Here are links to articles in UK and International media. Click on a title to download it.
All the benefits of a Classical Music Education.
We make a very bold claim about the effectiveness of our approach to class music education, that “it delivers all the benefits of a classical music education but in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost and for ALL pupils.” and you’d be justified in wanting to know how we can support such an extravagant promise.. download
The National Music Plan gives schools the primary responsibility for delivering a high quality
music education to their pupils and insists that every pupil should have the opportunity
to learn an instrument and make music with others. Impossibly demanding? A pipe
dream? I don’t think so.. download
Many International schools have first rate Music Departments and offer the highest quality,
classical based music education to their pupils. This often follows the model of the established
Independent Schools, with vibrant, high profile orchestra, wind band and choir and
individual and small group instrumental and vocal tuition for participating pupils.
However a growing number of International schools are also exploring an alternative
approach based on World Music.. download
The government’s National Music Plan calls on schools to deliver a high quality music education to their pupils, insisting that every pupil should have the opportunity to learn an instrument and make music with others. These are laudable objectives, and with the right approach, schools can meet them and at the same time develop pupils’ life skills, increase teachers’ productivity and see a range of cross-curricular benefits.. download
When we think about world music we often imagine the music of far away exotic places, steeped in centuries of tradition and custom. However, although some music that we think of as belonging to a world-music tradition is based on cultural practices from other countries, some music is centred far closer to home. One of my favourite examples of this is British Bhangra music.. download
We are all aware of the impact the slave trade had on the world, but hidden among the stories of hardship, sacrifice and deviance is the fascinating history of how steel pan bands were born. By exploring the way music developed in Trinidad and Tobago, children can learn about how the lives of the Islanders developed and covers subjects such as geography, history, science, art, design and technology, languages, and of course, music.. download
To create most western music, we use what is known as chromatic scale and it contain 12 different notes. However, many non-western traditions use a pentatonic scale, made up of just five different notes, and this is much more user friendly and does not lend itself to accidentally playing ‘wrong’ notes.. download
We all have memories of how we were taught music when we were at school, and some will of course be happier than others. But how much do we know about how music is taught in other cultures around the world?.. download
African Drumming has always been popular in schools as a one-off workshop option and it has also been shown to transfer very well into whole class weekly ensemble lessons. The same can be said for Brazilian Samba and Indonesian Gamelan. These styles cover the main requirements of the music curriculum at KS2 and KS3, including controlling sounds, creating and developing musical ideas, appraising skills as well as listening, and applying knowledge and understanding; and they also cover all the key ‘musicianship’ skills.. download
Music has a solid reputation among non-music teachers from a variety of backgrounds, although the extent to which its power is fully realised can be variable. From art teachers putting it on in the background, to nursery teachers (as recent research by Nicola Burke has found) putting it on in the background, to SEND specialist teachers, er, also putting it on in the background – as educational kinesiologist and community musician Craig Trafford discovered some years ago.. download
The Bambajam Pelangi, from a company called Drums for Schools, was awarded a Practical Pre-school Gold Award, and it already has many fans in nurseries.. download
SENCos – those priceless cornerstones of pedagogy – know that music-making opportunities facilitate broad, holistic learning access to all topics, with some employing specialists to run participatory music programmes for their school or setting.
However, many SENCos are reluctant to provide their own inclusive music making sessions, perhaps as the result of confidence-sapping myths and limiting beliefs.. download
It’s hard not to feel enthused when talking to Andy Gleadhill. His passion for percussion is infectious and his latest, possibly most innovative book, Percussion Buddies, aims to make learning and teaching this branch of music that much easier for all types of teacher.. download
Many private preparatory, junior and pre-prep schools are justifiably proud of the quality of the music education that they provide and the large numbers of pupils who learn to play musical instruments. Schools tend to follow the classical model of providing specialist tuition on strings, woodwind, brass, piano/keyboard, vocal, percussion and guitar and most will also offer a number of classical orchestral, band/wind ensembles and vocal/choral opportunities.. download
I am on my way back from SK Medini school, which is just outside Johor Bahru in the south of Malaysia, just over the border from Singapore. At the end of last year I was lucky enough to be invited to work in the Malaysian Trust School network with generalist teachers who were interested in teaching music. Trust schools are Malaysian state schools that have business sponsors, who help fi nance special.. download
Andy Gwatkin, director of music specialists Sound Children and Drums for Schools explains why everyone should be making music, and how Sound Children can help.. download
We all know samba as the national music of Brazil, powering its spectacular carnival parades. Samba music is typified by walkingpace beats (sometimes compared to the heart beat), by accentuated offbeats and by the use of the ‘clave’ rhythm, though there’s much more to it than that as we shall see.. download
However good our teaching may be and however inclusive, to be really effective it also needs to be rigorous, have depth and link intelligently with other music lessons and with the general school syllabus. These are all things that require more than a couple of workshops or even a term’s worth of lessons: they need a progressive approach.. download
We started Drums for Schools seriously back in 2005. I’d always been interested in instruments that were easy to play and nonexclusive, and we’d been importing drums and percussion from Bali for several years. Our customers were telling us how pleased they were to find us and how difficult it was to find reasonably-priced musical instruments elsewhere on the market.. download
What are the most important things for Early Years professionals to remember when they are running music sessions? In this special feature, expert annA rydeR explains how you can do it – even if you think you can’t! .. download
Alongside these important recent developments in brain research, music educators are still learning by observation about the unique relationship between musical training and academic ability and musical training and well-being. Professor Philip Sheppard of the Royal Academy of Music says: “Ensnaring a child’s imagination with music can build on their ability to focus and be creative; it can boost their memory and communication skills, and therefore impact positively on their ‘intelligence’, which is an overarching ability – the ability to learn.” download
Young people love to make music and as a music teacher, my goal is to make this as easy and enjoyable as possible for them, so that more and more young people – and not just the musical or fortunate ones – can be creative and discover the power of music for themselves. I have found that there are certain styles of music (more properly called musical traditions), that work particularly well in mixed-ability classrooms and which motivate and involve both low and high achievers: African Drumming, Indonesian Gamelan, Brazilian Samba, Japanese Taiko, Hand and Body Percussion and Caribbean Steel Pans.. download