For those of us working in education, September feels like the start of a new year and one of the things people do as a new year approaches is look back over the last year so here’s Peter Holmes’ review of 2015/16 for the music hub:
We were fortunate to have an increased investment in music education when ministers put an additional £17m into the Arts Council grant. That translated to an extra £250,000 in Gloucestershire and has enabled us to widen the offer we can make. We want all children to experience and enjoy music so we have provided support for more out of school activity, provided more opportunities for young people to write songs and perform them and supported a wide range of concerts where children can participate either through performance or active engagement with musicians. All this on top of the core work of providing whole class tuition, Saturday morning music centres and high quality orchestras and groups!
There have been some wonderful performances where young people have shown their talents; Christmas concerts, national competitions, all Gloucester secondary schools in the cathedral and a fabulous concert where children from all our special schools were able to perform. But there have also been opportunities for some young people who don’t find school easy to build their confidence through playing and performing to classmates or friends.
The hub has worked with nearly 250 of the 300 schools in Gloucestershire. We know schools value music as part of their performing arts – just look at the front cover of any school prospectus or website to see that. What we need is more encouragement for children to take their interest to the next level whether that is playing an instrument, singing or making music through technology. Of 90,000 children and young people in the county, less than 2,000 appear to be actively engaged in music outside the classroom. I say ‘appear’ because we haven’t been good at getting information – a point that the Arts Council has challenged us on.
This year, with the help of Omar Khokher (Severn Vale School) and Analie Hart (Heron Primary School), we have produced a simpler questionnaire which will be easier and less time consuming for schools to complete. The new questionnaires can be found below:
Entries in these surveys are visible to all, however there are no data issues as there is no personal data included. If you do not wish to have your information visible you can still use the original data app which can be found here www.glos.musicdatashare.org.uk/ If you need help with this survey, please contact Mark Medland
So, I hope we can share a new year’s resolution to encourage more children and young people to develop their talents and can I encourage schools to complete the return before 30th September?
Peter Holmes is Head of Access for Learning at Gloucestershire County Council.
There are lots of resources available out there for primary music teachers, but knowing how busy we all are, we also know it’s not always possible to find/access them.
With this in mind we asked Analie Hart, from Heron Primary, to put together her ‘top tips’ for resources and support that range from ‘free’ to ‘great value’
What can you get for FREE?
- BBC Ten Pieces – a fantastic project exploring ten pieces of classical music with loads of video clips and resources. You can order a free DVD and also download a fantastic free e-book all about instruments of the orchestra. Visit the website
- BBC Musical Mysteries – this is a fun website exploring different musical elements. Visit the website
- MMG website and monthly enewsletter – make sure you are subscribed to the newsletter. It will keep you up to date with news and opportunities for you and your pupils, and local and national resources. The website is also full of helpful articles, advice and links. Visit the website. Sign up for enewsletters. Follow MMG on Facebook and Twitter
- Espresso – if your school uses Espresso, there are some great resources and video clips under the Music section.
- YouTube – if you are able to access it from school, YouTube is full of fantastic resources.
- Linking with other local schools – you may find that your local secondary school would love to create a link with you. For example, this might be bringing their choir to perform at your school or allowing you to use their resources.
- Free support session from a music specialist – did you know that you can have a day’s input (up to three hours in-school) from a music specialist to help you with developing music in your school? This will be tailored to your needs. Visit the webpage
- Small Grants of up to £1,000: did you know that you can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to develop extra-curricular music in your school? One example is a school that bought a set of Djembe and then paid for a specialist teacher to lead the African Drumming Club. One year on and the club is thriving with a small financial contribution from parents each week. Find out more
What can you get that’s very low cost?
- Cheltenham Music Festival – every year the Cheltenham Music Festival offer a series of heavily subsidised workshops for schools, approx. £30 per workshop. They also invite children to a concert at the Cheltenham Town Hall with an optional workshop afterwards. The cost is generally £1 per child and is an amazing opportunity for children to experience live music. Make sure you are on their mailing list to ensure you have up to date information. Visit the website.
- Charanga Music – MMG subsidise the cost of Charanga music (an online music scheme), bringing it down to £150 per year. The scheme is proving very popular across the county. You can get a free 30-day trial to get an idea of what is on offer. There are also free training sessions. Visit the Charanga website or the MMG website for more information.
- Cluster singing events – Contact Lisa Mayo, MMG’s Singing Champion, to find out about being part of Cluster Singing Events.
What can you get that’s great value?
- Young Voices – an amazing opportunity for children to perform as part of a huge choir with thousands of other children. Our local one is Birmingham, usually in January. An unforgettable experience for the children. Visit the website.
- Music for Youth – another fantastic opportunity for schools as well as young people. Enter your music group and you could get the chance to perform at Cheltenham Town Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and even the Albert Hall! Visit the website.
- The Songwriting Charity – will come in and work with a class or group of pupils to create their own unique song in a day. This can be accompanied by a video. To see the high standard of their work have a look at some of the songs and videos on their website or YouTube
- The Music Works – services include whole class iPad/music tech programmes, small group music mentoring for students at risk of exclusion, low attainment, mental health problems, singing programmes. Visit the website.
- Gloucestershire Music – offer whole class ensemble tuition on a variety of instruments including violin, clarinet, recorder, brass, percussion and ukulele. Visit the website.
- Groove On – offer world whole class percussion in blocks of 10 or 20 weeks, or half/full day sessions. Visit the website.
- Gloucestershire Academy of Music – offer whole class woodwind, string and brass tuition in blocks of 20 weeks. Visit the website.
To find out more about the offers above, as well as other partners of the Hub, download our latest Schools Brochure here.
We hope you’ve found this list helpful. If you know of any other resources and/or support that you think should be included please let us know – email Brenda Whitwell
Good luck with developing the music in your school!
Download this blog as a word document
In our latest blog we welcome back Omar Khokher. Omar is Head of Music at Severn Vale School in Gloucester, and is currently helping MMG with creating a secondary teachers’ network and finding out about the needs of secondary schools around the County.
Here Omar tells us about his favourite iPad music apps:
“I’m often asked to recommend music making apps for iPad, so here is my list. This is not a top ten. Just those apps which I tend to use most often and find useful for productivity and music making. Enjoy.
1. Garageband. This is the ‘daddy’ of music making apps for iPad, (well it is Apple!). Create multi track recordings using audio, virtual instruments, loops, and hook up a midi keyboard through the camera kit.
2. Roland Air Recorder. Use the built in microphone of your iPad or iPhone to record and export in MP3 format. A nifty portable recorder.
3. Jam Player. Allows you to change the speed and pitch of tracks in your iTunes library. Great for making tweaks to backing tracks.
4. Launchpad. A great and fun iPad (and iPhone 6) version of the Novation Launchpad, also has interactivity with the Launchpad mini.
5. Launchkey. A great synth based on the Novation Launchkey synth engine.
6. Tape. A great recording app by Focusrite. Easy to use 2 track recording software from the team that brought you the Scarlett 2i2 interface. Effective built in mastering for a freebie, and you can bounce the track straight to MP3 and then email. I use this quite extensively for recording in the classroom and emailing to students straight away.
7. Auxy. I ntroducing a new way to make electronic music. Create your own drums, bass lines, and synth melodies. Auxy is modern beat making without distractions.
8. Take. A creative vocal recorder. Originally for iPhone, but works great on iPad. Record three different layers and add fx on the fly. A great piece of creative kit.
9. AmpliTube for iPad. Turn your iPad into the ultimate mobile guitar and bass multi-FX processor and DAW recording studio with AmpliTube! Play, practice and record with a massive collection of virtual amplifiers, cabinets, stompboxes and more from the leader in analog gear modeling.
10. Vocalive. VocaLive provides singers and vocalists with a suite of 12 real-time professional vocal effects along with a capable recorder for studio quality sound in a portable package. The effects can be combined into a chain of 4 processors and saved as presets. A collection of up to 50 presets is included to get you up and running immediately.”
That seems like a quite an exhaustive list! However, if you know of any other music apps that you think we’ve missed, do get in touch and tell us all about them.