Barking & Dagenham are a small LEA serving an area, much
of which is socially and economically disadvantaged. Yet such is the Authority’s
awareness of the value of music education that they grant-aid staffing, instrumental
and a range of other Community Music Service costs to the tune of £430k.
That level of commitment is rewarded in several ways: for example, support for
curriculum delivery that includes a new and rigorous internal instrumental examination
providing opportunities to assess the level of understanding of basic musical concepts
and skills in applying them, a useful antidote to rote learning; and INSET and
CPD (including work with various external professional musicians) of a high order.
A good range of instrumental lessons and ensemble playing opportunities is provided;
the latter would benefit from a more generous time allocation, but it is all free!
Black History month coincided with the Borough’s first Cultural Diversity
Festival. We refer to this, not simply for its inclusivity implications, but because
the range of world music residencies organised (taking in Ghanaian drumming, Bollywood
brass and gospel) were good for the sake of the music.
For the avoidance of doubt, we confirm that such is the high quality
of Caerphilly’s submission, it would have deserved a Diploma what ever the home country!
The Music & Arts Service received a glowing report from the Audit Commission for Wales.
Over 11 per cent of the total school population received instrumental and 16 per
cent regular vocal tuition. Every school in the County Borough uses the Service.
Partnerships with Welsh
National Opera, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the Welsh Sinfonia, the Traditional
Music Development Agency for Wales and FE colleges bore many fruits as did joint
working with neighbouring LEAs for an exemplary range of INSET programmes. There
are numerous other examples
of successful joint working. A big investment in new instruments (350 plus) included
species”; and an extensive musical instrument repair and service programme was completed.
We hope the Service will be able to cope with the threatened 35 per cent reduction
in the Wales Music Development Fund grant.
It is a testimony to the high quality of the Music Service
staff of Cornwall that they should be involved in the delivery of INSET to six
other LEAs. And we were impressed by the Service’s own performance management
model of INSET under which all teachers including part-timers participate in annual
classroom observation and appraisal. By such means individual, team and whole service
training needs are identified and then met by a comprehensive staff development
programme. Within six months, the appointment of a full-time music therapist had
had a beneficial effect on all the young people seen. A growing number of pupils
with special educational needs receive regular individual weekly instrumental tuition.
Carefully structured, free, demonstrations on all instruments to 133 schools, backed
up by meetings with interested parents were undertaken. Six primary project co-ordinators,
three of whom are advanced skills teachers, devote 20 per cent of their time to
free curriculum support, after which music invariably achieves a higher profile
in the school. There can’t be many young people in England with as many opportunities
to play and record R&B, heavy metal, funk, pop and so on as has become the
norm in Cornwall’s Youth Service. A Music & Dance Education project offered
a range of opportunities in music, movement and art for pre-school children and
staff, parents, grandparents, siblings, playgroup leaders, childminders and foundation
stage teachers through 200 weekly outreach workshops in 26 settings involving over
500 children aged 0-7 and over 90 adults. And the Service maintained its high level
of support for adult music-making.
Enfield provided an impressively wide range of after-school
activities on a weekly basis. Most are designed to fit achievement levels; for
example, woodwind and percussion ensembles for pupils who have had two terms’ tuition
to grade 2; beginner strings to grade 1; jazz club for grades 1-4 and jazz band
for grade 5 and beyond; guitar ensembles for grades 1-3 and 3 plus and so on. The
Service has embarked upon a two-year Youth Music funded strategic action project
involving two primary, one special and one secondary schools with the aim of tracking
the musical development of a group of 25 year six pupils from each of the primary
schools and a class of year six from the special school. At the outset, meetings
with parents and staff and follow-up workshops in the primary schools were held;
and all staff attended CPD sessions during each term. The work with the pupils
involved warm-up activities and improvisation using voices and a variety of percussion
instruments. All pupils are encouraged to record their work either on CD or through
written work and interview with the musician leaders. The leaders then build up
a picture of how each pupil is developing musically. Those pupils continue to work
with the musicians out of school during their first term in secondary school; and
by tracking them from year 6 to year 7 and incorporating the work into the classroom
their musical transition from primary to secondary school should be helpfully facilitated.
Those pupils will also then form the core of a new after-school Borough music ensemble.
Opportunities to experience a wide range of world musics were taken up by schools
each term with wholly positive feedback from pupils and staff. A feature of this
submission is the extent of the successful collaboration with other North London
music services, local and national music and arts organisations. And there is a
thriving adult music-making scene!
Manchester who received the Major Award in 1981 have returned
to the fold with a bang! We have read of many fine singing initiatives; Manchester’s “Singing
School” is one of the best. The idea is to develop singing in every classroom,
not only as an enjoyable activity, but also as a tool for learning. It includes
original and traditional fun songs and chants and additional material for singing
at particular times of the day for literacy, numeracy, PSHE, “brain breaks” and
celebration. School staffs have received INSET and the overall effects will be
evaluated in three years when the current year 3 children have progressed through
four years of participation in the initiative. Manchester’s was one of the
Services whose good practice was drawn upon by QCA in the creation of seven new
units in the Key Stage 2 music scheme of work. Indeed, this submission included
several first-rate activities designed to support curriculum delivery. We were
struck especially by the fact that over 95 per cent of primary schools have adopted
a detailed programme of work with in-built progression from nursery to year 6 with
the result that teachers and pupils moving schools within the City retain their
familiarity with the programme. Music technology and ICT developments and provision
for adults are outstanding. Furthermore, 13 per cent of the school population received
regular weekly tuition and all schools receive some form of regular support/tuition
through the Service’s “Support to Schools” programme.
North Ayrshire have introduced a music technology programme
for pupils and students with special needs and established a music service resource
base with computers wholly dedicated to music programmes. The Authority have also
set up an ICT learning hub catering principally for the teen constituency but accessible
also by local primary and secondary schools. A primary school music development
initiative has recruited over 1100 pupils to recorder playing and 490 pupils to
take singing courses. Three schools big bands, a brass band and a schools symphony
orchestra have recently been formed. All the secondary schools have regular weekly,
weekend and evening (as well as holiday courses) for bands, string groups, choirs
and rock groups. All music lessons and equipment use is free of charge. There is
also a multi-media arts project incorporating tuition in music operating after
school and during school holidays. Sixty per cent of the Music Service budget is
met by the Authority. This very small Education Authority have also forged fruitful
links with schools and music organisations in Spain and Sweden and toured music
groups in Belgium, Holland and Sweden.
Southampton usefully outline their strategy for music education
in the City. Thus since their (re-) inception as an LEA in 1997 they have steadily
created an effective organisation by making key staffing appointments, securing
the funding streams and investing in the resources. The challenge now is to try
to ensure long-term sustainability whilst continuing to develop the service. An
already praiseworthy record of special needs provision has been further expanded
with specialist curriculum provision, keyboard training, drumming and music therapy.
Pre-school music targeted at the most disadvantaged areas of the City has continued
to flourish. 300 junior school pupils are receiving a year’s specialist instrumental
provision as part of the Wider Opportunities Programme. A series of music audits
to identify weak provision have been introduced. All instrumental tutors have their
own learning budgets, ie a sum of money made available to them to deploy on their
own learning; this forms part of their annual performance review. Rewarding collaborations
continue with neighbouring LEAs, Art Asia, the Grand Union Orchestra and the Bournemouth
Symphony Orchestra. Year on year additions to the stock of instruments provided
(including some “endangered species”) for school pupils to play, and
effective maintenance, means that 96 per cent of them are actually in use. And
there is no shortage of ensemble playing opportunities in a good mix of genres.
Over half the families in Southwark come from African or
African-Caribbean cultures. This is reflected in the strength of gospel singing,
steel pan playing, African drumming and Brazilian percussion among schools weekly
ensemble groups. At the same time, there are recorded increases in the numbers
of pupils and students playing cello, clarinet, flute, piano, trombone, trumpet
and violin. The Borough’s socio-economic disadvantages are in some measure
compensated for by the accessibility of major arts resources. Thus eleven schools
have been involved in work with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; five schools
working with English National Opera; Drumhead (African Drumming) working regularly
with six schools and one Saturday centre and running performances and workshops;
Children’s Music Workshop at Tate Modern; CM (formerly Community Music) co-ordinating
a music technology project in four schools; Music Space (music therapy) running
therapy sessions in special schools; Horniman Museum working with schools and facilitating
world music workshops and New Peckham Varieties Musical Theatre involved in after-school
clubs and workshops. And at least two schools have strong links with Southwark
Cathedral. Youth Service music provision for young people between 11-25 years of
age has been operating successfully for over 11 years. The workshops comprise a
comprehensive programme in popular music. Some of the workshops have been delivered
in partnership with schools, pupil referral units, FE colleges and other youth
agencies. The tutors are established practitioners in the music industry. Live
performance opportunities throughout have been taken up. The Service acknowledges
that it has more work to do on music technology and ICT.
The key purpose of the West Sussex Music Support
Service is to provide instrumental, vocal and ensemble experience for pupils and
and curriculum support for teachers in schools and colleges. The Development Plan,
which we have seen, represents the framework within which the objectives to realise
those aims can be achieved. An important contribution to quality assurance has
been the development of a more coherent and cohesive induction programme for the
new staff. Thus new staff will receive greater guidance, training and support in
the initial stages of teaching for the Service. Here is just a small selection
of the highspots of this submission: there is a fully-fledged pyramid of brass
bands and ensembles at one of the music centres ranging through all the stages from
beginners to advanced players. The audit of primary school provision has resulted
in 98 per cent of schools taking up the offer of instrumental teaching. A choral
and curriculum co-ordinator post has been created and has already led to a Youth
Music award of £20k to develop eight new primary choirs across the LEA; but
the principal tasks are auditing existing provision in all schools and supporting
curriculum development in primary schools through INSET and lesson modelling.
Music technology and ICT are effectively embedded in the Music Service. Eight
rural schools worked with Children’s Music Opera and Glyndebourne Touring
Opera on a creative project based on Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”.
And in rural, predominantly white West Sussex “Roots around the World” – a
partnership between the LEA, district councils and “Roots” themselves,
with ACE support – brings high quality world music practitioners into schools
in and out of school hours; this partnership plays an important role in promoting
understanding of other cultures. The adult education service provides a full and
varied course menu in different venues across the LEA and young people are well
served by the Youth Service and another successful partnership – the Gravity
Project. This partnership is between the County Arts Office, the Youth Service
and several district councils. It is an inter-active arts initiative offering opportunities
for young people to come together, gain new creative, technical and transferable
skills in dance, DJing and music production.
Wigan. Such a modest Music Service; tucked away in this submission is
a line which reads “Youth Jazz Orchestra, New York (January 2004)” In fact the
Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra was representing the best of British Youth Jazz Orchestras
before 6,000 delegates at the International Association for Jazz Education annual
conference in Manhattan,
New York City! That said, Wigan’s eggs flourish in lots of baskets. Samba, African drumming
and song, music technology and ICT, DJ skills are on offer to schools throughout
the year; new after-school choirs have been set up; a new junior rock band brings
the total to five;
Indonesian gamelan is in residence and used extensively by all schools; French
horn and viola projects led to ensemble work. And the Youth Orchestra and Youth
Choir tripped to Paris, followed
by the Youth Brass Band, Youth Big Band and Flute Choir performing in Strasbourg.
There is new provision to promote wider opportunities and through the advisory
teachers, co-ordinators and project leaders there is extensive support for curriculum
delivery. The Service’s
establishment of a Music Technology Team and the range of available ICT support
puts them ahead of much of the field. INSET is soundly-based and there are continuing
opportunities. Wigan have four thriving Music Centres and Satellite Centres. One
is dedicated to jazz, another to brass bands and the others to rock groups, orchestras,
guitar and percussion ensembles, flute choir, music technology and theory classes.
Wigan are worthy winners of our Best First Entry Diploma!