Music News

GCSE music survey06 Feb

The ISM are conducting a survey on GCSE music and would like input from as wide as possible.

You can read the background to this survey, and download the current subject criteria and latest re-draft, on their website:

And the survey itself is here:

The deadline for completing the survey is 14 February.

Music News

Orchestra of violas23 Apr

Summer has appeared. Inspired?
Google Creative Director Alexander Chen (who previously turned NYC transit data into music) recently sat down with his viola and a pair of Google Glass specs to record snippets of video and audio which he then looped and edited to create this miniature orchestra.

Music News

Copenhagen Philharmonic flash mob27 Sep

In April 2012 Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised the passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Grieg’s Peer Gynt. The flash mob was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk All music was performed and recorded in the metro.

The sound: The Copenhagen Metro is very quiet and the recording you hear is where the train is standing still. That’s why the recording you hear is so clean and crisp – and the sound is actually surprisingly good in the Copenhagen metro. We did this deliberately because we feel that a good sound experience is vital when trying to portray the actual experience that day. Further to the main recording, when the train was standing still, the recordings from the cameras was, as far as possible, mixed into the sound.

Music News

National Music Plan – Trinity’s Response25 Nov

The government has today announced its first ever national plan for music education in response to Classic FM managing director Darren Henley’s review of the sector.

A report on this can be read here. (The Stage) and also here. (The Guardian)

MMA corporate member Trinity College, London has responded quickly and welcomes today’s National Plan for Music Education and especially its commitment that all children will continue to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through whole class teaching as well as the importance placed on ensuring quality through the continuing professional development of music teachers.

The emphasis on providing pathways from first access into further music making for all young people is especially welcome. Trinity also supports the introduction of a qualified music educator qualification and looks forward to consultation on how this will raise standards while promoting diversity.

Chief executive Sarah Kemp said, “It is great news that the Government believes that high quality music education is important, and we hope this will be backed up by a firm commitment to music remaining in the National Curriculum. It is vitally important that children should continue to have access to high quality musical learning in schools. Trinity remains committed to supporting music education through working closely with the developing hubs.”

“The delivery of affordable and accessible teacher support and professional development is at the heart of Trinity’s work. Supporting all music teachers of all levels of experience is one of our core activities. With diminishing funding and a short time for set-up, music education hubs face many challenges in ensuring they meet the Government’s high expectations for all pupils in their care. Trinity is absolutely committed to supporting hubs through partnership work in both professional development provision for teachers, and the design of adaptable assessment structures that support young people’s musical journeys.

“We welcome the importance the government places on providing routes for progression from early years programmes right through to adulthood. At Trinity we believe in the importance in access to music for all, and that high quality musical experiences should be available to everyone, not just for the minority who aim for conservatoire study or the life of a professional musician. Through graded exams, Arts Award and our new Music Tracks exams, Trinity provides a means for every child to experience high quality musical learning, and a means for them to build their own musical journey, whatever that may look like.

“We support the recommendations for drawing together formal and informal learning opportunities for children. We would urge the Government, and the sector more widely, to consider further the integration of musical learning across the many places in which it takes place. The support in the plan for musical learning through an instrument is welcome, but this must be part of a provision which integrates classroom music lessons with children’s experience out of school. The best music education takes place when all these aspects of learning are acknowledged and brought together into a rich whole.”

Music News

Orchestral Pop?23 Nov

Here is an interesting clip from Australian X Factor of Kylie Minogue previewing her forthcoming orchestral album! Apparently all of her hits – with orchestra.
This follows a number of artists who have chosen this route recently, not least Peter Gabriel, who has probably achieved the best result. (below)
Watch out for the neon violins!

MMA News,Music News

Colin Dowdeswell MBE12 Jun

It is with great pleasure that we can announce and congratulate MMA member Colin Dowdeswell on receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to education and music in Norwich.

Colin was Director of Music at Norwich School for 27 years during which time the Music Department grew to become one of the jewels in the Norwich School crown with over 70% of the pupils involved in music-making. Head Master, Jim Hawkins, described him as “a truly amazing man and musician. His energy and appetite for music and desire to encourage young people to engage with it are boundless and undiminished.”

Colin was MMA President in 2003.
He conducts the Norwich-based Mozart Orchestra and plays the violin in the Academy of St. Thomas.

Congratulations Colin!

Music News

The sound of wood19 May

Watch this Japanese commercial and discover the sound of wood. Genius.

Events,Music News

The B Festival at Bedford School07 May

Music News

Lady Gaga Fugue04 May

Music News

Sir Ken Robinson – schools kill creativity11 Feb

“All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.”

You may have seen this TED talk from 1996 by Sir Ken Robinson. Funny but essentially truthful, it may completely change the way you think about education and creativity. Sir Ken Robinson proposes that our public education system is built on and moving towards the pinnacle of the ‘University elite’. In an age where a degree has less meaning than ever, maybe we need to rethink how we direct children’s learning. This of course has a dramatic impact on the arts and music, which can often be sidelined for more traditionally academic (and lucrative) pursuits.

A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.

Agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

“Nobody has a clue what the world will look like in five years time, and yet we’re meant to be educating them for it.”

“All kids have tremendous talent and we squander them. Creativity is as important as literacy.”

Why you should join us this year…

As an instrumental teacher…

We recognise the valuable role of instrumental teachers in our schools. This year we are offering a special discount for instrumental teachers who are self employed.

As a newly qualified teacher…

Joining a busy music department in your first year can be overwhelming – count on us for support. We offer newly qualified teachers the first year of membership absolutely free.

As a corporate member…

In these changing times, it is comforting to know you can build strong relationships directly with customers who value your expertise. Corporate membership of the MMA provides multiple opportunities to connect with members and build your business. For more information contact Carol Hawkins.

Contact us

You can contact the MMA c/o:

MMA / Carol Hawkins

St Edmund’s School, Canterbury, Kent CT2 8HU
Tel: 01227 475600
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For membership enquiries please email Sophie Kirk:
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Media & Publications

For media enquiries please email Keith Ayling:
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