Author Archives: Adam Cooper

Music Education ‘Risks Being Outdated By Technology’

Music teaching could be left behind in an outdated acoustic age if it does not keep-up with technology, an in-depth report says.

Music Education

Too much music education does not reflect the reality of how young people engage with music, according to the inquiry from The Music Commission.

It says there is a risk this “disconnect” means current teaching methods may become outdated.

It argues technology could help stop music from disappearing from schools.

The commission, led by key figures in contemporary music and set up by Arts Council England and the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music, says technology is evolving at a rapid rate.

From apps that allow users to compose digital music on smart phones to ‘teach yourself the guitar’ YouTube videos, the opportunities technology offers for learning, making and engaging in music are significant.

Low-cost tech 

The report says: “There is a danger that the “disconnect” between how young people use technology and music education may see current models of teaching rapidly becoming outdated.

Music Education“This is not about one replacing the other, but about bringing together the best in technology to work alongside and challenge acoustic music-making to create more relevant contemporary practice.”

It adds: “The current generation of music learners can explore any era or kind of music at any time.

“Technology allows them to access and merge ‘musics’ from any culture.”

The report highlights how technology has enabled young people to improvise together, access virtual teachers and challenge each other in digital spaces.

It adds that new technologies increasingly provide accessible, low-cost means to make and share music, and that it should be a central plank of music education. Furthermore, the accessibility and immediacy of such technology means young people can have a more fluid approach, with the old barriers between different types of music being broke down.

Pressures mount from unions

The report also says that the focus of music education should be ensuring every child is supported to take music further.

 A report by the Musicians’ Union last year suggested poorer children are being priced out of learning musical instruments.

Music Education

Children in low income households were half as likely to take music lessons, it found.

Commission chairman, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, who is managing director of the Barbican, acknowledged there was a host of pressures on schools to meet academic targets.

He said: “People of all ages now learn and enjoy a hugely diverse range of music in many ways – at home, in classrooms, in communities and online.

“However, we’re concerned that too much music education does not reflect the realities of how young people engage with music.”

11 Positive Effects of Music on Health

Article written by Ged Richardson, published by Zing Instruments and promoted by Tees Valley Music Service.

Have you ever noticed how the perfect song can completely turn around your mood? You can be having a really bad day, you put some music on, and – bam! – you feel great.

Well, it turns out that music is more than just another form of entertainment. It can have a transformative effect on our lives in range of ways.

To highlight its amazing properties, here are the 11 major health benefits of music, backed up by science.

1. Music Alleviates Pain

According to a range of research studies, conducted worldwide, music has been shown to markedly reduce pain in individuals experiencing a variety of acute and chronic conditions.

Woman wearing headphones

It has also been used in palliative care, a type of treatment in which doctors and nurses are no longer looking to cure or resolve the underlying condition in terminal patients, but are instead trying to make those patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible in the last few months or weeks of their lives.

Individuals experiencing the agonising pain of cancer are also soothed by music, experts say, as it serves as both calming agent and distracts them, thus keeping the pain out of their mind, if only temporary.

Music has also proven very effective in the treatment of migraine headaches – the pain and sensitivity to light and loud noises that is inherit with this condition.

2. Music Improves Workouts

In today’s age of technology, it’s extremely rare to see an individual exercising without music, especially because our cell phones and other mobile devices make it so easy to burn calories to our favourite tunes.

And while music is definitely a great form of entertainment while we walk, run or bike-ride, research has also proven that music is beneficial for our overall health when working out, and may even aid in muscle recovery after the workout session.

In a recent study involving male stationary bike riders, exercise scientists noted that these participants had a tendency to work harder on these exercise machines when listening to fast or upbeat music. That rapid pace not only enables people to burn more calories and thus lose more weight; it also improves their cardiovascular health, reducing the possibility for strokes and heart-related illnesses.

Runners, whether on the road or on a treadmill, can also benefit  from upbeat music, as research has discovered that these athletes run faster when listening to music than those who do not. Music additionally helps joggers in terms of motivation, and improves endurance, allowing them to run faster and faster than they normally would.

Jogger listening to music

Regardless of the type of exercise activity, music – especially songs with an upbeat melody – has been shown to improve motivation and endurance. Moreover, songs with a slower tempo can even speed up the recovery process following one workout, allowing them to properly “cool down” and return their heart rate to a normal, resting level.

3. Music Improves Sleep

We all have a tendency to internalize our life-related problems, which can lead to an unhealthy amount of stress, worry and anxiety. We fret about our families, our financial situation, work and relationships – the things we have done and the things we still need to do. These stressful thoughts not only make it more difficult to fall asleep, they can also significantly impact our sleep patterns, leading to a restless, interrupted type of sleep that prevents our bodies from recovering completely.

Along with its entertainment benefit, soft music can serve as a great distraction that will help us forget about our everyday cares and worries. Music relaxes us and eases our stress and anxiety, and can help promote a deeper more restful sleep without all the tossing and turning.

Woman falls alseep with music

In a recent study, music – in this case, classical music – was proven to be a great cure for insomnia. In that study, busy college students suffering from stress-related insomnia were asked to listen to soft classical music about an hour before their bedtime.

What they discovered was this: a remarkable percentage of these participants found that classical music actually helped them get to sleep, and many reported a greater ability to stay asleep with music in the background.

4. Music Improves Diet

Overeating throughout the day can lead to obesity and a slew of obesity-related diseases and illnesses. These conditions include diabetes, heart disease, strokes and even certain types of cancers, as well as a general feeling of sluggishness and a depressed mood.

Graphic of a heart wearing headphones

White headphones with red heart sign in the middle on blue surface

Doctors say that listening to soft music (and dimming the lights) before you sit down for a meal will create a soothing environment. In that environment, you are likely to actually eat less food at each meal setting, helping you to better manage your weight and to feel better and healthier overall.

This style of eating may also make your food taste much better, allowing you to slow your eating and thus enjoy the food more.

5. Music Reduces Stress

Music can be the ultimate stress reducer. According to researchers, listening to music when we are stressed out, anxious or worried can trigger a biochemical response in our brains – a response that releases stress-battling chemicals that enable us to forget about our cares and worries, if only for a little while.

The medical community has long recognized the stress-busting benefits of music, and hospitals regularly use music to:

  • Relax Surgical Patients Before Surgery. Music can help relax surgical patients before surgery. In one study, music was shown to have a calming effect on patients awaiting a wide range of cardiovascular procedures.
  • Ease the recovery of stroke patients. Strokes can leave patients scared, confused and stressed. Music can help ease these feelings in stroke patients, and may actually facilitate and hasten the recovery process. In a recent study conducted in the country of Finland, researchers found that stroke patients who listened to music at least two hours a day actually showed improvement in their verbal memory and attention, and were generally in a better mood than those who did not listen to music.

6. Music Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Depression, which affects millions of people around the world, can be a very painful and debilitating disease. It causes a range of unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability and stress
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of concentration and so much more…

Like exercise, music has a tendency to lift us up and may even increase the production of the feel-good brain chemicals known as serotonin and dopamine. However, the type of music one listens to definitely matters: according to doctors, the best types of music for treating the symptoms of depression are classical and meditative music, while heavy metal, hard rock and techno music can actually have the opposite effect and worsen these symptoms.

Soft and soothing music can help counteract the symptoms of anxiety and distract patients from the irrational fear they are experiencing. Researchers also noted that music helps calm people with anxiety calm down quicker during a panic attack.

To read the full article visit the Zing Instruments website

Hartlepool School Pupils To Take Part In Children In Need Choir

Pupils from a number of primary schools in Hartlepool will come together as part of the national Children In Need Choir in an effort to raise money for children in less fortunate and very difficult lives.

The choir, which is set to be broadcast live on BBC One, will feature children from across the country.

In previous years the Children In Need Choir have sang ‘Over The Rainbow’ from the classic film ‘The Wizard of OZ‘ and performed ‘A Million Dreams’ from the hit musical ‘The Greatest Showman‘. It is unclear what song will be the highlight of this year’s Choir however, it is likely to be another emotionally driven performance.

The Hartlepool segment of the choir will take place in Hartlepool Town Hall.

Viewers can watch the Choir live on BBC One from 7pm on Friday 15th November.

To donate to Children In Need please visit their website and give whatever you can to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children up and down the country.

Opera Singer will Return to Teesside for Special Concert

Former TVMS pupil Anna Huntley, who has made her mark around the world for opera singing, will return to her Teesside roots and perform a special homecoming recital at Stokesley Methodist Church on Sunday 10th November.

Originally from Yarm, Miss Huntley started off her musical journey in Tees Valley Youth Orchestra before leaving to study at the Royal Academy of Music and then the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Throughout her years of study she has earned several prestigious awards that kicked off her operatic career.

During her many years of working and living in London, Anna has performed in major venues across the capital city, such as Wigmore Hall. She also performed over seas in many parts of Europe.

Anna Huntley performing at the University of Leeds.

Now residing in Berlin, Miss Huntley said she is looking for a chance to perform in her hometown again.

“I was very active in the musical life on Teesside when I was a student”, Huntley said speaking with Tees Valley Music Service. “I am so proud of my roots and the musical education I received there. If I can be a part of that in anyway with other young people now, I’d very much like to do that.

“I don’t often get the chance to sing back at home so it’s an honour and a real thrill. I love the chance to show family and friends and the region as a whole what I have been doing.”

A concert to remember

Huntley’s recital will explore ‘Women in Song’ and, accompanied by pianist Chris Glynn, will perform music from German composer Robert Schumann.

In an interview with The Northern Echo, Anna commented that the “programme is going to be an entertaining one. The first half will be Schumann’s recital which follows the tragic story of a woman who falls in love.

“The second half is much more light-hearted with music from Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Argentina. There will also be some old English folk songs thrown in which will be fun. There will be something in it for everybody.”

Watch Anna Huntley perform a piece by Kurt Weil in the video below:

Tickets are on sale now for her performance at Stokesley Methodist Church on Sunday 10th November at 7:15pm. Contact Julie Haigh on 01642 711618 for advanced tickets.

More information can be found on Teesside Music Society’s website.

BBC’s Songs of Praise Youth Choir of the Year Competition

The 2020 competition is now open for entries and aims to find the best amateur Young Choirs in the UK. It’s your chance to shine!

BBC Songs of Praise warmly welcome applications from youth, community, church, school and gospel choirs. In fact, any choir can enter as long as you’re of the right age (see Terms and Conditions below).

All choirs who submit an entry will receive feedback from the shortlisting judges, whether they go through to the televised part of the competition or not.

The finals will be filmed during Spring at a venue to be confirmed.

The Junior and Senior finalists will sing in front of the audience (including family and friends) and the television cameras!

How to enter

You can enter online, by email or post.

Please read the Terms and Conditions and tick on the form to confirm you have read them.

For the online entry form click here…

To enter by email download the entry form here and send it to sopcompetitions@avantimedia.tv 

To send the application by post download the entry form here and send it to “Songs of Praise Competitions (YCOTY) 114-116 Broadway, Media City UK, Salford, M50 2UW.

Entry date closes on Sunday 24th November 2019.

 

Audition for National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) are holding auditions for the National Youth Boys’, Girls’ and Training Choirs of Great Britain this autumn.

If you have a passion and a talent for singing with others that you want to take to the highest level, then NYCGB would love to hear from you. There are 21 audition dates and 18 locations across the UK.

Auditions are open to all talented young singers as follows:

  • National Youth Boys’ Choir – for boys entering School Years 5 to 10 on 1st September 2019
  • National Youth Girls’ Choir – for girls entering School Years 6 to 10 on 1st September 2019
  • National Youth Training Choir – for boys & girls entering School Years 9 to 13 on 1st September 2019

Find out more and book a place to audition here.

NYCGB’s website provides lots of information about what’s required, and how to prepare.

Auditions are priced at £37. Financial assistance is available; find out if you qualify today.

Representatives of NYCGB will travel the country, hosting auditions for talented young people from all works of life.

Audition Dates & Locations 

  • Birmingham – Wednesday 13th November
  • Bristol – Monday 11th November
  • Cardiff – Saturday 2nd November
  • Carlisle – Saturday 16th November
  • Chelmsford – Sunday 10th November
  • Exeter – Saturday 2nd November
  • Edinburgh – Saturday 16th November
  • Gateshead – Thursday 14th November
  • Hull – Friday 15th November
  • Ipswich – Sunday 17th November
  • Leeds – Saturday 9th November
  • Liverpool – Saturday 16th November
  • London (Barnes) – Sunday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September
  • London (Marylebone) – Sunday 10th & Sunday 17th November
  • Nottingham – Sunday 3rd November
  • Peterborough – Saturday 9th November
  • Shrewsbury – Sunday 17th November
  • Southampton – Sunday 17th November
  • Tonbridge – Saturday 9th November

TVYO 50th Anniversary Tour | Full Recap

Following months of planning, preparation and anticipation, Tees Valley Youth Orchestra finally celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

The Journey Begins

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra departed from Ian Ramsey Academy shortly after 6am on Monday 8th July. 120 students of varying ages, accompanied by 13 members of staff and an infant, disembarked at Manchester Airport. All were ready and eager to begin their most ambitious tour to date. Shortly after arriving at the airport, the party were organised into travel groups before they boarded the plane. These travel groups would continue throughout the tour as TVYO explored New York City.

After a fairly restful 7 hour flight the orchestra landed at JFK Airport and it wasn’t long before the group were headed towards the heart of New York City.

The city was bustling with life. As the Youth Orchestra made their way through the bustling streets of New York, block by block, the diverse and vibrant culture of Americanism was apparent. Skyscrapers loomed overhead as the coaches navigated their way to the Gallivant Hotel.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, just off from Times Square, the Gallivant Hotel would be a perfect base for the activities ahead. Once checked into the hotel the tour group were granted permission to explore the local area and grab much needed food and drink. By 10pm TVYO had returned to The Gallivant, ready for the following day’s activity.

Seeing the sights

The first full day of the tour was packed full of activity. In the morning, the group was split into two: one group explored the Natural History Museum while the other journeyed to Central Park. Reuniting after lunch, the group was split again with many visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the smaller sub-group exploring Central Park and 5th Avenue, both of which are within a 5 minute walking distance. 

After spending 3 hours at either the museum or at Central Park it was time for TVYO to return to the hotel to get ready for their evening meal at Planet Hollywood. Thanks to the generous fundraising that the Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra held over 2 years, the tour organisers were able to provide the party with four evening meals out of the five nights that they were in New York.

Immediately following the meal at the memorabilia and nostalgic themed restaurant, the TVYO members who had paid to see the hit Broadway show ‘Aladdin’ walked to The New Amsterdam Theatre – just off from Times Square – and those who had not instead travelled to Brooklyn Bridge.

The group who visited Brooklyn Bridge took the Subway and were treated with two views of the iconic structure: one from a distance where the bridge can be seen over the Hudson River and another view from the bridge itself. This walking expedition coincided with the sun setting on New York and the views of the New York City skyline were truly breath-taking. After returning to the hotel via the Subway, both groups returned to their rooms for some well needed rest.

Exploring the city that never sleeps 

On Wednesday, the group walked to the DiMenna Centre for Classical Music. This performance space served as the rehearsal venue for TVYO to adequately prepare for the following day’s momentous concert, allowing the string players (who had received hired instruments at the start of the week) the chance to perform a run through of their 50th Anniversary performance.

The DiMenna Centre is an unparalleled resource serving the entire musical community – from soloists to symphony orchestras, through state-of-the-art facilities. They were aided by a tuning and orchestral arrangement professional. 

The rehearsal wrapped up at 1pm and the group headed back to the hotel for a short time. Later that afternoon, they walked to the Rockefeller Centre and visited the Top of the Rock. Climbing 70 stories this enormous skyscraper offered tremendous views of lower Manhattan where iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre were clearly visible.  

View from 'Top of the Rock'

View from ‘Top of the Rock’

Once back on solid ground the students were given free time to explore the surrounding area to the Rockefeller Plaza. This included big brand stores such as the Nintendo Store. Once students returned to the organised meeting point they all travelled back to the hotel to pick up belongings ready for the evening events. For dinner, TVYO visited Ellen’s Stardust Diner; a restaurant that is famous for its singing waitstaff and home to Broadway’s future talents. After the meal the Orchestra walked to Times Square before making their way to the hotel to make final preparations for tomorrow’s big concert.

On Thursday morning, the students were granted free time where they could go shopping and explore the local area. By 12:30pm, after grabbing snacks, the tour group walked, with instruments in tow, to Carnegie Hall. Once on stage and set up, they rehearsed for 3 hours 30 minutes – more than enough time to play through each piece. At 7:30pm the doors opened and hundreds of parents, family, friends, supporters and New Yorkers filled the auditorium. The concert swiftly commenced at 8pm. 

TVYO perform at Carnegie Hall

The program featured Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’, arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov. This was followed with another piece by Mussorgsky with ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, orchestrated by Ravel. After the intermission they then performed Mahler’s ‘Symphony No. 1 in D major’. For an encore Tees Valley Youth Orchestra performed ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ by John Sousa. The American-themed song was a very appropriate way to draw the concert to a close. 

Conductor of TVYO, Nicholas Nowicki, commented ahead of the special concert: “I know I speak on behalf of the entire orchestra and their families when I say we are extremely privileged and grateful to be able to present our performance to you tonight on this, the most hallowed of stages. I’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who made tonight possible; our fabulous supportive families, TVMS, FTVYO and of course the players themselves, whose constant dedication, passion for music and teamwork is a source of continuous inspiration for me. I’d also like to say a big thank you to my family for their support. We hope that you enjoy tonight’s performance.”

Nicholas Nowicki leading Tees Valley Youth Orchestra

Speaking after the performance, Susan Robertson (TVMS Manager) congratulated the members of TVYO for their “historic” performance and hinted that there would be more great things to come for the Orchestra.

After 2 hours and 30 minutes the concert concluded to a rousing round of applause and a standing ovation. It was heartening to see 2 years of hard work from the performers, teachers and staff finally pay off. Soon after the concert TVYO exited Carnegie Hall and made their way to The Gallivant Hotel. As promised, following the huge success of the performance, staff allowed students the opportunity to meet and spend time with family and friends in Times Square. At midnight the group reunited back at the hotel for sleep – the excitement of the evening still very much alive.

More photos from the concert available on TVYO’s official Facebook page.

The last day

On Friday, TVYO began their last full day in New York by setting off on a walking expedition of the city. They visited High Line, Chelsea Markets, Washington Square Park, Union Square and Broadway shops. At 2:30pm TVYO arrived back at the hotel briefly to pick up items they would need for the rest of the day. They headed back onto Times Square and walked a short distance to the Hard Rock Cafe for a late lunch. Hard Rock Cafe is a restaurant chain made famous for its rock and roll memorabilia collection.

Afterwards, the group who had paid to watch the New York Yankees vs Toronto Bluejays baseball game made their way to the stadium. The other group chose to visit the 9/11 memorial in the financial district of lower Manhattan, then walked to the Staten Island Ferry docks.

The Staten Island Ferry provided students with a clear view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline as the sun began to set. Both groups returned to the hotel by midnight, leaving them with a small amount of time to pack and ensure they had everything they needed for the journey home. 

On Saturday it was travel day as TVYO made their way to the airport, eventually boarding the plane by 7pm and landing at 7am (UK time). They arrived back at Ian Ramsey Academy by 12pm. After a week of non-stop activity and memories to last a lifetime, the tour was over.  

Looking to the future

Following the tremendous success of the New York Tour and the Carnegie Hall concert, speculation about a follow-up tour next year has naturally been discussed. However, due to the financial and logistical undertaking that the New York Tour was for the Youth Orchestra, their families, TVMS and FTVYO, there will be no tour in 2020. Instead, the Youth Orchestra will concentrate on recruiting new members to share in the ensemble’s exciting future as well as delving into more come complex and exciting pieces of work.

The TVYO tour will return in 2021 and, although no details have been released at this stage, the achievements of TVYO show no sign of stopping. Here’s to another 50 years of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra! 

The Globe to Open in Late 2020

Councillors have approved additional funding to complete the restoration of Stockton’s famous Globe theatre.

£6.5 million has been approved for use on the Grade 2 music and comedy venue to bring the Art Deco building back to life. Once restored, the 3,000 capacity live entertainment venue will be the biggest between Newcastle and Leeds.

Work on the building had temporarily halted in early 2019 as the severity of its damaged structure became more apparent. In the months that followed 100 specialist sub-contractors and independent cost analysts determined that additional funds would be necessary to resume work.

Major renovation work is expected to resume next month.

Following months of debate between councilors, local government and Stockton residents, the money was approved for use. ATG, a global leader in live entertainment, has signed up to operate the Globe for 25 years and once open it is expected to bring up to 200,000 visitors and £18 million a year into the local economy.

Those discussions resulted in major changes to how the agreed designs can be delivered in light of the urgent structural stabilisation work completed earlier this year. These include changes to the foundations, steel work and roof structures along with access and logistics complexities and the protection of the building’s historic features.

Artist’s impression of the new Globe theatre in 2020.

Project Director, Paul Dobson, said “Restoration projects are notoriously complex and we’ve had a number of setbacks but we’ve remained focused on the end goal, which is to deliver a project that will bring hundreds of millions of pounds into the Borough’s economy in the coming years.”

ATG’s Group Operations Director, Stuart Beeby, added “No theatre has been restored in this way, from a historic venue into a home for live music and entertainment for a modern audience.”

“This is ground-breaking and what makes it a challenging and exciting project. We’re very excited to be bringing household names, the top talent of music and comedy to Stockton – renowned acts the people will recognise.”

The additional funding brings the Council’s contribution to the cost of £22.25 million, with the remaining £4.5 million coming from a National Lottery grant secured through the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Enterprise scheme.

Cafes and restaurants near the venue are expected to open in the next year to provide concert goers with a dining and social experience.

The Globe is expected to open in late 2020.

Switch It: Supporting Vulnerable Young People in Hartlepool

For those unfamiliar with the project, Switch It is a musical intervention for vulnerable young people who live in areas of large deprivation such as Hartlepool in the North East of England.

The programme supports young people’s social and emotional development through targeted musical activities delivered by a team of specialist music leaders and youth service practitioners.

At Switch It’s recent Participation Group they invited Sam Ward-Hardy from Jack Drum Arts to deliver a Brazilian drumming workshop for their young musicians. Mr Ward-Hardy is a young leader who recieved a Winston Churchill Fellowship Grant and who recently travelled  to Brazil to spend five months studying traditional and contemporary percussion.

Sam’s visit was an eye opener for the young musicians for several reasons; firstly Sam’s experiences in Brazil, his enthusiasm and skills as a workshop leader gave the students a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The workshop was also a chance for the pupils to experience something completely different, learning Maracatu rhythms and playing traditional Brazilian instruments which was new to them and was a great way to learn about different cultures and traditions.

Switch It

Sam Ward-Hardy leading a Bazillion music workshop as part of a Switch It project.

This experience took the young musicians out of their comfort zone and exposed them to unusual instruments and complex multi-part rhythms. To the delight of Sam Ward-Hardy, they rose to the challenge and succeeded in learning and performing two rhythms: ljexe and Ogum.

Some comments from the young musicians included; “Fantastic, the music was great”, “amazing night” and “My arm is dead!”

One aim of the Participation Group was to show young people some potential career/development opportunities and that there are different routes for different people. Sam commented on this: “I have taken a very non-traditional and non-academic route in terms of working within the community music scene, so you don’t need to necessarily be good at theory or to have climbed up the Grades. It’s perfectly fine just to have lots of passion and drive.”

The workshop gave Sam an opportunity to work with a new and different project, he says this increased his own understanding of working with young people. “They were a very quiet group so it required a lot of energy to make sure the workshop moved forward with momentum.”

Switch It

Switch It say the project is invaluable to young people in the region who often feel neglected or are suffering from mental health, social or economic issues. These workshops serve as a reminder to themselves and those like them in the wider community that there are life-changing opportunities out there. Switch It’s goal is to highlight the benefits of young leadership programmes and inspire teenagers to go onto achieve their very best.

Judging by the responses from participants of the music workshop, they appear to have fulfilled their objective.

 

Read more »

Nine In Ten Children Want To Learn A Musical Instrument, Survey Finds

Research into children’s interest in learning a musical instrument finds that young children are keener than ever, but interest among other children is dwindling.

A new piece of research by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra reveals nine in ten children want to learn a musical instrument.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the RPO, asked children aged 6 to 16 around the UK about their interest in learning a musical instrument.

Band instruments like the guitar (45%), piano (36%) and drums (35%) proved the most popular. Meanwhile, 75% of children opted for an orchestral instrument, such as the violin (10%), flute (8%) and saxophone (8%). At the other end of the scale, children were least interested in learning the French horn and double bass.

Of those surveyed, girls (95%) were slightly keener to learn an instrument than boys (90%). The instruments most popular with girls were the flute (13%), recorder (13%), violin (14%) and viola (14%).

Boys, on the other hand, were far more likely to want to learn the guitar (50%), drums (45%) and bass guitar (28%).

More boys want to learn guitar than any other instrument, study finds.

The information follows a study revealing gender imbalance in orchestral instrumental sections, which found there were no women trombone or tuba players.

in the world’s top 20 orchestras. It also found the majority of double bass (95%) and timpani players (96%) were men.

The RPO’s survey also indicates that the older a child gets, the less interested they become in learning a musical instrument. James Williams, managing director of the RPO, suggests more needs to be done to nurture children’s interests in music, saying: “The relative speed with which children’s interest in learning a musical instrument falls from 96% to 84% in just four years underlines the work that needs to be done to support young musicians and at a crucial age.”

Between the ages of ten and 14, the proportion of children who said they were no longer interested in learning a musical instrument quadrupled from 4% to 16%. This age group were also more likely to say their school did not encourage them to develop an interest in music (rising from 28% among 6-10 year olds, to 41% of over 14 year olds).

Schools are under pressure to improve the current level of music provision offered to pupils.

This follows a study by the University of Sussex which revealed that the number of schools offering music at A Level has dropped by more than 15% over the last two years.

“Wherever possible, music needs to stay on the school curriculum but, more fundamental than that, teenagers need reassurance that music matters,” says James Williams.

“Given the UK has some of the world’s most respected orchestras, we need to invest in tomorrow’s talent.”