journey with hundreds of people in Morecambe, Liverpool, Gateshead and Hong Kong and turn these into music, song and performance. This is now leading to new projects in mainland China. The second phase involves More Music working with Fringe Shanghai to develop a programme that links to EXPO 2010. Using the theme of Better City, Better Life, a team of musicians from Shanghai, the UK and Hong Kong are working with a range of people across the city to develop and rehearse new music and song, culminating in a weekend of celebration at the UK Pavilion on the EXPO site. The ten-year programme has been spearheaded by More Music’s Artistic Director, Peter Moser. Cathy Tozer asked him about his experiences of bringing community music to China and Hong Kong.

And then, interestingly, instead of just going and writing the project – and this has been a fascinating challenge – it’s had a really conversational develop-ment. I remember sitting with Katherine Zeserson at The Sage Gateshead and talking to her, having had one of the first meetings, and agreeing to let this project develop conversationally. So every conversation I’ve had with an artist or with a producer has taken it to another place. Although I’ve been leading it, it’s felt very much like a communal development process. CT And that includes the communities in China? PM Absolutely. And the partners in China who’ve said actually, no, it can’t go that way it needs to go this way. And the musicians. So it’s very challenging in one sense but also fascinating trying to keep a central core set of objectives and values while you’ve got all these other things coming at you from every angle. CT How were you received in China and how did the people you worked with react to your ideas? PM In Hong Kong, where we developed The Long Walk last winter, we had an extraordinarily good partner in an organisation called Centre for Cultural Development. They absolutely understood the community arts and community music ethos and also the political context of the project because they work in the poorest district of Hong Kong with migrant people, people who are dispossessed, people with mental health and disability issues. They understood when we said we want to work with people who are on the edge of the society and so, as a partner, they sent us to the right places. The project in Shanghai developed in a lateral way with fantastic partners at Fringe Shanghai, who are facilitating all our work there. It isn’t about migrant labourers and travel, it’s about Better City, Better Life to tie in to EXPO 2010, so the themes are climate change and a greener society and a

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better city. I had an interesting time last November working over there and writing songs with people all over the city. Some great lyrics and melodies came out. At one point, I was working with a group of older people and I was saying to them ‘tell me, over the last 60 years in your city what’s got better and what’s got worse?’ They found it very difficult to say publicly that anything had changed. ‘Everything’s better! It gets better all the time!’ It’s an extraordinary city. Photo: Stage and projection for performance in Hong Kong

And, you know, when you get in a room with a group of people – and I suppose this is an enduring truth whether you’re in China or in Manchester or in Liverpool – you start writing songs or singing and it’s the same everywhere. There are some technical things that change and some language things that get in the way but effectively it doesn’t matter where people are: once you’ve got them in a room and you’re making music, all of the same things happen. You sing a song and the same things happen; you start to ask for lyrics, the same things happen; you do rhythm work, the same things happen. Whether the people you’re working with are young or old, the same things happen. CT I noticed from your YouTube video (www.youtube.com/v/mdoB6AdGNQM) that you were writing things down as you worked – some Chinese script and some diagrammatic stuff on a white board. Can you explain a little about the notation systems that you used? PM One of my ways of writing songs in groups over

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years has been to use the way that people speak to create graphic shapes which then become the melodies. It’s a way of avoiding coming up with the clichéd melodies that we so often end up writing in groups and a key way of creating music that everybody has an ownership of. In the workshops in China, we would also put the words up as characters on a flip chart and I would do my own phonetic versions of them on paper. As yet, I can’t read the characters! CT So did you write the lyrics in Mandarin then? PM Yeah, I was working in different languages but in many situations the songs were written in Mandarin. CT But the songs you’ve got recorded on the Long Walk website are in English, aren’t they? PM I think there’s one in Mandarin and three in English. CT So it’s a bi-lingual thing?

PM Definitely. Using two languages is absolutely critical and quite a lot of people in China do understand English. With younger people and students, the English is remarkably good although once you’re working with older people or adults it gets much reduced. CT It’s often said that music transcends borders or boundaries. Have you found that to be true in your work in China? PM Oh, totally. I really feel that it’s allowed me to travel, to gain entry into people’s homes, into

‘It doesn’t matter wh you’ve got them in a roo music, all of the same

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


pieces is more difficult. It takes time. So when you’re teaching people how to write songs, you have to go ‘this is one way of doing it but see how you do it yourself’. As a training aspect, one of the things for me has been about letting people start where they feel most comfortable. Although I might say ‘always write original melodies, always write original lyrics’, it might be easier for people to use existing songs and write new words to them to start off with. And that’s OK because it’s a first step.

offices, into businesses, into schools. Everybody has a story about music, everybody has a place where music has affected them in some way, everybody has a favourite song. The music that I’ve brought into the places I’ve gone to in China has given me entry into all sorts of people’s lives. I feel I’ve done the first five steps of a thousand and I’m beginning to learn about Chinese culture. My understanding is at that first stage and I’m lucky that I’ve got friends and colleagues to work with. The next stages will be about me teaching as well as learning and trying to find out how that

ere people are: once om and you’re making things happen’

society works and how the cultural development works. So the music is definitely the link that allows me into that conversation. CT I can see that you’re a charismatic educator with a very personal style. It struck me that your experience both as a multi-instrumentalist and as an entertainer - indeed, a real-life one-man-band - may make doing what you do look easier than it is. How easy do your think it will be for educators in China to implement your ideas? PM It’s a tricky thing. How much of a musical skill do you need to be able to do certain things? I think skills like teaching songs and basic rhythms are much easier to pass on to people. And, as we’ve seen with something like Sing Up or all of the samba and rhythm work that happens in the UK, this is work that spreads quite quickly and where there are identifiable techniques – whether it’s conducting or development of repertoire. Creative music making and the creation of bigger

The big challenge anywhere, but particularly in China, is the whole thing of creativity, individual imagination, valuing difference and valuing the potential to be a bit silly, the lightness that we play with so much in our creative music making here. CT I noticed in your blog (www.thelongwalk.info) that you worked in an international school in Shanghai. Did you go into any state schools in mainland China? What were the differences between the two? PM The international schools are very much like quite private schools over here with a similar curriculum, a similar emphasis on creativity, sometimes richer. In a couple of schools, they had Apple Stores on the school campus. In one of them, all the students had to have an Apple iBook. So those schools are on that kind of level. I went into three local schools and what was immediately clear was that, despite a lack of equipment, there was this brilliant, joyous singing and uninhibited vocal work. This was much stronger than in some of the international schools

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Photo: Stage and projection for performance in Hong Kong

where you had the typically nervous kids who don’t really want to open their mouths. In the local state schools, everybody just went at it, totally. There was just this extraordinary openness to voice and singing. CT What do you think the legacy of the programme will be? PM The legacy will be long-term exchange; the legacy will be us learning from Chinese culture and us trying to share some of our work over there; the legacy should be better international understanding and excitement and inspiration for lots of different people. CT In terms of the starting point i.e. the tragedy in Morecambe Bay, is there a legacy to do with that? PM Yeah, basically, it’s that out of a tragedy

More Music Phone: +44(0)1524 831997 Fax: +44(0)1524 419653 Email: info@moremusic.org.uk

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something positive grows. The positive thing is the international exchange and the under-standing and the partnership. You know, a tragedy either happens and you bury it under the carpet or you go ‘actually let’s try and make something beautiful grow out of that’. And that’s why, when I made the first trip to China when I was investigating this, I went ‘if we’re going to do this, it’s got to be ten years, you can’t do this in a year, it’s not a one-off project, it’s got to ground itself somewhere’. CT Are there any of the original cockle-pickers still alive or is there still a community in Morecambe?

CT Right, so that just put an end to all of that and those people just disappeared? PM Yeah, as far as I know. CT It must be a big responsibility to hold all of that and continue to make it meaningful and creative. PM It’s a big project for me. I’m quite a political person so The Long Walk was a very good political and social context to start from but the music that we’ve made as part of it has actually been really inspiring, very improvisational yet, at the same time, has allowed lots of people to create.

PM No, there aren’t any living here now. Of the people who survived, I don’t know where they are. Whether they’ve gone back to China or whether they’re in Liverpool. There’s a small Chinese community here but there isn’t a community who goes out into the bay now.

The aim ultimately is to work in areas of Fujian where the cockle-pickers came from and to enable international exchange to emerge as a positive outcome from the sadness of that tragedy.

The Hothouse 13-17 Devonshire Road Morecambe LA3 1QT, UK www.moremusic.org.uk

www.thelongwalk.info www.fastestonemanband.com www.cccd.hk www.fringeshanghai.com www.expo2010.cn www.expo2010.cn/expo/expoenglish/ www.musiceducationzoneasia.net

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If the Conservative Party wins the General Election, what’s in store for music education? Ian Clethero talks to Shadow Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey IC You have said that ‘we need to better harness the effect that music, dance and culture can have on a school’s life and on developing “rounded” human beings. This could be especially beneficial in struggling schools, working in tandem with a renewed emphasis on discipline and academic attainment’. How realistic is it to achieve this if music is either no longer in the national curriculum or is sidelined? What incentive will there be for headteachers to include it as a non-statutory subject? And where will schools get their money for music education?

IC Will music education fall under the remit of the DCSF or DCMS? Is there a danger of the roles of cultural agencies being emphasised over and above those with real expertise in formal education? EV Music and cultural education more widely will continue to be shared between the two departments. However, I definitely think there is scope for improving their co-operation and coordination and if we win the election, Michael Gove and I will work together to achieve this. I would expect cultural agencies to have people with real expertise in formal education as key members of their team.

EV Our approach to education is to foster a supply side revolution which meets parental choice. When we look at the most successful schools in the world, from Sweden’s free schools to American charter schools, it is their freedom from central control which marks them out as able to engage parents and offer them what they really want. Our plans will make it much easier for parents and other groups, including a committed orchestra or music charity, to set up new schools in the state sector and access equivalent public funding to existing state schools. We will ensure that funding for deprivation goes direct to the pupils most in need rather than being diverted by bureaucracies. So rather than issue inflexible diktats from the centre, we will give all schools freedom over their curriculum, which will enable schools to do much more with music. Similarly we will give schools freedom over their own budgets and teachers pay and conditions, so it will be much easier for headteachers to structure pay and bonuses to reflect extra time teachers put in to after school clubs, or leading choirs or orchestras. This will also give schools the budgetary freedom to bring in outside music specialists to work with their pupils. There is evidence to suggest that academically successful schools are schools that have healthy extra curricular programmes and I expect music to have a key role to play in this, both as headteachers look to raise standards, and in response to parental engagement.

I would like to set a challenge to the whole music education world: I would like you to have honest discussions about what in each of your areas really works and is worth enhancing, prioritising or replicating; and what could either done more effectively or efficiently by another organisation, or even not at all. Working out which initiatives have been successful, and what about them has contributed to this success is essential, and I call on the whole sector to engage with this discussion

IC You have said that you want to bring some coherence, stability and long-term strategy to the sector and that this will involve streamlining the current ‘blizzard’ of initiatives, with a central body acting as a co-ordinator of activities. How effective do you think a single body could be in this role, given the fundamentally different requirements of areas of the sector – for example, could a central ‘commissioning agent’ with limited experience in schools provide authoritative leadership and management for 12,000 trained instrumental teachers and 3,500 performing groups within Music Services? EV What I am suggesting is that the different bodies and initiatives with funding from central Government that currently exist come together for better co-ordination and a streamlining of cost, bringing their expertise with them. I am not suggesting that local authority music services be merged into a national body, but rather that national programmes that engage with them come together. IC The Federation of Music Services has recently recognised the need for change and more streamlined provision. How will you preserve and support the skills of music services and their 40 years of experience in teaching in partnership with schools – and build on their work?

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10 things you should know about Music Services…

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Music is working – over 2 million children are taught successfully by Music Services to play and sing every week

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Music Services have over 12,000 trained, qualified teachers working with children to attain the highest standards in and through music education

Music Services create partnerships to maximise musical opportunities for all young people

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4

6

Music Services identify and nurture exceptional talent

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Music Services are the backbone of music education – without them few children would have instrumental and vocal lessons

Music Services give thousands of children the opportunity to perform live on stage through concerts and events each year

Music Services work with children throughout their educational life: fostering a culture of rigour and aspiration, helping them progress on each step of their musical journey

Music Services’ teaching of Special Educational Needs and Socially Excluded children is recognised as world class

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Music Services run over 4,000 bands, youth, school and county orchestras and ensembles

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Music Services are a vital part of what makes Britain musical

The Federation of Music Services is proud to represent nearly every Music Service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (158). In partnership with many others we make Britain musical. For more details and case histories on how music transforms children and schools, contact: John Witchell, Chief Executive FMS, 7 Courthouse Street, Otley, Leeds LS21 3AN. Tel: 01943 463311 Fax: 01943 461188 Email: info@thefms.org

www.thefms.org

Leaders in music education


‘At the moment we have no idea what the finances will be like in the event of us winning the election, so we can’t give specific spending commitments’

‘We will ensure that funding for deprivation goes direct to the pupils most in need rather than being diverted by bureaucracies’

EV At national level, I think better clarity and direction from the centre will help. I’d like there to be a better relationship between the formal and informal sector, and I’d like to look at musical training at degree and professional level. At a local level, our localism plans will enable schools, parents and communities to engage more directly and easily with local government to determine the future of local music services that respond to the specific needs of the area. IC You have expressed concern about the disparity of funding for current initiatives (for example, between the Sing Up consortium and Youth Dance England). Initiatives such as the current ‘Tune In’ are criticised for superficiality and lack of real impact combined with no apparent ‘accountability trail’. What plans are there to provide for the continuity of projects such as Sing Up and In Harmony? Are any new initiatives planned? And who will be responsible for advising about this type of initiative – external experts, DCSF/DCMS staff, or a combination – and how will you ensure fairness, effectiveness of implementation and accountability? EV As David Cameron has said recently, in these challenging economic times, with the national debt at an unprecedented level, we have to think about how we make things better without spending more money. At the moment we have no idea what the finances will be like in the event of us winning the election, so we can’t give specific spending commitments. Rather, I would like to set a challenge to the whole music education world: I would like you to have honest discussions about what in each of your areas really works and is worth enhancing, prioritising or replicating; and what could either done more effectively or efficiently by another organisation, or even not at all. Working out which initiatives have been successful, and what about them has contributed to this success is essential, and I call on the whole sector to engage with this discussion.

IC What role do you see for bodies like the ABRSM? EV I think their experience and expertise is vital. For example, I’d like to work with bodies like the ABRSM to bring in equivalence for their exams and GCSE/A levels. IC How do you see commercial organisations being involved in the sector? For example, as sponsors? EV I think there are opportunities for commercial sponsors, and this is one of the areas where the current set up is failing – I have heard anecdotally of willing donors finding it very difficult to engage with the current structure, and yet this could be an excellent source of additional funding. In contrast UK Music has already run some interesting programmes for young people where they have working with commercial sponsors. I would like to see our national bodies develop the skill of engaging with offers of sponsorship, whether from private individuals or companies.

this dream is an admirable one, music, culture and the arts are a worthwhile pursuits even if you are not destined to be the next Yehudi Menuhin or Paul McCartney. Whether in formal or informal settings I would like a national cultural body to nurture a better relationship between professional artists, teachers, and enthusiastic amateur participants of any age – and the attitude of universities and colleges have a vital role to play here. There are many careers in music, and being a full time performing musician is one of them but it is not the only, or best path to follow. If we are to develop and build on the successes we see in music education it is vital that professional musicians, teachers of music and amateurs that are committed and serious about their love of music, work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

IC What are your plans for teacher training as far as music is concerned? EV We need to ensure that teachers are equipped to deliver what is required of them. The music conservatoires train up excellent musicians, many of whom end up being full or part time teachers, but whose degrees do not actually confer Qualified Teacher Status upon them. This mis-match between the tertiary training offered, employment opportunities, and needs of the sector must be addressed. IC How well do you think universities and colleges prepare music graduates for the real world? Have degrees been devalued? Ed Vaizey MP was elected as the Member of Parliament for

EV I think it is important that we are honest with our young people: To make them aware of just how rare it is to have both the talent and drive to make a career as purely an artist or performer, even as a music graduate. And to emphasise that while

Wantage and Didcot in May 2005. Since November 2006, he has been the Conservative Party’s Shadow Minister for Culture, looking after arts and broadcasting policy www.vaizey.com

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Focus on Scotland: Youth Music Initiative David McDonald, Scottish Arts Council’s Youth Music Manager, outlines the project

Background to the Youth Music Initiative

Delivering the YMI

developing links to the broader music industry.

Young people spend more time listening to, talking

Over the last seven years, the YMI has developed a range of funding strands and pilot programmes and has so far invested £57.5 million in music making for Scotland’s young people.

It is the partnerships that YMI funding has fostered between the two sectors that have made a significant contribution to enabling local authorities to make music a part of everyday school life. In the Highlands, Fèisean nan Gàidheal are delivering the local authority’s P6 target on their behalf. Through the development of comprehensive training packages, informal sector organisations such as the National Youth Choir of Scotland and Caber Enterprises are assisting local authorities in tackling the ‘fear factor’ that stops many Primary classroom teachers using music as part of their ‘toolkit’ of educational resources.

about and making music than any other creative pursuit. Music matters to young people. They often define themselves through their musical choices. Music influences their lifestyle decisions – how they dress and how they communicate. Music can help young people define their views and understanding of the world we live in. For us at the Scottish Arts Council, as the national development agency for the arts in Scotland, this means music is a vital tool for how we engage and interact with young people. This resonated with Scottish Government’s thinking when, in 2003, it made a bold policy decision to provide the Scottish Arts Council with the resources

It’s well documented that engaging in creativity can help build confidence, self esteem and emotional well-being as well as developing important problemsolving and communication skills. These are important elements that will shape the next generation and make a substantial contribution to ensuring our young people have the best start in life and that they develop into successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens .

to establish the Youth Music Initiative (YMI). This unique opportunity has enabled us to short-circuit the usual journey from making the case to making a difference. The YMI is driven by the ethos of putting music at the heart of young people’s lives and learning by working towards removing all barriers to participation.

‘YMI has not only led to young people gaining music skills and appreciation but also improved concentration and group working skills. Key skills such as numeracy and motor skills have been incorporated into music tuition; improvements in behaviour, confidence and self-esteem have also been noted.’ (Retuning)

Through its YMI programme, the Scottish Arts Council is engaged in a long-term goal of ‘re-engineering’ how music activities are delivered across the country – within both formal and informal learning environments. In 2006, we published Scotland’s first National Youth Music Strategy following extensive consultation with the wider music sector. The Scottish Arts Council has used this blueprint for

Each year, the YMI invests in more than 300 projects across the whole of Scotland. On an annual basis since the outset of YMI, 80% of funding has been allocated to Scotland’s 32 local authorities to meet and sustain the P6 target - ‘by 2006, all schoolchildren should have had access to one year’s free music tuition by the time they reach Primary 6’.

youth music in Scotland to establish three key aims for the YMI programme: (i)

supporting

high-quality

music

making

programmes, particularly for young people who would not normally access music activities; (ii) developing a cohesive national infrastructure for the youth music sector; (iii) supporting and developing the workforce

Prior to the YMI, provision of music in Scotland’s primary schools was at best patchy and at worst non-existent. The P6 target was met and is currently being sustained by all local authorities. Whilst the P6 target provides a useful tool to measure success through participation numbers, the Scottish Arts Council has been cognisant of the strategic role and influence the YMI could have in the development of the youth music sector by encouraging collaboration between the formal and informal sectors and

‘Teachers have lacked confidence in delivering music as they thought you had to be able to play the piano to teach the subject. But by producing various step-by-step guides that don’t demean teachers, systems like Tom Bancroft’s Apple Banana Carrot (ABC), for instance, we’ve seen fabulous teaching going on by teachers who are not music specialists. After all, they deliver maths, art and science through supported materials; if we get the material right, they should be able to deliver music every bit as well. Giving them confidence is the biggest thing.’ John O’Dowd, Music Teacher magazine, September 2007 The remaining 20% of YMI funding is allocated to organisations working within informal learning environments. The scope of projects funded in the informal sector is enormous and covers all genres and age ranges from birth to 25 years old. Some examples include: Scottish Booktrust’s ‘Book Bug’ training programme for Early Years workers; Sistema Scotland’s pilot social transformation project based on the Venezuelan El Sistema model; Chem 19’s sound recording and production course; and Feis Rois’ traditional music in communities programme. The YMI is currently exploring how to best support young people who are making music independently

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whilst ensuring they maintain their autonomy. There are a significant number of young people creating music in an unsupervised capacity and whilst there are support mechanisms for professional musicians, acts, bands and ensembles, there’s a lack of support for young people at the early stages of their musical development who wish to explore the potential of working in the music industry. The YMI is piloting and developing a range of innovative programmes tailored to fill this vacuum including a Demo Fund; Touring & Performing Network; Mentoring Scheme; Rehearsal Spaces. The music industry is a highly confusing and competitive business environment. Young musicians who are committed to writing, rehearsing and recording their own music would benefit from concentrated and sustained support and mentoring from professionals. Not only does the music industry rely on new musical talent but also on the development of entrepreneurial talent to support and grow the music industry infrastructure in Scotland. YMI is working in partnership with the Scottish Music Centre to pilot a mentoring scheme for all aspects of the music business. The YMI believes this early development work will create a range of support and development mechanisms that will enable Scotland to lead the way in developing meaningful pathways for young

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people to be the next generation’s music industry professionals. Developing the infrastructure At the YMI, we not only support additional music programmes but also are developing a cohesive national infrastructure for youth music across Scotland. It’s playing an important role in helping the sector galvanise itself and ensuring all voices within it are heard. The YMI is currently midway through a programme of establishing Youth Music Forums in all 32 local authority areas. The purpose of the forums is to bring together all key stakeholders in a geographic area to encourage, promote and develop local joined-up thinking in terms of music provision, pooling resources, consolidating provision and identifying ‘localised’ gaps. The forums are an important tool for the Scottish Arts Council (and, indeed, individual forums) to communicate key messages and information. The YMI will be able to use the forums to test the ‘musical pulse’ of the youth music sector that will inform how the Scottish Arts Council will strategically develop new programmes and distribute resources. There are currently 18 forums established. ‘The forum provides a means of raising issues, providing support and communicating information. It has stimulated dialogue and debate and even

though discussion and collaboration can sometimes be uncomfortable, shared ideas are more likely to produce creative and satisfactory solutions’ Peter Marnoch, Music Development Officer, Comhairle nan Eilean Scottish Government funding for the YMI has created an opportunity for us to begin to develop a cohesive infrastructure for the youth music sector – a sector where formal and informal providers work together for the benefit of Scotland’s young people with the ambition of creating an infrastructure where there’s a clear articulation between what’s happening within and outside school. We believe the YMI is an exemplar model of how the arts can engage with the creative & cultural industries, education, artists, arts organisations and cultural professionals. It can pave an exciting new way for all art forms to interface with young people. The ecology of youth music in Scotland today is healthy, exciting and very different from what it was in 2003 but… we still have work to do.

For further information visit: www.scottisharts.org.uk/ymi To view YMI Radio, a short film on the YMI, visit: www.smallmajority.co.uk/ymi_video.html

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


Perform! – Making More of Music Gary Spruce from the Open University and Trinity Guildhall’s Francesca Matthews report on a new Primary project

June 30th 2010 will witness one of the most exciting musical occasions of Tune In, the Government’s Year of Music. Over 500 KS2 pupils and their teachers will come together at Nottingham Trent FM Arena to take part in the culminating event of Perform!, a project devised and developed by Trinity Guildhall and The Open University to celebrate the music-making that is happening in Primary schools as part of Wider Opportunities programmes.

Perform! is not, however, just about this one, highprofile event. It is about celebrating the best in musical teaching and learning taking place in Primary schools across the country; schools where class teachers, instrumental tutors and community musicians work together to give children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

At its best, this learning takes place in lessons which support children in developing as fully rounded musicians and where the rich diversity of musical traditions and cultures, and the musical practices which they exemplify, are valued and celebrated. Two key elements lie at the centre of Perform!: First, there is an exciting new resource which has been especially devised for this project by Francesca Matthews and Paul Christmas. This resource brings together a range of musical stimuli to create a kaleidoscope of musical styles and traditions. Imagine a psalm tune by Tallis reworked as a reggae number. Now add to this a skiffle version of a ‘street band’ song leavened with an Indian Rag, an extract from a sixteenth century Mass setting and a South African Township song topped off with a theme from a piano concerto by Rachmaninoff and you’ll get some idea of the richness both of the resource and of the musical experience awaiting those involved.

Second, a secure, online website for schools (www.radiowaves.co.uk/perform) has been developed by the award-winning team behind NUMU (www.numu.org.uk). The Radiowaves site already contains lots of exciting musical ideas and resources for Primary schools to work with in their music lessons. Most importantly, however, it allows children to share their musical work with other users of Radiowaves across the country as well as those directly involved in Perform! Access to the Radiowaves site is not restricted to those schools involved in the main project. Any Primary school can register for its own Station for no charge on the Perform! Network on Radiowaves. This can be used not only in music lessons but also in any subject area to upload videos, audio, documents, pictures, blogs, reports… the possibilities are endless, and a very exciting way to share what children are doing with the thousands

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of other schools registered on Radiowaves. For those using Radiowaves for Perform!, there is also FREE Radiowaves training available in mid March.

uploading their work onto the Radiowaves site and performing it at live local cluster events in the late spring/early summer term.

Preparations for the event in June are well under way. More than a dozen local authorities and over twenty schools from across the country are involved in the project. Introductory workshops will be taking place very shortly for those class teachers, head teachers, instrumental teachers and heads of Music Services taking part in the project. These workshops will introduce the resource and model approaches to using it which exemplify best practice and support both children’s musical learning and teachers’ professional development.

It is axiomatic that websites, workshops, largescale events and resources are only as good as the ideas about, and approaches to, teaching and learning which underpin them. Perform! is, more than anything else, about supporting and disseminating good practice through these resources, events and technologies.

Each school will be asked to work with a particular aspect of the resource. The workshop will include modelling, practical activities and discussions in order to give teachers ideas and strategies for how the resource can be used, developed and explored in their classroom during weekly class and Wider Opportunities lessons. In addition to the workshops, teachers will be supported by DVD materials and opportunities to watch, listen and respond to online performances developed by other classes and those professional musical ensembles and musicians who are supporting the project. Children and their teachers can then share the progress and outcomes of their music through

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The principles that underpin Perform! are the same as those that underpin the Key Stage 2 Music CPD Programme (www.ks2music.org.uk) which Trinity Guildhall and The Open University have been running since 2007 and which over 3000 practitioners have engaged with. They are also the principles which underpin all effective teaching: • • • •

Access and inclusion Collaboration Creativity Integration

Access and Inclusion lie at the very foundation of the Wider Opportunities programme and the Government’s commitment to all children having the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Perform! takes this principle further through its

inclusive approach both to musical engagement all teaching is done aurally with differentiated resources appropriate for instruments and accessible by the full range of attainment levels and the fusing of the wide range of musical styles and traditions. Collaboration is key to Perform!’s approach to teaching and learning – and particularly collaboration between the classroom teacher and the visiting instrumental tutor. Perform! believes that the synergy between instrumental and vocal tutors and classroom teachers and musicians offers a rich context for musical learning and professional growth. As Rita Burt says, where teachers work together in a collaborative way, ‘Musical horizons are broadened and pedagogy strengthened whilst the children benefit from the breadth, diversity and exposure to a range of role models and different approaches to musical teaching and learning’ (Burt in Beach N, Evans J and Spruce G 2010 in press). The whole process of Perform! is designed to be a collaborative one between children, teachers and the Perform! team. As the children develop new ideas, they will share these with the resource’s creators and devisers who will incorporate them into the whole resource and then disseminate the new material to other children and teachers involved in the project. Radiowaves will act as both

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


requires a creative approach to teaching as well as providing opportunities for children themselves to be creative.

the catalyst and the repository for this creative work. The children will be able to interact with the ideas posted online both by other children and the professional musicians working in partnership with Perform! They will then use these ideas as inspiration or starting points for their own creative work. They, in turn, will then share their own work online to inspire others. Consequently, the resource will be constantly changing and developing in response to the inspiration provided by the children and resulting from their collaborative working.

Those children and teachers preparing for the event in June will be working with and developing particular sections of the resource. The emphasis is strongly on a creative process. Children won’t be asked ‘just’ to learn the right notes to play but encouraged to work creatively with those notes: for

Getting involved in Perform! It is perhaps in the areas for Creativity and Integration that Perform! has most to offer, through challenging common assumptions about what it means to ‘perform’. Perform! believes that the act of performing offers a musical context within which children can develop all those aspects of what it is to be musical; a context within which artificial barriers between performing music, composing music and responding to music can be broken down. This is achieved through drawing inspiration from those musical traditions where such distinctions are not recognised and where musical roles are fluid - where the activities of creating, performing, listening to and responding to music are fully integrated. This kind of integration

If you’d like to get involved: • please visit www.ks2music.org.uk/perform for more information or • sign up for a free Radiowaves station at www.radiowaves.co.uk/joinperform

Training We’ve organised free Radiowaves training for any school that would like it. • See the ks2music website for dates and details www.ks2music.org.uk

example, through composing or improvising new sections or lines based on ideas (motifs, themes, riffs etc.) from the resource or exploring the characteristics of one of the musical styles that is represented within it. Through doing this, they will immerse themselves in the music and musical style(s) and gain knowledge of the music from ‘the inside’. They will develop their own music with an intrinsic understanding of the musical style or tradition within which they are working and its associated rhythms, feel and structure. They will understand how to ‘tell a story’ through the shape of the melody they create and the sounds they produce. They will enrich their understanding through listening to other related resources and music via the Radiowaves site and other sources. In short, they will interact and engage with the resource in an authentic musical way through engaging in all those activities and processes of thinking and feeling that make up what it is to be musical.

References Beach N, Evans J and Spruce G (forthcoming) Making Music Together: Abingdon. RoutledgeFalmer.

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zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net

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Focus on Wales: Big Celebration of Little Voices Emma Coulthard of Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Music Service reports on a partnership singing project for Year 1 and Year 2 children in Cardiff

500 little voices, four days, one celebration of the joy of singing together on the Glanfa Stage at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay. At the end of March 2010, Year 1 and 2 children from all over Cardiff will gather to perform at this Festival, devised by the Music Development Team at Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Music Service, and delivered in partnership with the WMC. The idea behind the event is to provide an exciting musical experience for pupils at Foundation Stage who have not yet begun to learn to play an instrument, to give them a taste of live music making and the confidence to perform in public.

Many of the pupils performing at the event come from areas of economic and social disadvantage and the hope is that, by singing together, they will realise that their voice matters and they can make a real contribution to something bigger, even at such a young age. The Glanfa Stage at the WMC provides the perfect setting as anyone can wander in and parents are free to watch or have their lunch in one of the cafés in the foyer. Last year, we were honoured to have First Minister Rhodri Morgan drop by during the rehearsal on his way to the nearby Senedd building – home of the Welsh Assembly. The Big Celebration brings together the diverse skills of the Music Team – one member designed the logo, another recorded the practice tracks while the in-house rock band, ‘The BA38s’, wrote and recorded the theme song Big Celebration and our warm-up piece i-Sing. ‘The BA38s’ are named after the area of the brain developed by music – as researched by Steven Mithen in his fascinating book The Singing Neanderthals. The band perform and write authentic rock and pop songs for use in Primary and Special schools.

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Big Celebration is the first song we’ve recorded as a group and has inspired us to produce more material of this kind which will meet the needs of school music departments that want really good rock songs without the headache of inappropriate lyrics! i-Sing, written for Indian flute, keyboard and Roland Handsonic, is a fusion of Irish and Chinese music which we use for a Tai-Chi warm-up to calm the mind and prepare for singing. There is a simple call and response in the middle section to warm up the voice. This has gone down very well with teachers and children and is a visual treat. Many of the little ones have never moved that slowly or silently before and the quiet, reflective nature of the music is quite new to them. The piece also introduces the bamboo flute, electronic percussion and the music of other cultures.

After the warm-up and theme song, we present a selection of songs from a popular musical. Last year, we chose Mary Poppins to tie in with the performance at the WMC. This year, it will be songs from The Sound of Music. Each school group will prepare one song to sing on their own with help from the Music Development Band and soloists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Last year, we were lucky to have several volunteers from the Singing Department who inspired the children with their high standard of singing and were, in turn, inspired by the enthusiasm of the children. We hope to recruit a potential Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer from the wealth of singing talent that we have on our doorstep. We close the performance with a presentation of certificates and a reprise of the theme tune Big

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Celebration with lots of air guitar action from the children and staff. We hope that the event will be as fresh and exciting as last year’s which can been seen from the pictures and the comments we received from participants. It was particularly good to see so many little ones from such diverse backgrounds coming together for the first time to perform in public. The support and enthusiasm we had from teachers was so important, and the fact that each class group was conducted by their own teacher for their featured song re-enforced the vital role they play in the early musical development of the children.

With thanks to: Thoby Davis Richard Frost Sallie Maclennan Will Rees Christian Sefton Kyle Jones from CCVG Music Development Team

Read the Big Celebration Diary on page 24

‘Little voices, little voices, little voices everywhere You can hear them in the bedroom, they are coming down the stairs Little voices in the kitchen, little voices in the hall And if you listen carefully… you might hear them all’ (from Big Celebration © Emma Coulthard 2009)

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Diary of the Big Celebration 2010

September 2009 • Approached the WMC emerging artists team who agreed to support the event and confirmed dates

October 2009 • Decided on theme The Sound of Music

December 2009 • Chose tutors and allocated hours for school visits

January 2010 • Recorded backing tracks and did interview and photo shoot for the WMC newsletter at Mount Stuart Primary School, Cardiff Bay

February 2010 • Final decisions on which schools to invite. Put packs together and begin school visits. Arrange music for the in-house band and write press release and this article! Wash and iron lots of little T-shirts for the children. Audition for soloists

March 2010 • Co-ordinate with press office at County Hall and attempt to get radio airplay for the Big Celebration song. Organise changing rooms and juice. Monday 23rd – Friday 26th at 1pm, the Festival goes live

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Big Celebration 2010 – What They Said

‘Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed ‘Little Voices’ on Friday. Another great success from the Music Development Team – well done!’ Anne Rees, Advisory Service, Cardiff Council Schools and Lifelong Learning

‘Staff, pupils and parents thoroughly enjoyed the process and performance – they enjoyed performing with live musicians, when’s the next event?’ Class teacher, Grangetown Primary School

‘We had a fantastic time at the WMC. We really loved practising the songs in school and we hope we sang well for you on the day.’ Class 3, Gabalfa Primary School

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


product review notion 3 product: notion 3 what: music notation software by: notion music www.notionmusic.com price: £149+VAT from: www.musiceducationzone.net/store

Notion 3 aims to bridge the gap between music notation software and audio applications. When asked to review this software I realised that I would need to approach it with an open mind. Coming from a classically trained background where Sibelius and Cubase hold governing power (I am Director of Music at a Cathedral Choir School), I asked myself whether or not the music world really needed yet another music software program.

legendary artists at top studios around the world. What is more, I was able to export material to other programs and (perhaps more useful to me) import music to be played with Notion 3’s superior playback. After a few glitches I began to understand the notation input system. I initially found this quite cumbersome but, to be fair, I have become so used to the Sibelius and Cubase procedures that

To me though, the most pleasing aspect of Notion 3 is its non-notation use. The very advanced sequencer programme and audio mixer are both extremely easy to use and highly effective. The addition of an extra sequencer staff on the written notation page has huge educational possibilities, confirming Notion 3’s aim to bridge that gap. So, what is Notion 3 all about? Is it a score writing system (like Sibelius) or is it an audio sequencing program (like Cubase)? Well, it’s both and it’s neither and it is highly effective. It certainly bridges the gap between notation and audio-based software and is also great fun and easy to use. I’m not sure though that by bridging the gap that it will replace other established programs. It’s good, but is it THAT good…?

anything other than these was bound to be a struggle. That said, the system itself works very well and there are useful similarities between all these programs (I expect that many people using Notion 3 for the first time will already be familiar with either Sibelius or Cubase).

Brian Cotterill Director of Music, Lanesborough School

After installing the software (which was alarmingly straightforward) I did what we all do – I immediately played around with it, seeing what I could I find and what I could do with complete disregard to handbooks, on-line tutorials or manuals. Before I knew it I had managed to create music, start writing a score and play it back. This was looking promising! Feeling pleased with myself (although clearly this recognition should go to the software writers for making it so easy) I then embarked on studying this programme properly. The first thing which became apparent was the quality of audio playback. Over 10GB of sounds are incorporated into this programme, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra as well as other instruments recorded by

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product review notion conducting product: notion conductng what: conductor training software by: notion music www.notionmusic.com price: £70 incl VAT from: www.musiceducationzone.net/store

How do we teach conducting in a classroom environment? Well, it’s not easy, especially if we are working with a large class and a full orchestra is seldom available! Notion Conducting aims to change that.

Conducting a virtual orchestra is quite an experience. Connecting my laptop to external speakers improved the sound quality significantly and after a couple of teething problems I was away. The DVD ‘lessons’ are instructional and concise and link perfectly to the scores in the workbook provided. I was particularly interested in the program’s ability to mute sections of the orchestra allowing a student to concentrate on one particular area – most useful. This also allows a student to play the muted part on a live instrument.

Brian Cotterill is Director of Music at Lanesborough School (the choir school of Guildford Cathedral) and is also the Musical Director of the Surrey Songsters and

I have not come across a program like this before and the first thing to be said is what fun it is. It is simple to use and can clearly be a valuable educational tool. I began with a straightforward Bach chorale but very quickly had bigger ideas and moved onto the first movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. To be honest, I lost my place in the score a couple of times (I was trying to take in so much) but soon discovered that there are keyboard shortcuts to move the playback marker to a place of my choosing – excellent!

The conducting exercises are well laid out and can be used as core material or supplementary work. Equally impressive is the program’s ability to accommodate differing class sizes.

an occasional organist of Guildford Cathedral. He is also a leader of Sing Up for the Guildford area. He has also musically directed (and written) many school shows and has performed in the USA, Ireland, France,

This is certainly an impressive and powerful piece of software. My only concern is where to find the time in the curriculum to make the most of it…

Germany, Austria and in many parts of England and Wales. A keen composer, he has written and arranged for groups including the Maidenhead Chamber Choir, the

Brian Cotterill Director of Music, Lanesborough School

Albion Brass Consort in London Canzonetta and the Farnham Youth Choir.

Zone New Media Websites www.musiceducationzone.net www.musiceducationzoneasia.net www.choirzone.net

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zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net


product review the girls’ guide to rocking product: the girls’ guide to rocking by Jessica Hopper what: guidebook price: £9.89 from: www.musiceducationzone.net/store

On first hearing the title of this book, I was immediately weary. As a bit of a feminist, The Girls’ Guide To Rocking sounded so patronising. Isn't rocking supposed to be for everyone? Do girls really need a special guide to doing it? I mean, are we THAT dense?! But I learnt from this to ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Reading The Girls' Guide To Rocking, I realised that not only is this a good book and one I really could’ve done with when I started my first

see Jessica Hopper write that you really don’t need expensive guitars to begin playing. This was good, as it’s totally true. I expected her wisdom to be a bit superficial and even a marketing ploy for the guitar companies! What she writes here is valuable information for any girls who want to start a proper band. She talks us girls through all the relevant equipment, who we should try and play music with (anyone!) and, of course, naming the band. This is helpful as the name of my first band ended up being ‘Freakface’ – the guitarist had braces and we couldn't think of anything better to go with! Recently, my expectations of music have been failing as I've noticed that you don't need talent any more to enter the music business. I thought Jessica’s book would market these terrible 'musicians' but, in fact, none of them got any mention at all, which impressed me. The timeline of influential female musicians made me smile as, of course, my expectations were thwarted by all the really fantastic female musicians being listed (anyone reading The Girls' Guide To Rocking, I recommend you check these women out, they're great!). Throughout the book, Jessica includes a trove of awesome songs to download; listening to some of them has upped my music collection on my iPod, also, any mention of Stevie Wonder is okay by me. I could really relate to Jessica Hopper’s style of writing and I recommend this book to beginners as I could have done with something like this when I was a naive thirteen-year-old trying to start a band. This really made me go ‘awww, I should’ve done that!’ and it could've made me learn quicker that boys were not superior musicians to girls.

band but also that it thwarts the myths that (i) only boys can rock and (ii) girls can only stick to one genre of music, both of which I had to learn the hard way over the course of two or three years.

So anyone who’s like me – judgemental, feminist and sceptical – learn from my mistake and never judge a book by its cover – especially not this one!

When I first opened the book, I was surprised to

Reviewed by Amy

Jessica Hopper

Amy

Amy is a 17-year-old girl from the quiet suburbs of Twickenham. She’s in love with music and plays bass in a band. She’s been writing for years and aspires to become a journalist. Her plan is to slyly bring back the classics from Motown and Stax Records and raise the ridiculously low expectations of music through writing about it in a witty and interesting way... She was exposed to music from a young age by her cruel parents who were, and still are, music snobs.

zone magazine digital edition 18 / mar 2010 © zone new media 2010 / www.musiceducationzone.net

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g O n i ut S

Charity reg no. 207994 (England & Wales), SC038731 (Scotland) N87_A4ad

for Marie Curie Cancer Care

Every song you sing will support terminally ill cancer patients at Christmas To find out more or to host your own event Call: 08700 340 040 Email: singout@mariecurie.org.uk Visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk/singout

Marie Curie Cancer Care provides high quality nursing, totally free, to give people with terminal cancer and other illnesses the choice of dying at home, supported by their families.

zone magazine digital edition  

UK national music education magazine

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