Tuesday, 31 March 2009

South West update - March 2009

Hi there!

Things feel very different at the end of the spring term to how they were at the beginning and we're looking forward to a full programme of music sessions for disabled school pupils in Bristol and the surrounding area throughout the summer term. I don't have enough time to go into the creative focus for each session unfortunately, but here's an outline of what we're doing and (given the need for increased focus on finance and business structure) how it's paid for:

Half day at Briarwood School funded by Bristol Arts and Music Service (as part of Wider Opportunities) and the school

Full day at St. Roses' school, working towards the end of term 'PROM' performance as well as the continuation of the NOCN music course pilot with Bradley Warwick, funded entirely by the school

Half day at Emerson's Green School, funded entirely by the school

Full day at Claremont school, funded by local Trusts.
Also evening sessions at Hareclive Youth Club funded by Youth Opportunities Fund.

Half day at the City Academy Bristol supporting Jordan Andow through his music GCSE course funded by the school's Inclusion budget.

We're also doing some work with disabled dancer / drummer Michael Mitchell of Dance Aware to enable him to integrate drumming into his dance workshops using Assistive Music Technology (paid for by a Trust).

Curriculum Development work is moving forward strongly and we're keeping our fingers crossed that we get the £80,000 we've applied to the Esmée Fairbairn foundation for to continue this work. We are also in the process of commissioning UK-wide research into the state of music education for disabled  pupils, for which we hope to get funding from the Big Lottery Research Fund. I've posted a copy of the outline proposal on Googledocs if you're interested. (The focus is stated as being SEN pupils rather than disabled pupils for reasons of academic clarity). 

Other things happening at the moment:

I've received the full video of Havmannen's Sønn, including Charlotte's music, which I'll edit and post online when I have a chance (!?!) It looks and sounds great.

Sing Up
We're currently booking in the 5 pilot sessions for the summer term and are running a training / planning day for the Sing Up area leaders with whom we'll be delivering the sessions on 7th April.

Last Friday (27th) I attended the Sing Up 'Beyond The Mainstream' gathering in Birmingham along with all the 30-or-so other organisations involved in this programme of work throughout the UK. Sing Up are so pleased with what we're doing that even before our pilot has completed they have already asked us to create more resources for the Sing Up Song Bank . Furthermore, we are potentially looking at working on a more strategic level with the new Beyond The Mainstream manager, Jenny Young, to manage and collate accessible resources from across all the other projects. This is clearly a great opportunity!

Digital Beginnings
Though not entirely a SW programme, I'm co-ordinating the whole thing so here's an update on the Youth Music funded part of this work. Music sessions are currently being booked in the SW, NW and EMids to add to the Connecting Across Difference sessions which have just completed in London. Lead Musicians from each region will be gathering in Bristol on 8th April to review the work so far and make plans for the upcoming sessions, as well as playing with some AMT of course!

Barrs Court Music Motivator Programme
I learned last Friday that, in addition to the Youth Music 'Make It Sound' money awarded to Digital Beginnings, we have received a second slice of funding from this YM programme in the form of £28,000 for work at Barr's Court School, Hereford throughout 2009/10/11. The plan is to create a complete scheme of work at KS3 / 4 within the 'Special Curriculum'. We'll be delivering the work in partnership with the school, 'Music Pool', a Hereford based Community Music Organisation, and 'Broad Oak Studios' a local recording studio.

Colston Hall Education
We are looking at going into partnership with the Colston Hall in Bristol to develop an accessible music making facility in their education department as part of the brand new foyer which is nearly complete.

Er, think that's if for now, best crack on then! Thanks so much to all the SW Musicians who have been working so hard to make all this happen!

Doug Bott

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