Good Music News is our regular round-up of positive stories relating to music and music education. This time, find summaries and links to:
- Sunday Times opinion piece on music: food for the soul.
- Profile of 15-year old pianist, blind since birth, who has been entertaining Newcastle’s commuters.
- PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Conference 2019
- Researcher finds attending music concerts reduces stress and can reduce risk of depression.
- China’s enthusiasm for music makes country biggest market for pianos, with 40 million or more studying.
- Invitation to participate in survey about mental health support in the music industry.
- Lullabies help reduce pain experienced by children, according to research.
- Collaboration and cross-border creativity nurtured at Dartington by Joanna MacGregor.
Read on for details and see the note at the bottom of the page if you want to send us anything to include in Good Music News (or get Good Music News in your inbox).
Music is not decorative, it’s fundamental to being human, according to this opinion piece by Lindsay Paterson, professor of education policy at Edinburgh University, in The Sunday Times. Paterson says music education’s value isn’t about being better at other subjects, it’s because music is uniquely emotionally satisfying and music education is so important “because music is indeed food for the soul.” Worth a read.
15-year-old pianist Ethan Cramer has been entertaining commuters and travelers in Newcastle, playing the piano in the city’s Grand Station. He’s profiled in this article in Chronicle Live, which includes a clip of Ethan playing.
PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Conference 2019 will take place on Thursday 26th September in Sheffield. Tickets are £15. The conference “connects music organisations, policy-makers, music creators and talent development pioneers working across the UK, and covering all genres and career levels.” Details here.
A researcher who tested saliva samples from people who attended classical music and pop concerts found reductions in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Daisy Fancourt, associate professor in epidemiology at University College London, also found that attending live music events may help reduce the risk of developing depression in the over-50s, the BBC reports.
Over 40 million children in China are thought to be studying piano. Having visited the country multiple times in the last 20 years I found this piece by Anya Wassenberg ion the Ludwig Van Toronto website to be fascinating. It covers the country’s enthusiasm for classical music, some information about approaches to music education, and piano manufacturer Steinway’s comments about the potential sales volumes for its instruments in China.
People with “a professional link to the music industry” are invited to take part in Classical Music magazine’s survey about mental health support in the music industry. Answers to the survey (which takes about 5 minutes) will help form a better picture of the state of mental health provision across the sector. The survey, which closes on 18 September, is here.
Researchers at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital have found lullabies to be effective at reducing pain experienced by children. Their research is continuing, but it has already been covered on BBC Radio 4 and in The Telegraph here. I expect many music teachers will be thrilled to learn “Twinkle Twinkle” is one of the songs tested in the research.
An interesting Economist article about Dartington’s music summer school, a flagship part of the Dartington International Summer School and Festival. Since 2014, pianist and composer Joanna MacGregor has been the festival’s artistic director, and during her tenure she has “nurtured collaboration and cross-border creativity.” There’s more about MacGregor’s plans to write and her passion for solo Bach. This is her final year at the helm of the Festival and she leaves a “rich legacy of open ears and curious minds.” Read the article in full here.
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