What have we achieved so far?

We’re a few weeks into the new year, and it’s a time for those of us involved in the Hub to take stock of what we’ve achieved so far. We’re approaching a new financial year having spent the last five months since the launch of the Hub, planning, developing relationships, and developing new strands of work.

As you may have heard, I will be retiring at the end of March. The remaining management team at Gloucestershire Music will remain unchanged, but we will be bringing in additional strategic management support in April prior to a further decision on the future management of the service and the music hub from September 2013.

A lot has been happening, but it’s a little like the duck analogy – it may seem like ‘business as usual’ on the surface, but beneath, we have been busily working to enrich what we offer children and young people, and those who work with them.

We know that we can’t achieve everything required of us by the National Plan for Music Education overnight, because we need harness the expertise of local, regional and national partners. This takes time, but already there are exciting things emerging – and you can read about some of them below, and in the e-newsletter that we’ll be sending out after half-term.

Our e-newsletter is going to help us to tell the stories of what’s happening behind the scenes so do sign-up to receive it by visiting the website at www.gloucestershiremusic.co.uk.

In the meantime, here at Gloucestershire Music we’ve reorganised our staffing structure and the way we work, to ensure we can lead the Hub effectively. It’s a huge cultural change for us, and it’s both challenging and inspiring.

We’re also working more closely with Swindon, BANES and Wiltshire hubs.

I’m convinced that what is emerging from all of this is a better deal for all young people in the area. There’s a lot of hard work to be done before I leave, but I’m excited by what’s happening and confident about the Hub’s future. I will leave you with just a few updates about what has been happening out in schools and organisations across the county:

·        Our vocal strategy pilot programme began last week with CPD sessions for primary teachers (and two of our non-music team!) in singing, beatboxing and rapping, led by Gloucestershire Music Makers. By July it will have run in selected primary and secondary schools, and we’ll be ready to roll it out to more schools across the county. In the meantime, Sing Up has been training vocal practitioners in schools across the county (as part of our partnership with Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset hubs).

·         Since September, three thousand pupils at Key Stage 2 have started to learn instruments as a result of our whole class ensemble tuition (WCET) programme. We’re developing ways to expand this work, including broadening of the genres/instruments on offer, and programmes at KS1 and 3.

·        Our out of school hours groups and ensembles have continued to give opportunities for young people to play in a group and perform, and we’ve added a number of new ‘First Access’ groups as a next step for those who’ve started to learn an instrument through our WCET in-school lessons.

·    Gloucestershire Music Makers have starting to put in place plans for new work with looked after children, special schools, pupil referral units, and young people with educational and behavioural difficulties, as well as related training and workforce development.

·   As part of our partnership with Swindon and Wiltshire hubs, we were successful in securing funding from Youth Music to develop our musical inclusion work, targeting ‘cold spots’ in the county.

·   One of the highlights of the hub’s activity so far has been the appearance of over 600 Gloucestershire singers and instrumentalists at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2012, performing a specially commissioned piece as part of the last night of the Schools’ Prom, run by Music for Youth.

·        The first Hub networking event happened at Cheltenham Town Hall in November and reinforced for us the value of simply bringing people together – out of something so simple, very powerful things can happen.

·        In March, we’ll be running our first official hub CPD event, helping people to find out all about accreditation: what’s available, how it works, and whether it’s suitable for the young people they work with. We will also be working with South West Music School, Drake Music and others to provide a varied menu of CPD based on people’s needs.

·        We’ve also launched a ‘refreshed’ website that’s more in keeping with our hub role. We now have an e-news letter (visit the website to sign up) and have been far more active on social networks. All of this is part of the communications plan we’ve been working on to help bring together everyone who cares about the role of music in the lives of children and young people in the county, from parents to practitioners.

Malcolm Pollock
Head of Gloucestershire Music
– leading Make Music Gloucestershire, the county’s music education hub

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Posted on February 5, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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