News archive for 2011
Gifted Brothers In Tune As They Go For Top Award
Posted on: 21 Dec 2011
Read more here about the two gifted percussionist brothers who are previous EMI MSF applicants - will they be young musicians of the year?
Talented brothers, previous applicant Richard Rayner and his brother Peter have both entered 2012’s Young Musician of the Year award to battle it out against each other to get the top award.
Richard Rayner, 17, and his 15-year-old brother Peter both live and breathe music, playing the drums, percussion and piano. The brothers have made it through to the quarter finals after triumphing in their regionals.
Please click on the following link to find out more: http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/Gifted-brothers-tune-award/story-14143984-detail/story.html
Blessed Hugh Faringdon’s, Aphrodite’s Secret, is a huge success
Posted on: 13 Dec 2011
Roars of approval and thunderous applause rounded off two outstanding performances of Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School’s latest musical, Aphrodite’s Secret, last week
The audience was treated to a spectacular show full of uplifting rock and roll favourites and new age classics, with drama, suspense and exciting special effects.
Written by year 10 pupils Freya Storch and Amy Hudson, the story centred around Luke, played by Matthew Snape, who was given a mission by Zion (Tahirah Andrews) to find Pandora’s Box and save the world from the evil ‘Dark Ones’.
In all, over 50 students took part in the show with a further 20 helping behind the scenes.
The slick production and highly professional performances were a clear example of the extra opportunities offered to our students through Blessed Hugh Faringdon’s Specialist Performing Arts status.
They were also due, in no small measure, to the enormous effort put in by everyone involved with the show, who had been rehearsing since September.
MSF Sponsored School Visits the School Proms
Posted on: 12 Dec 2011
The Wardle High Schools Youth Band took to the stage to perform at The Music For Youth School Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on the 9th November.
The Wardle High Schools Youth Band, who are National Champions, took to the stage to perform in front of a 4,500 audience at The Music For Youth School Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on the 9th November.
The School Proms, created by Music for Youth took place across three nights and involved 3,201 young musicians from England, Scotland and Wales performing at the world’s most famous concert Hall.
Founded in 1970, Music for Youth is a national music education charity providing free performance and audience opportunities for young people aged 21 and under through an annual season of nationwide festivals and concerts.
Wardle High began their quest to get to the Royal Albert Hall in the spring, performing alongside 50,000 young musicians in one of 71 Regional Festivals held across the UK.
Wardle High School’s Youth Band were then invited to perform at the National Festival of Music for Youth. This was a six day annual festival held in July in which Wardle High Youth Band performed at Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Their performance at the National Festival meant that Wardle High Youth Band were awarded the Royal Albert Hall Award in the Brass Bands (Schools) section and were selected to perform in front of a 4,500 audience at the School Proms.
Wardle High School has a strong tradition in the performing arts, but particularly in brass band music. They provide instrumental teaching for every pupil who wants it, be it string, woodwind, percussion or brass at no charge other than the insurance cover for their instrument. The school has several groups and bands and they also support local primary schools.
The night featured two performances by the Youth Band. The first performance was Dimensions by Peter Graham. The second performance collaborated with Ysgol Dinas Bran Male Voice Ensemble from Llangollen, North Wales who sang Lost Chord by Gordon Langford. Both performances were conducted by Lee Rigg, with Aled Philips conducting the Male Voice Ensemble. Both performances were also accompanied by Geoff Proffitt playing the magnificent organ.
The Wardle High Youth Band were accompanied to London by two buses full of supporters and also got to visit the National Gallery and the London Dungeons as part of their trip.
Director of Performing Arts, Mrs Emsley said, ‘The Band were brilliant both in their behaviour and their performance. Everyone had a fantastic time; it was an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Not everyone can say they got a standing ovation at the Royal Albert Hall! We hope to continue our collaboration with the male ensemble and Aled Philips from Ysgol Dinas Bran and have a concert together next year.’
Nik Rutherford’s back with his guitar
Posted on: 14 Nov 2011
My name is Nik Rutherford, In 2007, whilst in my first year of the BA (hons) Jazz studies degree. I was awarded a grant of £350 pounds by the EMI Music Sound Foundation to buy an instrument. It had become imperative that I purchase a more stylistically appropriate instrument for the music I was studying. I did not have the money to buy one myself and I was not from a family who could pay for one for me. I used the award to obtain a Hofner Verythin- a fantastic guitar which I am still using today. I have since graduated from my course and am working as a self employed musician and teacher. I play in many different bands and teach both privately and in schools and music centres. I am sure that my guitar will be with me for a long time yet! Thanks EMI.
Please click on the above link to go to Nik’s website and listen to some of his fantastic music as well as find out more about Nik!
Music education in the infant class
Posted on: 30 Sep 2011
“Evaluation of the EMI Music Sound Foundation Project rollout: Training Key Stage 1 Primary School Teachers (2010-2011),” by Professor Susan Hallam can be found on the resources page of our website.
In the past it seemed that every primary school had one or two teachers who could bash out an assembly hymn on an old upright piano.
Today there are no such certainties. Some primaries have several music specialists and many instruments. Others do not have a single musician on the staff and some no longer have even a slightly out-of-tune piano.
The huge gulf between music education’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ – even within the state sector—has been highlighted by a new report from the Institute of Education, University of London.
The study, commissioned by the EMI Music Sound Foundation, an independent charity, found a very uneven spread of musical expertise in the infant classes of 132 primary schools surveyed earlier this year. “There is wide variability in the quality of the teaching and the standards attained by the pupils,” says the study’s lead author, Professor Sue Hallam.
“The best lessons are delivered by the music co-ordinators who are either very experienced musicians or very confident. However, almost four in ten of the heads we interviewed said they did not have a music specialist.”
Forty-five per cent of the primary staff surveyed could not read music and most had received only one day’s training in the subject as student teachers. However, some had received up to 20 days’ training.
The IOE researchers found great disparity too in the amount of time infant pupils spend on musical activities. Some get only 20 minutes a week, on average. Others have 70 minutes.
The report also says that the availability of instruments is very unequal. One teacher said: “The music here is out of this world. They learn the ukulele, flute, recorders, all that sort of thing and the singing side of it is really good.” By contrast, more than a quarter of the primary teachers surveyed had no access to tuned percussion instruments such as the glockenspiel or handbells, and one in nine schools did not even have a piano.
However, teachers believed that it is the heavy emphasis on literacy and numeracy in preparation for national tests that is the greatest obstacle to music education in the primary school.
More positively, the researchers found that many of the primary teachers felt far more able to lead music lessons after receiving a pack of music teaching resources, a day of specialist training at a local secondary school, and follow-up support from secondary staff.
“There were highly statistically significant differences in primary school teachers’ ratings of their pupils’ musical skills prior to and following training, including their sense of pulse, rhythm and pitch,” the researchers say in their evaluation of the training, funded by the EMI Music Sound Foundation. “The greatest change was in relation to those children who were perceived as having the lowest levels of musical expertise.”
The IOE study lends support to the conclusions of the review of music education that the coalition Government recently commissioned from Darren Henley, managing director of Classic FM. His report recommended in February that all primary pupils should have access to a specialist music teacher. It also said that the amount of time dedicated to music in most initial teacher training courses is inadequate.
Following that report the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, pledged to end the “musical divide” between wealthier children and those in disadvantaged areas. He said a national plan for music education would be published this year and announced that £82.5 million would be given to music services across England in 2011-12. That figure is, however, precisely the same sum that local authorities received in 2010-11 and makes no allowance for inflation.