We compile a weekly round-up of positive stories about music education, music in general, and anything else which catches our eye and other music teachers might find of interest.
Here’s this week’s Good Music News (sign up to our emails below or here to ensure you never miss it).
- Additional funding announced for Music Hubs – responses from key organisations
- 20 years of Youth Music UK
- Classical music sales and streams rise by more than 10% in 2018
- Beautiful performance featuring theramin and cello by Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen in NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series
- Cellist’s advice about perfection
- London-based pianist sets new world record for highest classical music concert and raises thousands for Cystic Fibrosis Trust
- British Youth Music Theatre’s 2019 Audition Tour open for bookings
- LPO Junior Artists’ Overture Day
The Department of Education (DfE) yesterday announced an additional £1.33 million for Music Education Hubs. Readers will be well aware of the challenges facing music teaching which have been covered extensively in recent months. Schools are also to “receive a new model music curriculum created by an independent panel of experts.”
The announcement follows action by The UK Association of Music Education, Music Mark, which has held a number of meetings with The Department of Education over recent months, and The ISM, whose report the Future of Music Education recommended an increase in funding for music education hubs to ensure the delivery of a music education offer as outlined by the National Plan for Music Education, which runs until 2020.
Both organisations have welcomed the funding but have stressed that further support for music edication is necessary.
Youth Music UK, launched in 1999 with an initial 3 years of National Lottery funding, is celebrating “20 years of life-changing music-making.” Matt Griffiths, Youth Music’s CEO, has published a candid blog about Youth Music’s history, achievements, challenges, responses to feedback and future aspirations. It’s well worth a read, here. Also check out this timeline of key milestones and achievements.
Classical music sales and streams rose by more than 10% in 2018 according to official figures released by UK record labels association the BPI, based on Official Charts Company data.
The growth has been driven by increases in both CD sales and streaming. Sales of CD albums, which account for nearly 60% of UK classical consumption, rose by 6.9% in 2018 (Andrea Bocelli’s Si sold over 200,000 copies, the first Classical title to pass that threshold since 2012). And streaming of Classical music (accounting for 25% of UK classical consumption) was up 42 per cent on the year (compared to a 33% rise for the UK music market as a whole). Ludovico Einaudi was the most streamed classical artist
Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive and co-chair of its Classical Committee, said: “This is a dynamic moment in the history of classical music, with brilliant new artists such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alexis Ffrench and Jess Gillam bursting through to accompany revered icons such as Andrea Bocelli, Yo-Yo Ma and Bryn Terfel. The popularity of soundtracks and new works by composers such as Ludovico Einaudi and Max Richter are broadening the appeal of classical among younger listeners on streaming services.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth if the new digital platforms continue to improve the profile and searchability of classical music, while labels continue to nurture new talent and appeal to collectors through beautifully curated CDs and boxsets. We welcome the government’s proposals to review music education. Funding and promoting much stronger music education in all schools would deliver benefits across society going well beyond classical music.”
Far more details about this on The BPI’s website.
You might enjoy this beautiful performance featuring theramin and cello by Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen in NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series. Eyck describes how the position of her hands (and even, her shoulder and head!) can influence electromagnetic fields to produce pitch and volume. Full details on NPR’s page here.
“Aim for perfection; know that it’s impossible.” One of six pieces of advice about recording from cellist Daniel Müller-Schott in The Strad. An interesting piece, worth a read.
Evelina De Lain has given the “highest piano concert in the world” – and raised money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. De Lain performed on a grand piano at an altitude of 5000m at Shingo La Pass in the Himalayas. Over £7,500 has been raised to date and the piano has been donated to the local college in Leh, Ladakh.
The concert took place in September 2018 in honour of De Lain’s late mother; De Lain was “finally” able to share details on her Instagram account this week: “Under a crazy weather of hail, sudden sunshine and extreme wind, I have performed compositions from my album ‘Soul Journey’ as well as a few of my favorite Chopin pieces.”
British Youth Music Theatre’s 2019 Audition Tour – taking place in January and February – is open for bookings now. Each year BYMT offers “opportunities to talented young musicians (aged 11-21), who play ANY instrument to a grade 7 standard and above, to play in a pit-band, on-stage band or as an actor-musician.” BYMT is a not-for-profit educational charity. Auditions are three hours long and cost £38 – group discounts are available. Full details.
Young musicians aged 11-14 are invited to apply for LPO Junior Artists’ Overture Day on Sunday 10 February 2019 at the Royal Academy of Music (but you and your pupils need to act fast – the deadline is noon on Monday 14th Jan). Further information here.
- Read earlier editions of Good Music News
- If there’s something you would like us to cover in Good Music News, please email us.
- Here’s some good news for music teachers: our free 29 tips for a thriving music teaching business will give you things you can do immediately to boost your music teaching business. They’ll also make you smile.