Positive stories to brighten your weekend about music and music education, plus other things that caught our eye:
- Free bagpipe loan scheme will enable schoolchildren to play instrument
- Music teachers can nominate young musicians for a European youth orchestra project
- Dudamel recognised for advocacy of music education and participation
- Half of beginner guitar players now female
- Social impact fund launched for arts projects
The “biggest free bagpipe loan scheme in the world” will boost the number of schoolchildren learning Scotland’s national instrument. Over 160 sets of bagpipes, each worth around £700, are already being played by children all over the country and ultimately 500 sets will be made available to schoolchildren for up to three years.
The project is an initiative of the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) and aims to boost the number of young people taking up the instrument.
SSPDT chief executive Alexandra Duncan commented: “We recognise that the big cost of pipes is a barrier to people progressing with the instrument – hence the free loan scheme.
“The idea is to give our young players time to get to grips with the pipes and let them be certain of their ability before taking the plunge and buying their own.”
A European youth orchestra project, RCO Young, is seeking applications from young (14-17 year old) musicians for a 2019 summer camp. Participation is free and travel and accommodation costs are reimbursed.
RCO Young is the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s new and international youth orchestra. The first RCO Young summer camp will take place from 7 to 25 August 2019 at Akoesticum in Ede, the Netherlands.
Music teachers and other professionals can nominate talented young musicians for an audition. Applications for the auditions for the first RCO Young summer camp are being accepted until 31 January 2019. Further details including how to apply are here.
Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, will be the recipient of the 25th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in recognition not only of his achievements as a conductor, but of his advocacy for music education.
Dudamel commented that the recognition makes him “commit to redoubling my efforts” for the arts to reach as many people as possible.
The prize ceremony takes place on 4th December. More about the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and Dudamel.
(Dudamel is an alumni of Venezuela’s El Sistema. YMTS co-founder Jamie visited the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra a few years ago, you can read a recent reflection here.)
Half of beginner guitar players in the UK and USA are now women and girls, according to research and a press announcement from manufacturer Fender, widely reported across the media this week. Their study also demonstrated other increases in the diversity of beginner guitar players, and reported benefits beginners have attributed to learning the instrument, including reports of increases in confidence, patience, and creativity.
Our interview this week with guitar tutor Darren Hodge has proven popular: if you’ve not yet read it, take a look.
Cultural Impact Development Fund launched: Nesta, the global innovation foundation, has launched a £3.7m fund with loans of £25,000 to £150,000 available to help arts, cultural and creative organisations achieve social impact. Find out more through the Arts and Culture Finance website.