Monday, March 29, 2010

MEC e-newsletter

The voice of music education –

EVERYTHING TO PLAY FOR: a message for the future of music education

What are we playing for?  What do wish to achieve as we lay the strategic foundations for the next five years? What are our priorities at a time of financial constraint?  
These were just some of the key questions tackled at the Music Education Council meeting held in London on 17th March. MEC, the umbrella body for all organisations connected with music education in the UK, invited representatives from across its membership to discuss how best to protect and further develop the music education system during the years ahead.
The meeting brought together key advocates from across the sector to present their thoughts on the future. Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians articulated the need for a distillation of messages in order for the sector to articulate their aims and priorities with one voice. Christina Coker, Chief Executive of Youth Music urged attendees to move forward with confidence. Recent years have seen initiatives such as Sing Up, Wider Opportunities, In Harmony and Musical Futures fundamentally change the face of music education. Christina drew attention to the wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise developed as a result of this positive activity.
Other contributors included Paul McManus of the Music Industries Association who emphasised the willingness of the instrument industry to work with and support anyone who was united with them in the goal to 'make more music makers'. Kathryn Deane director of the community music organisation Sound Sense, highlighted that music education should not just be available for children. Stereotypes of ageing need to be challenged to develop a system that allowed people of all ages to learn about life through music.
These presentations and the afternoon of group discussions that followed succeeded in reflecting not only the breadth and diversity of positive activity across the sector but also the passion and conviction of those involved. The MEC. and its member organisations are now working to finalise a series of key messages for the future of music education. Despite the political uncertainty and financial instability of the current climate the sector is determined to build on successes, learn from experience and drive forward the development of music education in the UK.

Beth Allwood
Sing Up

Assessment in Music Education by Martin Fautley

Assessment in schools has become a hotly debated issue in education. In the wake of political pressures for accountability, educators have sought to defend the principle that assessment should serve the interests of learners and learning. With the aim of improving learning and raising standards, this book presents a case for formative assessment, day-by-day, rather than summative assessment at the end of key stages. The author draws on and discusses the practical application of a range of theoretical and philosophical research, encouraging a holistic approach and focused teacher-intervention. The book provides material for reflection as well as practical tips, and is suitable for instrumental and classroom teachers (at all levels, but particularly 11-18), and the academic community.

Publishers web page:

Amazon price:

A Platform for Success: A Five Year Vision for Orchestras
Conference also saw the launch of the ABO's 5 Year Vision for British orchestras – laying out the sector's commitment to taking high quality music to more people than ever before – and calling on government to support its ambitions.
Under the headlines 'Inspirational performances', 'Stimulating learning' and 'Driving participation', A Platform for Success sets out the aspirations of the sector over the next five years, and calls on government to help meet its ambitions by making a number of commitments – including guaranteeing music education continues to be delivered across schools, improving the tax system to enhance private giving and giving orchestras nationally and locally the opportunity to be an integral part of the UK Cultural Olympiad celebrations.
For an on-line copy please go to -

Zone Magazine

With the General Election looming, the future of music education is a hot topic for debate. In an exclusive interview with Ed Vaizey, Shadow Arts Minister, for the new online edition of zone magazine <>, we find out what the Conservatives have in the pipeline for the sector.
zone was launched in its new online format at musiclearninglive!2010 in Manchester and will be published bi-monthly within musiceducationzone <>  and on other networks including the new FMSbuzz <> .
The latest issue also includes:

Interviews with:
* Richard Hallam, National Music Participation Director, talks about his work over the past 18 months
* Pete Moser, Artistic Director of More Music, outlines his Long Walk project in Hong Kong and China
* Youth Music Initiative in Scotland
* The Trinity Guildhall Perform! project
* Big Celebration of Little Voices in Cardiff
* Notion 3
* Notion Conducting
* The Girls' Guide to Rocking
Read zone online now, free of charge, at <>

Cambridge Primary Review update

Following publication of the Cambridge Primary Review final report and Cambridge Primary Review Research Surveys last year, and a series of regional dissemination conferences, the Review team has put together a collection of free materials on their website: including Powerpoint presentations, commentaries and briefings.

You may also be interested to know that in the coming months the Review will be establishing the Cambridge Primary Review Network for schools and others interested in developing the ideas and recommendations put forward in the Review's final report. Further details to follow.

New leadership at Creative & Cultural Skills

 CC Skills has announced the appointment of Caroline Felton as their interim Chief Executive. Caroline takes over from Tom Bewick and will lead Creative & Cultural Skills' next phase of development, creating a new strategic plan with staff and trustees.

Caroline joins senior staff to lead the Creative & Cultural Skills group, including Pauline Tambling, Managing Director of the National Skills Academy, and Felicity Woolf,  Director of UK Operations.  Caroline will also work closely with Creative & Cultural Skills' Directors in Scotland and Northern Ireland (Caroline Parkinson), and Wales (Simon Dancey).

Creative & Cultural Skills is governed by an industry-led Board of Trustees, led by David Worthington and made up of key representatives from across the creative and cultural industries.

 For more information please contact Catherine Large, Director, External Relations: 020 7015 1828,

ISM Music Journal

The link to the ISM Music Journal which is published monthly is
Features are regularly updated throughout the month, and the online edition of the Journal is free to everyone.

Music Education Council                                                                                         Officers of MEC
phone: 0161 928 3085                                                                                             Chair: John Witchell
email:                                                                               Vice-Chair: Nick Beach
website:                                                                                         Hon-Treasurer: Bill Martin
Registered charity no. 270004                                                                                  Administrator: Anna Hassan