Monday, 14 December 2009

NW Update

Stockport CP
The weekly sessions are continuing to go well for both the beginners group and the performance group. We have brought in Sam Yates and Fil Hill to deliver these weekly sessions, giving them new energy and flavour. There will be a Christmas performance of lively electronica with a twist of festive spirit on Friday 18th December, 1.15pm at the Moore Top Pub, Stockport. Please contact for more details.

From January 2010 we are working with two schools in Chester (Dorin Park and Upton Heath) to deliver another series of mixed media workshops culminating in a cross-artform performance as part of Chester Performs, May 2010. Songs of the Earth will act as a stimulus for the project content, to compliment other aspects of the programme, such as Mahler’s das Lied von der Erde, which is based on the idea of the seasons.

Sheffield University
Ray De Grussa is a disabled person who has been given a place on Sheffield University’s Music and Creative Media course. Ray has a significant impairment and experiences physical barriers accessing this course. Since September 2009 we have been training and Ray and his Tutors in assistive music technology to enable Ray to start the Musical composition: styles and techniques next term. Fil Hill has been delivering the training, and advising the University on appropriate equipment. There were a few delays as it took some time for the University to order Ray’s equipment. We will be working with Ray again next term.

Individual Support
We are continuing to get individuals asking for music lessons. In some cases they have been able to use their individual budget to pay for these lessons. We have worked with two people so far and received very positive feedback. One individual is expecting to receive more funding to enable him to purchase more lessons per week from January onwards.

Digital Beginnings
We are continuing to work with two SEN schools in Wigan. One school is mainly for children who are autistic, and the other is mainly for children with physical impairments. The workshops are going well and are proving to be a very valuable resource in helping the schools meet their yearly targets. This is particularly relevant for one school, which is currently in special measures, and needs to meet various targets before April 2010. The schools have links with JBB Stadium, and are going to approach them for support and to arrange a visit for the children to get their inspiration. The Inset day is planned for January 2010.

Lancasterian School
We recently delivered an eight week MOO project culminating in a CD of exciting electronica and hip hop. The school loved the work so much that we are going to help the school apply for funding to deliver another project in either the spring or summer term.

Music Leader North West have provided funding for professional development and networking for Drake associates, trainees and volunteers. Next year we will be organising specific training around soundbeam and live software, as well as another networking day for the NW team.

Future Partnerships
We are in discussions with various schools and organisations, such as Imperial War Museum, Band on the Wall, FutureEverything and Full Circle Arts, regarding exciting new projects, showcases and performance opportunities…. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

South West News & updates

Emerald Ensemble 'Preludes' Project
Drake Music are working in partnership with the Emerald Ensemble on a new project commencing in Bristol next year. We will be delivering music workshops on mondays starting in the Spring term to children at Ilminster School, South Bristol. This is a mainstream primary school with an SEN unit attached and some of their pupils face significant physical barriers to participate in music. The Emerald Ensemble plan to run the project over 7 years using approached such as Hum & Drum, Kodaly, Dalcroze and Colour Strings

Brewery Arts
We are working in partnership with the Brewery Arts Centre and Gloucestershire Youth Service to run a pilot project of inclusive arts activities for young disabled and non-disabled people aged 11 - 16. Our Associate musicians will be collaborating with an animateur to create an original film and soundtrack in 6 one off workshops. The workshops will take place in Cirencester and Bourton on the Water on Saturdays through January and February 2010. The project is designed to provide short breaks for disabled young people and their carers and is funded by Gloucester County Council.

Claremont School
We have worked with Claremont School this term to help them raise funding to continue our successful programme of workshops with their students begun in 2000. The school have secured a grant from the Quartet Foundation to enable Drake Music to restart our work with the school in 2010

Digital Beginnings
Workshops commenced at Penrose School, Bridgewater, Somerset this term as part of Digital Beginnings. Penrose is a day Special School for children aged 2 - 19 years with severe and profound multiple learning difficulties. Alex Ivanovich and Clive Radford are working with four groups of students, 19 young people in total. The sessions will culminate in a performance in the Spring term.

Sing Up
We are currently editing a short film of, and evaluating the pilot project sessions delivered in the summer term. The first 5 songs for which accessible singing resources have been created will be available to download from the Sing Up Song Bank sometime in January. We are in the process of making resources for a further 10 songs. We are also in the process of planning training on accessible singing both internally within Sing Up, and externally.

Barrs Court Music Motivator
Alex is continuing to create resources, lesson plans and to train teachers and local musicians at Barrs Court School in Hereford as part of this Youth Music funded project. This project is already proving extremely successful and could provide a new model of working for some of Drake Music's work in schools.

Training Day
Drake Music are running an open training morning at Colston Hall, Bristol in February 2010 for all music leaders, funded by Music Leader South West. The session will give an overview of the work of Drake Music in the South West and an introduction to the use of assistive music technology for disabled musicians, as well as a chance for networking and skills sharing. During the afternoon there will be a 'closed' CPD session for all current Drake SW associates.

For information on the Curriculum Development Initiative, see the CDI blog

We have been successful in securing a grant of £3,000 from the Joyce Fletcher Trust for our schools programme in the South West. The work will be planned and delivered next year.

Doug gave a presentation on the work of Drake Music at the 'Inclusion Inspires' conference, organised by Music Leader West Midlands at Birmingham Symphony Hall on 16th November. Jonathan and Gemma will be presenting on Drake Music's Curriculum Development Initiative at Music Learning Live on 25th February at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Doug has been invited to speak at and take part in a panel discussion focussing on successful partnerships at the South West Federation of Music Services conference in Torquay on 25th Janurary. Doug will also be presenting at the Bristol Music Educators Conference on 3rd Feb at the Colston Hall, Bristol.

St Rose's School
Our work with pupils at St Rose's School in Stroud has continued this term and has been well received by both students and staff. Fran Billington, headteacher, said that our work was excellent and extremely valuable however they are unfortunately no longer in a financial position to pay for our services in the immediate future. The school hopes to continue their relationship with Drake Music in the future and we are looking at alternative funding for the work.