Well spotted: today is Saturday and we normally post Good Music News Friday on…Friday.
Anyway, hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start. We enjoyed a morning walk in the Peak District today.
Here is your weekly round-up of some positive stories to brighten your weekend about music and music education, plus other things that caught our eye:
- Bach best for beating insomnia and boosting sleep
- Championing “core” subjects shouldn’t exclude music education
- Cho named winner of Paulo Cello competition
- Unique (and “very special”) Sheffield featured in Musicians’ Union mag
- Government says Hubs are helping more pupils access instrumental education
An interesting article published in The Conversation by Dr. Victoria Williamson, Lecturer in Music at The University of Sheffield describes Bach as “the top rated composer of sleep music.”
It covers 2007 research showing that listening to 45 minutes of music before going to bed can help reach deeper (more refreshing and restorative) sleep, more easily.
It then describes a new music sleep project being undertaken by Music and Wellbeing, a research unit within the Music Department at the University of Sheffield; it is within the first phase of their project (involving a sample of 651 people) that Bach was found to be the top rated composer of sleep music, followed by Ed Sheeran, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Brian Eno, and Coldplay.
The piece also covers the detrimental effects of insomnia and the next stage of research for the music sleep project. Dr. Williamson’s article is here. A super infographic about the research by YMTS-friend, Research Retold, is worth a look too.
“Music changes the way we live,” writes Nick Gibb in The Times (subscription required) who makes the point that although what are now seen as “core” subjects are being championed, that doesn’t have to be – and should not be – at the exclusion of music education.
Cellist Brannon Cho was yesterday named the winner of the Paulo Cello Competition. Cho performed Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante at the second part of the final, in Helsinki. The competition has a two-stage final and 23-year-old Cho had performed Haydn’s C Major Concerto in the first part of the final.
Watch the film of Cho performing, and read more about the competition and the other finalists, here on The Strad website.
Our home city Sheffield is “unique” and “very special” when it comes to music. We’d certainly agree with this opinion from local musician Richard Hawley. Read his full comments in a regional focus on Sheffield in The Musician (The Musicians’ Union magazine).
The magazine thudded through our letterbox a couple of weeks ago and you can read it online here. The four-page article describes classical music as thriving in Sheffield. It also highlights many of our favourite venues (including The Greystones pub, at which the band in which our son used to play electric guitar has performed two gigs). Plenty of other interesting content within the Autumn edition of The Musician, here.
A record number of pupils – over 700,000 – are learning to play musical instruments as a result of Music Hubs, according to Government research published this week (though the research has come soon after other research described a decline in music education as a “crisis”).
The new report, “Key data on music hubs,” shows that in 2016/2017:
- 89% of schools received support from the music hubs – up from 84% in 2013/2014;
- 711,241 pupils received whole class ensemble teaching through the hubs, up from 596,820 in 2013/2014 (up 19%);
- 182,602 pupils continue to learn an instrument after having had whole class ensemble teaching compared to 166,529 in 2013/14; and
- choirs are the single biggest type of music making activity, making up 32% of all ensembles. Other popular types of ensemble include rock bands and woodwind ensembles.
But the research has been published not longer after the publication (and widespread coverage) of The University of Sussex’s research describing a “crisis” in music education, which we covered in Good Music News Friday on 12 October (we flagged up two things we can do right away to support music education).
Read the Government press release about the music hubs research, here.
- Read earlier editions of Good Music News.
- If there’s something you would like us to cover in Good Music News Friday, 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.