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Your local School - how much music

GUEST,FloraG 16 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM
banjoman 16 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM
Rob Naylor 16 Sep 14 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,FloraG 16 Sep 14 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,PeterC 16 Sep 14 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,David Nuttall. Wakefield 16 Sep 14 - 12:55 PM
Paul Davenport 16 Sep 14 - 01:09 PM
GUEST 16 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Sep 14 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Sep 14 - 07:40 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Sep 14 - 05:15 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 14 - 05:35 AM
bubblyrat 17 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 14 - 07:55 AM
r.padgett 17 Sep 14 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Sep 14 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,FloraG 18 Sep 14 - 03:42 AM
banjoman 18 Sep 14 - 05:49 AM
GUEST 18 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,FloraG 18 Sep 14 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,PeterC 19 Sep 14 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 19 Sep 14 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Desi C 19 Sep 14 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Jane of 'ull 19 Sep 14 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Desi C 20 Sep 14 - 07:51 AM
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Subject: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM

IN GB I fear music has become a bit of a cinderella subject with the pressure to keep up with the Koreans in child suicides, Maths and English.
My question is - how much do you know about the music taught in your local schools?
Do we need to lobby for changes?
What can we do as a community of people interested in music to bring about changes?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: banjoman
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM

Totally support the idea of all kids having an opportunity to learn a musical instrument. My two sons (both now adult) were fortunate in that our local schools provided excellent teachers who weren't stuck with only classics. Both are now excellent musicians.
Sadly, in the recent economic downturn, the provision of music in the schools (Hampshire) was the first casualty. I feel that this may come back to haunt us a some later date.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:25 AM

My son learned clarinet and saxophone through his schhol.

Older daughter learned flute.

Younger daughter learned cello and electric guitar.

Music in Kent schools seems alive and kicking.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 09:34 AM

Rob - how long ago and how much did it cost? I know - a bit personal - but my experience of Kent is the quality is very good if you can pay for it. Music tends to thrive in the grammar schools as they are full of rich parents. The budgets were given to schools to spend as they see fit, and not all choose to spend it on music.   The last school I taught in was a difficult school - and when we asked the new intake aged 11 how many played anything it was a rarity to find one.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 11:46 AM

In Gloucestershire until about three years ago, 1 child in 8 learned a musical instrument. I complained about that to Gloucestershire Music Service, was told that 1 in 8 was a very high proportion compared with other counties. The situation since then, with Arts Council now responsible for the funding of school music from DfE has deteriorated rapidly. There are no reliable figures about the current proportion, but I fear it is less than 1 in 20 now.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,David Nuttall. Wakefield
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 12:55 PM

As an ex Headteacher in 3 Pimary Schools it depresses me to note how the arts seem to receive a very low priority in many Primary schools today.I appreciate that there may be financial and timetabling constraints but there must be a sustained and consolidated resolve to protect art, dance, drama and music in our schools to include all the key stages. The concept of children having the right of access to a broad and balanced curriculum seems to
have disappeared under the pressures of literacy and numeracy...both of which are ALSO essential.

I would urge you to watch a really inspirational video on YOU TUBE......'Sir ken Robinson....,are schools killing creativity ? ' You may find some evidence of sanity and hope for our children.

David Nuttall


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 01:09 PM

I retired as Head of Music in a large comprehensive school in December 2009. When i left I was teaching a total of 475 KS 3 students per week for just one hour each. I had created a resource of some 38 classical guitars, a class set of African percussion and a load of recorders. Now, some people might think this a bit backward but every one of those students was able to finger a three-chord trick, they all had a working knowledge of how to keep a steady beat and, those who actually enjoyed blowing things, were competent on the recorder. Even the 'problem' kids were able (and very proud to demonstrate) to calculate what each needed to play in order to produce polyrhythmic percussion (several were also good on the guitar). This meant that when a student was offered the opportunity to play violin, clarinet, etc. they already had developed some of the basic skills required.
From this we developed our 'Baroque Orchestra' - an ensemble which played a lot of what subscribers to this page would recognise as 'folk' and 'Playford' tunes executed with a fair amount of improvisation and complex arrangements - decisions on which were made by the students themselves.
In the space of a term after I left, the guitars had been consigned to the skip, the recorders similarly thrown out and the plastic keyboard became the force to be reckoned with.
Since then the results for that school at GCSE have dropped from our highly criticised 97% A* to C (not good enough) and the students are less musically adept. Why? Because they no longer play 'real' instruments. The computer sequencer is a powerful tool but it is not a short-cut to musical competence. That takes a real instrument.
The reasons for this change are that the school became an academy and in so doing set aside all of the traditions and gains made in its previous 88 year history. Even the school's Sword dance team (winners of DERT in 2005) were forced to move out of the school because they refused to change their colours. If the state of Music education were the only issue here I'd rest a lot easier but the facts are otherwise and it is perhaps surprising to realise that even English and Maths have been victims of the idiotic charge towards 'test-passing' as distinct from 'education'!


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM

Music tuition in secondary schools used to be free and we had school orchestras! Private music tuition is running at £30 an hour and is a deterrent to all but the most committed. You can get to grade without ever having to play music with another person apart from your tutor on a one to one basis. Folk music has provided a way in for learning and stagecraft. Without drum circles and activities like the Tuneworks sessions I would never have known what it felt to play music with a large group of people. It's an experience every child should have a chance to have.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:29 PM

MUSIC is thriving in California schools

Each (13/yo to 18/yo campus has a full time instructor. THEY teach all components of a full orchestra with fives sessions a day. Vocal is also covered and "school specialities" such as Ballet Folklorico, or Jamaican Steel Drums or Folk Guitar.

The active programs extend down to the 8 to 12 year olds, while seldom on a daily, but always on a weekly or twice weekly basis.

The Local prep schools feed directly into 4 year and graduate university programs. The six year recession spared most performing arts programs.

Sincerely.
Gargoyle

Politics have bean every goood
to the arts in california. Hollywood is built on the kindness of strangers.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:40 PM

Yikes !

Forgot to include the Full Distric Coordinator who orchestrates the entire program. WITHOUT. Her personal drive and coordination and scheduling things would fall apart. She is a member of three live performing groups on the weekends


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 05:15 AM

I am not trying to be facetious here, clearly music is a very deep, fundamental and sophisticated part of what we are and I think music has a massive role to play in education but ............

......... an incredible amount of popular music has been created by young people in the UK with almost no formal music education whilst most of the children and young people who have music lessons as children rarely play those instruments as adults.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 05:35 AM

As a recently retired teacher I echo all the sentiments in Paul Davenports piece above. With Gove and ofsteds push to move towards passing tests and clones teaching in every classroom.
I know lots if teachers who were desperately enthusiastic about the job and who have now beaten into submission and they are in their late twenties. What hope is there for education in the future?


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: bubblyrat
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM

I don't know what it is like nowadays, but it was CRAP in my youth (1950s), although Easebourne ( NOT Eastbourne !) primary school was good enough to make us listen to radio programmes about "Instruments Of The Orchestra " (fascinating ) and we had Country Dancing sessions (exhilerating ) . Then, on moving up to Midhurst Grammar School, I entered a musical wilderness where just once a week a rum -looking cove played the piano badly whilst we were forced to sing "Johnny Come Down To Hilo" (politically incorrect N-word !) and , inexplicably, some ghastly relic of a former age called "Some Folks Like To Do " (And "Jimmy Crack Corn" ,naturally ! ) Ugggh !! Luckily , my friend Jones and I were able to roam the ancient streets of Midhurst ( like the splendidly-named "Knockhundred Row " ) whilst exuberantly twanging our "Jews' Harps .God knows what it is like in West Sussex today.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:55 AM

Our local high school has a very enthusiastic head of music is very keen and therefore music education and opportunities are strong. Overall seems very hit and miss.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 02:03 PM

Interesting comments and I do know Dave Nuttall and Paul Davenport ~ I had little in the way of music tuition and still know little!

Idiot teacher who loved his musical organ and treated all like summat out of Kez!

Instruments and time was down to each wealthy enough to have their own instrument and tuition

Hope things are better now and to be honest good teachers are hard to come by and share their expertise!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 04:05 PM

Based on the few scattered comments to this thread....

There is no doubt why California continues to nourish and cherish, AND make big bucks off the arts. Investments pay off.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle

From the tiny acorn the mighty oak is grown.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:42 AM

As I suspected - a very mixed picture.

My own feeling is that primary schools ( first schools in GB)need to inspire, promote and budget for music. Some do, some don't. What could we as a music community do to help?

As part of a morris side some of us would do an occasional 'go into schools' afternoon. We would play a few tunes on the instruments, and demonstrate and teach a country dance or two. Most schools organised a thank you letter writng session afterwards.

I am wondering if a role for the EFDSS could be one of keeping a register of people willing to do such activities - any instrument and any style - ideally at zero cost - to help with the inspire bit. The musicians union might be able to help to.

Any other suggestions at this stage?

FloraG


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: banjoman
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 05:49 AM

Music and learning an instrument should, ideally, be part of the national curriculum


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 10:36 AM

"I am wondering if a role for the EFDSS could be one of keeping a register of people willing to do such activities"

EFDSS has an active education department. Why not sign up for their newsletter if you are interested in what they do.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 02:17 PM

I am a member of the Efdss - but I was interested to see what others thought. I know they are working on more in schools education - but in limited areas.
My thoughts were perhaps a register would make any activities low cost and nationwide. Perhaps there is not enough interest to make it a worthwhile activity.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 05:12 AM

The lesson (IMHO) of the 'Don't Stop The Music' programmes was that while cost was an issue, the main problem was the squeezing out of music and other subjects through pressure of numeracy and literacy time. Our own local primary school used to do country dancing, (we used to go and help organise this) and take part in the local festival with other schools, but the Head Teacher stopped it, as she could not risk any curriculum time being diverted away. Very sad!


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 06:18 AM

My wife (Wendy Arrowsmith) has been doing sessional music work in 3 local primary schools - including lots of folky/ trad stuff.

She has worked with older kids at 2 other local Primary on writing songs - these are schools on Catterick Garrison with her work funded by North Yorks libraries and The Green Howards Museum.

She has enjoyed so much that she has cut down on her touring as is training as a Primary School teacher. I'm sure that there will be plenty of music wherever she ends up being employed following her course!

I guess this suggests a sporadic approach to music in Schools but I think it might be hard to justify anything but sessional work in the small primary schools of North Yorkshire.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 08:22 AM

The recent Docu's on Channel 4 TV have shown that music in our state schools is virtually extinct. But their campaigh www.channel4.com/dontstopthemusic Whereby if you have a musical instrument, ANY instrument, that isn't broken, perhaps an old instrument, ot you have have more than one of that you could donate, you can register it on the web site, with Oxfam, who pledge to ensure each instrument will go to British school children. I've pledged an old guitar. This could really have so many positive spin offs for not only music but education in general. Hope you can help


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,Jane of 'ull
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 09:06 AM

I'm going to donate to that project. Music provision in my school was pretty dire even back then in the 70s and 80s. At senior high school all the music curriculum was classical music only. Hardly interesting to your average teenager, being made to study and memorise 16th century church music. Our music teacher was a right miserable old fuddy duddy bitch. At 15 I asked if I could learn to play the violin or flute. She replied there was no provision for this tuition but there was for the double bass, and she went on about how lucky I was to take up this instrument 'at such an advanced age' !! I hated the bloody thing, I wanted to play tunes but being slight I couldn't even press the strings down. I finally got to play fiddle in my late 20s by renting one from the music shop. Couldn't afford to buy one at the time, and if it weren't for that shop I might never have realised I could play fiddle. Ho hum.


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Subject: RE: Your local School - how much music
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 07:51 AM

I recall not long after my family came to England (from Eire) we had a very good music teacher pianist at our School in Birmingham. He took us on a school trip to Birmingham Town hall. What he didn't tell us was that it was a full concert by Birmingham Symphomy Orchestra. I will never forget the feeling of hearing them in full flow, it was like the building had exploded with sound, a very physical feeling of almost being hit in the chest full. I'm sure like the kids in the Channel 4 Docu we all sat there open mouthed for the entire performance. I've never really been able to enjoy recorded music since. But it started a life long love of Live music. Very sad to see so few children in our schools are now deprived of such experience in favour of pointless statistical schooling. Do support Channel4.com/dontstopthemusic


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