Category Archives: News

Snappy Christmas is Coming

It’s that time of year again…. SNAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

For five consecutive years the whole-class workshops have conjured some memorable moments for the children who take part. The jubilation and fellowship that’s shared between each and every child during these events is something that can only be captured at Christmas time. And this is partly the reason behind Snappy Christmas’ widespread appeal; the euphoric atmosphere that’s created is breathtaking for the parents who attend.

Snappy Christmas 2017 featured songs from countries around the world.

This year the scope and scale has not been minimised and we’re hoping for our biggest and most successful Snappy Christmas to date. Returning to the event is the Snappy Music band, formed collectively from TVMS staff, who will perform a medley of Christmas classics as well as introducing the pupils to several Snappy Songs; written, performed and arranged by Tees Valley Music Service.

2018’s event will also feature the largest number of schools we’ve ever had. Over 70 schools will take part in Snappy Christmas 2018 which accounts for more than 5000 children overall across all 5 days.

With the first of the five events scheduled for next week venue preparations have already been made, tickets have been purchased and the Snappy Band have had their final rehearsal. For up to date coverage of our Snappy concerts visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

View the official dates and venues below from the posters along with the schools that will be taking part this year…



The Influence of Music on Dance

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and just felt the sudden urge to get up and dance?

Many people have that feeling more often than not and it’s because of the tremendous impact music has on dance, as it would not even exist if it were not for the music that goes along with it. Dance needs music to set the mood, drop the beat and create the motivation needed to start moving. Music has that ability to make us feel a certain way, which is why it plays such an immense role in dance. Different styles of music create various types of beats, which all correspond to a specific dance style.

The connection between music and dance

While some dances can be performed to any kind of music, there is always a typical genre that it matches with. For example, slower tunes would be utilised when performing dance styles such as the waltz, lyrical or ballet, while fast, upbeat songs would be used for hip-hop, tap dancing or the salsa. Although it can be argued otherwise the traditional version of each of these dance styles respectively corresponds to either slow or fast music.

It is often hard to realise the importance of music in everyday life, however music plays a very integral role in daily activities. Most people usually listen to music when exercising, driving or sometimes during study periods as it creates a lively and enjoyable atmosphere in everything that we do. Music sets the mood and is often in line with our emotions as we all can recognise and appreciate its role in the theatrics of movies, musicals and televised dramas. A relatable instance of the way music affects us all would be in terms of productivity levels as we blog every Thursday during class. Our fingers naturally type faster as the beats increase in speed when we listen to the instrumental music in the background. Even though it may seem like an insignificant background noise, it plays a much bigger role on our productivity than expected. Similarly, the beats in music give off a vibe that transcends into the movement of the body without it ever giving off a striking epiphany of the strong impact it can have.

Music transcends prejudice

Music and dance do not only affect our personal lives but instead they also share a major role in shaping cultures across the globe. For example, many countries incorporate dance and music into their celebrations including weddings, graduations and birthdays as a way to express excitement. Many also use it as a form of communication. Some people struggle with communicating with others but can say how they feel with a song that they write or have heard, making it easier to express themselves without any fear or intimidation.

Although most people have their own preferences on the type of dance and music they enjoy but each culture can agree that these art forms are an important part of life with expressing ourselves as human beings. By appreciating the impact music and dance has on the wider world, it makes it easy to unite and relate to others who are different than ourselves.

Furthermore, the lyrics of a song can be portrayed through dance just further enhancing the relationship they share. A song in itself can evoke so many emotions through its lyrics, but when combined with dance the impact it leaves can last a lifetime. When dramatic music is conjoined with intricate movement, the aesthetic qualities and awe inspiring way it is depicted is one of the best things to ever witness.

This article is the 1st in a six part series that looks at how music enriches our lives
and offers new perspectives on how music is important to each and everyone of us.

Assistant Music Leaders Required – Apply Now!

musinc currently deliver a project at Breckon Hill Youth Club, Middlesbrough. This project is a lively youth session working predominantly with local people of Czech Roma, Slovak and Polish communities. The project aims to deliver the young people’s musical understanding and ability, enabling them to play and perform popular music and music of their own cultures, aiming to raise their confidence, self-esteem and well being. The group consist of young people who are highly skilled multi-instrumentalists and beginners who are eager to learn! 

musinc are currently seeking two Assistant Music Leaders to join the team who have the relevant skills and experience in one to one and group instrumental tuition, are able to work in a flexible youth club environment and who have the potential to deliver Rock School accreditation.

Sessions are delivered weekly on Wednesday evenings 6 – 8pm (5:30pm arrival time) at Breckon Hill Community Centre and we would be hoping that those in post would be able to begin working on the project as soon as possible.

If you feel you have the skills necessary and would like to apply for this position please view the Person Specification and complete the Expression of Interest form below:

Person Specification

Expression of Interest Form

Drumming Helps Children with Autism

Drumming for 60 minutes a week can benefit children diagnosed with autism and supports learning at school, according to a new scientific study by the University of Chichester.

The study shows pupils’ ability to follow instructions improved after 10 weeks with significant improvements in rhythm, timing and dexterity being highlighted in the report. The project showed students’ ability to follow their teachers’ instructions improved significantly and enhanced their social interactions between peers and members of school staff.

Autistic child learning to play drums

What did the research involve?

Research was centered around pupils from Milestone School in Gloucester who took part in a ten-week drumming programme comprising two 30-minute sessions each week. Classroom observations were conducted which looked at the children’s responses to musical technicalities including rhythm and timing. Class teachers evaluated behavioural changes within the classroom across the ten-week drumming intervention, with preliminary evidence highlighting positive outcomes. Each lesson was delivered by drumming tutors using electronic drum kits provided by charities in Gloucestershire.

The focus of the sessions was on learning and having fun while playing to popular songs. An in-depth explanation of key findings related to changes in social, behavioural, and motor control will be reported following the completion of on-going data analysis.

What was the outcome of the study?

The intense course proved to be successful in strengthening understanding of beats and melody as well as vastly improving movement control while playing the drums. Movement control was enhanced while performing daily tasks outside the school environment, including an improved ability to concentrate during homework. A range of positive changes in behaviour within school environment, which were observed and reported by teachers, such as improved concentration and enhanced communication with peers and adults.

Autistic children playing the drums

Lead researcher Dr Marcus Smith, a Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology at University of Chichester said: “This is a unique and remarkable research project that has demonstrated the positive impact on a pupil’s health and well-being following rock drumming practice.” What’s more, the benefits raised in this study do not apply only to students with autism; Dr Smith went on to say “Rock drumming can be a potent intervention for individuals experiencing brain disorders of all kinds.”

Although a number of studies over the years have made headlines with similar claims, the Clem Burke Drumming Project’s ten years of research into the effects of drumming on brain health and behaviour give this study particular weight. Still, as always in scientific research, more evidence can help refine the applications. Another researcher in the study, Dr. Ruth Lowry, sounds both excited and cautiously optimistic in her assessment of the findings, expressing hopes that more research will “provide further evidence that not only does rock drumming have positive benefits in terms of changes in dexterity and concentration but that wider social benefits can be observed.”

Autistic child playing the drums

In time, the evidence presented in this study as well as the research conducted in other high profile projects can bring about meaningful and transformative change to the methods we adopt in teaching children who are on the autistic spectrum; a challenging feat, but one worthwhile nonetheless.



Good Vibrations – A Musical Resource for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

The Good Vibrations Toolkit has finally been launched as a new music resource for the deaf and hearing impaired. Developed by soundLINCS, the new resource will support individuals to deliver inclusive music activities.

Dr Paul Whittaker OBE, founder of Music and the Deaf comments: “Congratulations to soundLINCS on creating Good Vibrations. As a deaf musician with over 30 years’ experience of teaching and promoting the topic, I know there is a need for a guide explaining why music is important for deaf people, and that helps you find out more. It should be used nationally to encourage making music with deaf people and I’m delighted to recommend it.”

What is soundLINCS?soundLINCS logo

soundLincs is a not-for-profit community music organisation delivering high-quality and innovative music making opportunities. Their mission is to to provide a quality service for music which enhances, enables and encourages the development of music in an enjoyable way, through activities and access to information.

One of the ways they reach this goal is by creating bespoke music projects and workshops for a diverse range of people to suit their needs.

How do they help people who are deaf?

In relation to the deaf and hearing impaired community, soundLINCS addresses their specific needs by including relevant resources in their Good Vibrations Toolkit to help build knowledge and support including research, literature reviews, case studies and articles from experts in the field such as Music and the Deaf, National Deaf Children’s Society and the Ear Foundation.

Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world’s premiere solo percussionist, composer and speaker, profoundly deaf since the age of 12 remarks: “This is such as excellent toolkit, hugely helpful, and will be a great resource”.

soundLINCS believes everyone should be given the opportunity to experience music. The toolkit questions; ‘Why wouldn’t you do music with the Deaf and Hearing Impaired?’

How does the Good Vibrations toolkit work?

soundLINCS colleagues celebrating

soundLINCS colleagues celebrated 20 years of service

Good Vibrations has been designed to be a colourful and dynamic booklet offering short, quick tips and advice for adults who need a time-effective information source when delivering music with deaf and hearing impaired children and young people. Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE, soundLINCS CEO explains, “We identified that what was needed was a portal, a gateway, a simple and approachable starting point for any adult on the journey of providing music to a deaf and hearing impaired young person. The toolkit aims to do this for any person wishing to begin their journey.”

The Good Vibrations project was part of soundLINCS FundC a National Foundation for Youth Music Funded programme. The project was developed in partnership with Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service with support from Leicester-Shire Hearing Impaired Service and Bishop Grosseteste University to name a few.

For further information about the Good Vibrations toolkit or to find out more about soundLINCS, visit and visit soundLINCS’ Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with events and new music resources.

TVYO Members Tackle the Three Peaks Challenge

Three members of the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra will take on the challenge to walk up the Yorkshire Three Peaks in an effort to raise money for the upcoming tour to New York in 2019 where they are looking to perform at Carnegie Hall. This tour, understandably, raises huge financial implications for the Youth Orchestra and its members therefore several sponsorship campaigns and fundraising drives have been established in the hopes of reaching the target of £30,000 by June 2019: An ambitious goal but an achievable one, especially given the motivation from staff and students alike to perform at one of the most prestigious concert venues in the world .

With recent sponsorship campaigns such as the Sponsor a Seat and Broadway to Broadway packages gaining momentum, the three peaks challenge is just the latest fundraising effort from TVYO. 

Ivan, George and Patrick, who play trumpet, french horn and trombone respectively, have accepted this challenge which will take them at least two days to complete. 

Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire Three Peaks, which form part of the Pennine range, are the hills of Whernside (728m), Ingleborough (723m) and Pen-y-ghent (697m) and are the three tallest peaks in Yorkshire. They encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 

The challenge is not the first Ivan, George and Patrick have embarked on. Last winter the trio busked in freezing snow in the centre of Middlesbrough so this year they decided they wanted to do something more physically challenging.  

A fundraising page, set up by the Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra has already exceeded their original target of £900 and has reached an impressive total of £1383. The page is still live so if you would like to donate whatever you can to this event please click here.

All the sponsorship money raised across all campaigns and platforms will go to funding the once-in-a-lifetime tour to New York.


Take That to Perform in Middlesbrough in 2019

Legendary pop band Take That are to perform at The Riverside Stadium in June 2019 as part of their 30th Anniversary tour.

Take That, who’s plethora of hits include Shine and Rule the World will perform in 12 venues across the UK next year, reliving their greatest hits. Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen will visit Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on Saturday 1st June 2019. 

The music idols attract huge crowds to their concerts so this event is likely to be sold out very quickly. Securing one of the most-beloved pop groups in the UK to perform in Teesside is undeniably a massive achievement and a huge leap forward in putting Teesside on the map.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, was thrilled with the confirmation.

In an interview with Teesside Live, Ben Houchen and Lee Fryett (Head of Commercial for Middlesbrough FC) discussed the upcoming event on the grounds of the Riverside Stadium and suggested other big named music and comedy stars could be encouraged to consider Teesside as part of their UK tours.

Mr Houchen proudly said:

Like a lot of the other things we do, this starts to put us on the map.
For years and years we’ve always looked up to Newcastle and Sunderland who’ve hosted these big music events, but now is our time.”



The announcement comes amid efforts for Middlesbrough FC to bring the Rugby League World Cup to Teesside in 2021, including using the Riverside Stadium as a venue.


Music Making and Healthcare

Over the last three years, Youth Music have invested nearly £1 million in projects that provide music-making activities for children and young people in healthcare settings. This could be in any healthcare facility working with young people, including children’s wards in hospitals.

Getting the chance to take part in music-making while in hospital or another healthcare facility has been shown to benefit children and young people in a number of ways. 

Challenges for young people

Many of the children and young people in the settings where these projects take place are facing really tough challenges. Aside from their health issues, which are often serious, some of these young people will have to spend extended periods in hospital, or may never live at home. Having to spend so much time away from their family and friends can be very frightening and lonely.

They risk missing out on experiences like attending school, making friends and doing many activities their peers take for granted – and therefore missing out on vital opportunities to develop personal and social skills.

In addition, the stressful hospital environment can put a strain on their relationships with the people closest to them, including their parents.

The extent to which children and young people are able to get involved with music-making varies with each individual. For some, even being able to sit up in bed for ten minutes and take part in a short musical activity is extremely difficult.

For most of the time that these young people spend in a healthcare setting, the main focus is understandably on their physical well-being – but music-making can make an important difference to their whole experience.

Musical outcomes

A music project in hospital can give a young person a much-needed opportunity to express themselves and be creative. It’s a chance to learn about new instruments and styles of music. Lots of music leaders have told Youth Music how they’ve seen children develop over weeks and months, gaining the musical confidence to choose their own instrument or say which song they’d like to play.

Some of the children Youth Music work with have trouble interacting verbally, sometimes as a result of their health condition. But through singing or making noises in the context of music-making, they’ve found a way to communicate with the people around them.

And when the time hopefully comes for a young person to leave hospital, the project staff can point them towards further opportunities to make music in their community.

Child learning to play a ukulele in hospital.

“She has no fear and is keen to display her newly found assurances and musical skills with whoever might be around – mum, nurses, doctors, cleaning ladies – she does in fact steal the show.”


Personal outcomes

A simple but important benefit of music-making in hospital is that it’s fun! It can lift a young patient’s mood and alleviate boredom, giving them something to think about other than their illness, and can also be used by medical staff as a distraction from treatments. The sense of achievement that young people take from music-making can be a huge boost to confidence and self-esteem.

Social outcomes

Group music-making sessions in hospital might be the only chance the children on a ward get to interact with each other. Lots of hospital staff have told Youth Music that music activities can create a sense of community between young patients.

There’s a positive impact on the relationship between the children and their parents and siblings too. Music-making opens up communication between members of the family and provides a welcome relief to parents who are often experiencing high levels of emotion and stress.

And finally, lots of people – patients, families and hospital staff – told Youth Music that having music present in the hospital environment simply makes it a more pleasant place to be. It encourages people to laugh, smile and talk with one another.

“Parents stated that the music-making activities were a great idea; often stating that it was a highly pleasant surprise to find a waiting room at hospital so enjoyable and inspiring; and turning a traumatic time into a fun experience.” 


Find out more about Youth Music’s incredible work and what you can do to help.

Chair for the Tees Valley Music Education Hub – Apply Now!

The Tees Valley Music Education Hub (TVMEH) is looking for a new Chair for its Music Education Hub Advisory Board.

The TVMEH works with the four local authorities of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland. Tees Valley Music Service is the lead partner in the Music Education Hub and it works collaboratively with key local, regional and national partners to ensure that all children in our region have access to a rich variety of musical opportunities.

Teesside is an area which a rich and diverse musical culture, and the music-making of the young people from our area has always had a high profile, both nationally and internationally.

We are looking for an inspirational and motivated Chair of the Tees Valley Music Education Hub Advisory Board who will support the Hub with its mission; help us celebrate what we already do and support us to develop new opportunities for our area.

The Chair of the Tees Valley Music Hub Advisory Board is a non-salaried position (travel expenses will be reimbursed) and would suit someone who has a strong background in business and/or education, and has time to support the Hub to develop its role and remit.

Tees Valley Music Education Hub Logo

The TVMEH was launched in 2017 to deliver music education in line with the National Plan for Music.

Main Responsibilities of the Chair

The key responsibility of the Chair will be to facilitate 3 meetings of the Music Education Hub Advisory Board a year (one per term). Meetings typically last for 1.5 hours.

You will work closely with the Board Members in partnership to plan the annual cycle of meetings, set the agendas and work within the agreed Terms of Reference of the Board. You will also:

  • Support the Board to develop membership.
  • Support the Hub Board, Partners and TVMS as lead partner to deliver the Music Hub Core and Extension roles as set out in the National Plan for Music Education.
  • Monitor that the decisions taken at Board meetings are implemented.
  • Work with the Board and TVMS as lead partner to oversee the allocation of Hub grant funding, support with the development of new income streams and support the Board in fostering relations with potential funders/donors.
  • Represent the Tees Valley Music Education Hub at appropriate events and meetings.
  • Act as a critical friend, advising and challenging the Hub lead organisation and Partners where necessary.

Essential Qualities of the Chair

The Chair of the Tees Valley Music Education Hub will have:

  • A commitment to Tees Valley Music Education Hub and music education
  • Leadership ability
  • Strategic vision
  • Integrity
  • Good indepndant judgement
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties
  • Tact and diplomacy
  •  Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Learn more about the Tees Valley Music Education Hub

Read the full responsibilities and qualities of the Chair

For an informal chat about the post please call Susan Robertson, Service Manager of TVMS on 01642 603600 or email

If you would like to apply for this post please send your CV and a covering letter outlining how you meet the Qualities of the Chair (as outlined above) and the knowledge, skills and experience you could bring to the role. Please send your application to Susan Robertson at

You can post your application if you prefer to Susan Robertson, Service Manager, Tees Valley Music Service, Bishopton Road West, Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, TS19 0QH.

Making Waves – Brighter Sound Workshop

Brighter Sound, in partnership with the Sage Gateshead, are looking for female music makers aged between 13 and 18 from the North East. They would like to offer young musicians the chance to explore the possibilities of sound, experiment with cutting edge music technology and work with amazing digital sound artists.

This event is FREE to attend. Travel bursaries are available upon request.

This is a great opportunity if you’re looking to make music in new and innovative ways. Lead by an all-female team of amazing digital and sound artists from across the North of England you will:

  • Spend four days (Monday 20th – Thursday 23rd August) experimenting and creating new music using found sound to create a unique ‘sound experience’.
  • Collaborate with other young musicians from the North East.
  • Showcase your work to a live audience at Sage Gateshead on Friday 24th August – as part of The Hexagon Experiment*.   

Register your place now!

Sign up by Wednesday 15th August to guarantee your place!

*The Hexagon Experiment is a six-part series of Friday night experiments’ featuring live music, conversations and original commissions from pioneering women at the forefront of music, art and science. Part of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.

Tickets available now!

Brighter Sound logo

About the artists?

Afrodeutsche is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer and DJ based in Manchester. Her productions cross a wide range of styles including classical solo piano, teachno, house and electro. She holds a monthly radio show on the reputable NTS, featuring her own productions, ranging from dark electro to breaks and jacking house.

Caro C is an electronic music artist, sound engineer and facilitator based in Manchester. Once described as a “one woman electronic avalanche”, Caro has been enkoying making musical mischief for over 20 years now after starting out in Newcastle. She has performed at key venues including Bridgewater Hall, Museum of Science and Industry, Band on the Wall, Royal Institute of Science, as well as festivals such as Bluedot and Festival Number 6. Caro is also the instigator and project manager of electronic music heritage charity Delia Derbyshire Day.

Mandy Wigby is a musician, composer, music producer and educator. She has released albums and singles, and toured internationally with signed brands The Sisters of Transistors and Lionrock. She has also created music and sound design for various multi-media projects and is currently part of the collective ‘The Architects of Rosslyn”. More recent projects have seen her develop a “Sensory Soundpit” with Di Mainstone, Howard Jacobs and a team of coders for the European City of Science 2016 and Bradford Science and Media Museum’s Super Senses 2017.

Vicky Clarke is a sound artist and electronic musician based in Manchester. Working with sound sculpture, field recordings and DIY electronics she creates performances, installations and self-built instruments. Her current research project explores sound sculpture to interface the physical internationally most recently at Rome Media Art festival and has been artist in residence at the National Science and Media Museum. She is co-founder of Noise Orchestra, a project developing synthesizers that translate light into sound.