A profile, an accolade for a music educator, a fun mashup, some great advice and more. Here’s our weekly highlight of positive stories about music and music education.
- Teacher whose commitment to music transformed Bradford school nominated for $1m prize
- Profile of fiddle player, Gaelynn Lea
- Non-verbal approach to music offers comfort to new parents
- Five tips to help prepare for performances and to combat stage fright
- Mashup of Wham’s Last Christmas with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 and Mozart’s Divertimento in D major
- Music a lifeline and “freedom which breaks borders” in Gaza
- Review of Peter Pan at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre
The Bradford music teacher whose programme of music and education helped to transform a formerly-failing school is a finalist for an international award with a $1 million prize.
50 teachers from all over the world, including Jimmy Rotheram, have been shortlisted for the “best teacher” prize which the Varkey Foundation will award in March 2019. The Finalists were selected from over 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world.
Award-winning fiddle player Gaelynn Lea is profiled in this Guardian article. Lea’s compositions and performances are extremely popular on YouTube and she has been touring for most of the two years since winning Tiny Desk. Lea observes how the way that many people talk about disability “is still pretty negative,” and as an advocate for better accessibility, notes how many venues which claim to be accessible are not: “I don’t want to be lifted on to the stage any more because it sends a really negative message to other people.” Lea is on tour in the UK.
In Arts Professional, Hannah Baker introduces Babigloo Music for Babies, a “non-verbal approach to music-making.” This involves the use of live and recorded classical music. It offers “a comfortable environment for new parents experiencing anxiety, as well as a joyful time for babies,” she says. Worth a read.
Over in The Strad, violist Kim Kashkashian has five tips to help prepare for performances and to combat stage fright. (Your Music Teaching Success’ Claire has written about stage fright and performance anxiety here.) Kim’s advice is valuable and may be helpful to discuss with your students.
Have you ever wondered what Wham’s “Last Christmas” would sound like if composed by Bach (with a twist of Mozart)? Surely you have? Really? Well Kjell Magne Robak has created a super mashup of Wham’s Christmas staple with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 and Mozart’s Divertimento in D major. Enjoy this:
Access to musical instruments is incredibly difficult in Gaza, and there are very few music teachers. But a few students have been able to play on Gaza’s only concert grand piano, which was donated by the Japanese government 20 years ago and has been refurbished recently by the charity Music Fund.
Gaza’s population live in extremely challenging circumstances, and music is a respite for some, and “a freedom that breaks every border,” according to this moving article in The Independent.
We had great fun at the pantomime last weekend (oh yes we did!), singing and shouting merrily along with the audience and cast of Peter Pan – including panto legend, Damian Williams. There’s a good review of Peter Pan at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre here in The Stage.
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