Looking Forward to 2017

david_bowie_-_toppop_1974_10As the year draws to a close, it’s a time to reflect on 2016 and to look forward to the New Year. 2016 has seen the deaths of many true music legends – popular musicians including Prince, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, and over Christmas, George Michael and Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt. It has been a tough year in music education and the music industry too, with the ISM struggling to get a response to its Bacc for the Future Campaign and the anxiety caused by the Brexit vote.

Anniversaries

To start 2017 on a positive note there are opportunities to look back at the contributions of musicians over the centuries. The New Year marks the centenaries of Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, two monumentally influential jazz musicians. Both Monk and Gillespie were born in October 2017. Monk was the most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington while Gillespie is recognised as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, and teacher to other great musicians including Miles Davis. An October celebration of these two kings of jazz could make a great focus for Black History Month. Look out for our blog about these great musicians later in the year…

Another renowned African American musician, Scott Joplin was born 150 years ago this year, and 2017 also marks the centenary of his death. Joplin died in tragic circumstances aged only 49, but his reputation as a pianist and his role in popularising Ragtime music mean he is still well known today.

department_store_ukulele_adIt is 350 years since the birth of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. Monteverdi was a key figure in the transition between the Renaissance and Baroque periods in music history. His opera, L’Orfeo, is the oldest surviving opera still regularly performed.

It is 50 years since the death of Hungarian composer and music edu
cator, Zoltán Kodály, who popularised the sol-fa method of vocal training, making music learning accessible to children of all backgrounds. Read more about the use of sol-fa in our blog Sol-Fa – Singing Through the Ages.

And it’s 100 years since that most popular of instruments, the ukulele, was patented by the Honolulu Ad Club!

Events

The Youth Music Give a Gig extravaganza will take place in March 2017. The Give a Gig Week will run from March 24 to 31, aiming to raise funds for Youth Music. Youth Music is asking musicians to organise concerts and events to raise money with artists including Liam Gallagher and Tom Odell already on board.

The UK’s biggest music education event, Rhinegold Music and Drama Education Expo, will take place in London on the 9th and 10th of February 2017. The Expo is a chance to network and get up to date with other music education professionals, and to take part in workshops, conference talks and CPD. Registration is already open online. And Rhinegold is launching an exciting new event in Manchester on October 4th, the Music and Drama Education Expo, for teachers of music and performing arts.

And finally, the 10th International Conference for Research in Music Education will be held at Bath Spa University between April 18th and 22nd, 2017.

The Conference website states:

The aim of the conference is to gather together researchers, teachers and practitioners to share and discuss research that is concerned with all aspects of teaching and learning in music: musical development, perception & understanding, creativity, learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum design, informal settings, music for special needs, technologies, instrumental teaching, teacher education, gender and culture. Music education is also viewed in the context of arts education, the whole curriculum and its sociocultural contexts.

Whatever your area of music education there are many exciting events taking place next year. If you’d like to let us know about an event, or to feature your event in a guest blog for the Music Workshop Company, feel free to contact us or to tell us about it in the comments below. The Music Workshop Company team wish you a happy, successful and musical New Year.

 

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The Music Education Expo

The Music Workshop Company has found the annual Rhinegold Education Expo an invaluable source of information and inspiration. We catch up with Alex Stevens, Editor of Rhinegold’s flagship education publication, Music Teacher Magazine, as he shares his plans for the 2016 event.

Alex Stevens_cropFor the 2016 Music Education Expo – the fourth, but my first as its head of content – we are hoping to build on the best of the previous shows by being ever more useful and comprehensive.

Since the first show in 2012, the Expo has quickly established itself as a fixture in the diaries of music teachers in the UK, and as editor of Music Teacher magazine, I know the challenge of providing for all the different types of teacher: from piano teachers to hub leaders, A-level classrooms to early years workshops, bedrooms to conservatoires, the sector is incredibly diverse.

So the challenge is to provide a full and useful programme for everyone – and this year we have worked harder than ever to be comprehensive, with pathways for different types of practitioner and a rigorous approach to the distribution of sessions.

There will be strands for instrumental, early years, primary, secondary and SEND teachers, as well as for those involved or interested in the politics, practicalities and best practice of music education provision.

Of course, if there needs to be something for everyone, there will also be some things for everyone. There can’t be many music teachers who are unconcerned about how we support the music education of our children, and how that ecosystem is sustained: funding for music teaching in all parts of the UK is seemingly constantly under threat, and there have been various responses to this fact. One lunchtime panel will discuss the various ways in which music education is funded across the UK.

In England, the result of May’s general election has given the Conservative party a qualified mandate but unbridled power to pursue its education reforms, with the imposition of an unreconstructed English Baccalaureate contributing to teachers’ fears that music and the creative arts will become less and less a priority for their schools. Another lunchtime panel will discuss how to defend music’s place in our schools.
And at a time when the arts sector is campaigning for STEM to become STEAM, this year’s new addition of the Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show, run in conjunction with Teaching Drama magazine, has the potential to provide some fascinating new perspectives.

For some music teachers, of course, drama will already be a big part of their professional lives – perhaps because they teach across the performing arts, perhaps because they put on the school show each year.

As Sarah Lambie, editor of Teaching Drama and head of content for the Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show, says: ‘The show will also provide a means to explore department-crossover and take in workshops and seminars on subjects which other drama education shows do not have the scope to offer. This is the beginning of a wider community of drama and performing arts teaching staff – with the opportunity to hear from some fantastically inspiring speakers.’

MTDExpo 2016 logo 1.indd

For those who have been to the Expo in the past, this year’s move from the Barbican Exhibition Hall to the bright, airy and spacious Olympia Central should make for a significantly better experience, with more space, plenty of natural light and free WiFi.

And if you have never been, I urge you to come this year: it’s totally free to attend and over three years has become Europe’s largest dedicated music education show.

It’s a great way, alongside hundreds of other music and arts teachers, to maintain and develop your skills, discover new approaches, start conversations, and keep up with the big issues in music and cultural education. I look forward to seeing you there.

Music Expo 2016 logo.inddThe Music Education Expo is free to attend and runs on 25 and 26 February 2016. See http://www.musiceducationexpo.co.uk for more information.

 

 

 

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