Friday, 16 January 2009

SW update for Jan 2009

Here's a quick update from Doug on work in the South West.  We've had a whirlwind start to the year:

Alex and Jonathan have turned  the brand new sensory room at Claremont Secondary school into a multimedia Reggae Spaceship for this term's group music sessions!

St. Rose's
St. Rose's school have confirmed that they can fully fund us for the rest of this academic year, which means that in addition to delivering the NOCN course pilot with Bradley Warwick, Alex can now join Jonathan each Tuesday to deliver a full program of group and individual music sessions, working towards the St. Rose's school PROM concert in July.

NOCN Music Course Pilot
The NOCN course is going well. Bradley and Jonathan have nearly finished the first unit (notation) and we have adapted the Grid 2 set up originally designed for Charlotte so that Bradley can compose in Sibelius using 2 head switches. We are working hard on a funding bid to Esmée Fairbairn to continue the Curriculum Development Initiative, as part of which Jonathan has been hitting the phones to the QCA and all major exam boards to get an update on the current state of access to accreditation for disabled pupils. As per the last time we did this, the results are still very patchy. For example, WJEC seem pretty switched on while Edexcel seem extremely unhelpful, even obstructive. We are also talking to NAME about the possibility of presenting on Access to Accreditation for disabled pupils at this year's conference in September. Jonathan will be delivering a lecture / presentation to PGCE music students at Bristol Uni on Thurs 22nd Jan as the first phase of our partnership with Bristol Uni to increase awareness of access issues among PGCE music students. This is definitely something we could look to extend around the country (Manchester, London, E-Mids and more.)

Sing Up / Drake Music partnership
We have almost completed the Clicker 5 and VOCA (Voice Output Communication Aid) resources for the Sing Up pilot project. Our workshop space at Claremont has resembled a programming production line at points over the last couple of weeks with Alex working alongside Hannah, Katie and Nikki of PCAS (Paediatric Communication Aids Service) to render 'Alice The Camel', 'Senwa Dedende' and 'Old MacDonald' (among others) in fully accessible, digital form. We met with a host of people from Sing Up and Faber Music today to test out the resources and to plan delivery of the pilot project. They're delighted with the resources - the pilot is scheduled to run in 4 schools (tbc) throughout the South West from May and the resources will be available to download from the Sing Up Song Bank from September. Alex and I will also be presenting on our work with Sing Up as well as running a series of workshops at at a Singing Conference to be held at the Colston Hall, Bristol on 4th February.

The new Wooden Spoon building (which we share with PCAS at Claremont school) was opened today by The Princess Royal. I couldn't attend as the Sing Up/Faber meeting couldn't be re-scheduled, so Jonathan had a shave, shook the moth-balls of his suit and schmoozed with HRH.

BAMS funding?
We are in the process of organising a series of music sessions in Bristol SEN schools funded by Bristol Arts & Music Service under the Wider Opportunities scheme. If it comes off this will be the first time that the LEA has directly funded our work in Bristol. Fingers crossed...

Doug & Charlotte are off to Tromsø in Norway from 20th to 27th Jan to attend the Northern Lights Music Festival as guests of the SKUG centre and Tromsø University. Charlotte has written 3 pieces for the opening performance of the Festival which have been pre-recorded (by musicians at Tromsø University) to accompany a dance piece based on the Norwegian Fairy tale of Havmannens sønn. You can listen to the recordings here, here, and here! As well as attending various concerts we'll be giving presentations to the Music Dept at the University and also at Tromsø music college. I'll try and post some photos of the trip here soon.

I think that's about it - back to the funding apps.

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