Thursday, 29 April 2010

NW Update - May 2010

Italy Conference

Drake NW delivered a presentation, workshop and demonstration for Cassa della Musica Genova, Italy. Gemma delivered a presentation: Overcoming barriers - an innovative approach to teaching, learning and making music: The thirty-year experience of Drake Music , and Fil ran a workshop and demonstration.

Cassa della Musica has been running since 2007 and is dedicated to music teaching and playing, research and production. One of their directors, Andrea Masotti, has a background in music therapy and was keen to develop links and learn from our experience. Previously, in 2008 they hosted an International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), organized by Info Mus Lab - Casa Paganini of the Department of Computer and Information of the University of Genoa. This Conference made reference to innovative ideas about the use information technology with disabled people. Following this they were awarded funding to hold a conference about Disability, Music and Technology on 20 March 2010.

The conference had two goals:
1. Elaborate on the potentialities of Information Technology to support music education and to make the approach to music easier for all disadvantaged people;
2. Suggest the use of Information Technology both for music creativity and music therapy studies and practice.

The first part of the conference was hosted in the museum auditorium with about 100 participants. Other speakers included academics from the University of Genoa who spoke about Multimedia technologies for therapy and rehabilitation, and Therapeutic mediation: potential and limits of new technologies. A range of people attended - Health Educators, teachers, music therapists, health workers, and members of disability associations.

The second part was hosted in Cassa della Musica studio and consited of a workshop and demonstration. The workshop was for a small selection of disabled people, and was observed by parents and therapist via a live camara.

Both the presentation and practical workshops were well received and
Cassa della Musica are keen to work with us in again for future collaborations.

Sheffield University

Phil has been progressing well with Rays training program. It is quite apparent that Ray is very determined and committed to learning how to master the software and hardware needed to complete the course, as well as completing his actual coursework. Phil has made sure that Ray is empowered so he can be as independent as possible, but due to the complex nature of the software (Grid2) combined with Rays co-ordination difficulties, Ray will need continuing support both in terms of learning and problem shooting. We feel that Ray will not being able to keep up with
the demands of the course without continued support from an AMT
expert as very often he has come across problems that only
Phil can solve.

Sheffield University are buying us in to deliver further weekly training sessions until the end of this academic year. They will review Ray’s progress over the summer to determine if Ray has developed the necessary skills to formally register for a 20 credit module in September.

Stockport CP

These sessions are going really well, and the Prospectors are gigging as part of the Stockport Beer Festival on June 4th 2010. They have secured John Lewis sponsorship for a concert at Trafford Centre in December and confirmed sessions up until December 2010.

Camarata Project

The culminating cross-artform performance based on ‘songs of the earth’ took place on 26 March as part of Chester Performs 2010. With a brilliant Live VJ and a more inclusive choreographer (from Chester Dance), the finished result was superb. Nevertheless it would have been nice to also use a disabled dancer to empower and create a role model for the disabled children.

St Helens Music Service

St Helens Music Service are keen to develop a long term partnership between Drake Music and the teachers and the musicians already delivering peripatetic lessons etc in the same schools. The have suggested that we deliver a training day for local musicians, associates, tutors, and then possibly a 10 week project which includes teacher training within it – this might be more sustainable in terms of using the equipment in real live workshop situations.

Future work

Two local schools are applying to Youth Music to buy Drake in to deliver projects in September. GN will be approaching BOTW and IMW for future collaborations.