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Hackney Music Education Conference 2019












Hackney Music Service will be holding its annual music education conference on Friday 13th September 2019 at the Tomlinson Centre. This exciting day-long event will focus on Embedding Inclusive Practice in music education.  The day will include keynote speakers, practical music-making and workshops, presentations from project partners and Hackney headteachers and music leads, panel discussions and networking opportunities. 


Speakers and contributors include:

  • Dr Phil Mullen: Key Note Speaker – in this session Phil will discuss what inclusion is, how important it is for developing a non-discriminatory society, and will provide a number of practical insights for making your work more inclusive. He will focus on key ideas in inclusive education, who children in challenging circumstances are and how we can help them be more included, having an emotionally intelligent approach and the importance of reflecting on our practice. He will also look at a number of practical strategies to make the school classroom or music workshop a more inclusive place.  Phil will also deliver a Creative Music Making Workshop during the day. 
  • Sarah Bailey: Hackney Head Teacher at Queensbridge Primary School and OFSTED Inspector – What ‘inclusion’ means in a diverse school community; Wellbeing; Why music is so important and why (despite budget cuts) Queensbridge have ring-fenced and fundraised to keep music a priority; Implications for Music and the Arts under the New OFSTED framework.


  • Mark Malcom & Liz Jones: School Principal and Head of Music at The City Academy, Hackney – Excellent Practice in the Secondary Sector: ensuring that all pupils receive and access a broad and balanced curriculum offer in music and beyond; the positive impact of music and the arts on the whole school.


  • Professor Graham Welch (UCL Institute of Education) & Ann Wright Education Director (VCM Foundation) – Year 1 Vocal Research Project.


  • HMDT Music – Music Treehouse SEND Project


  • A New Direction: Artsmark – information about the Artsmark process, how Artsmark can positively impact your school and can be used as a tool to support school improvement


  • Bad Laydee: Words NOT Weapons – Bad Lay-Dee’s ‘Words NOT Weapons’ music and poetry workshops have been designed to inspire children and young people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop confidence, self-esteem and communication skills through creative writing and performance. Since launching the workshops in October 2018, she has taught nearly 2,500 children with 100% positive feedback. Through practical exercises and discussions, this one-hour session will explore some of the techniques used in Bad Lay-Dee’s Music Workshops and how we can work together as music practitioners to develop new approaches that help make a difference to young people’s lives.


  • Kate Shortt: BSL Sign Language Vocal Workshop
  • Vahan Salorian: Whole Class Ukulele Workshop
  • Dorico Software: Music Technology Workshop


How to book your place? 

The conference is targeted at headteachers, subject leaders of music and the arts in both primary and secondary settings, all general class teachers involved in delivering the music curriculum, teachers from SEND settings, school governors, instrumental tutors, and network partners. Essentially, anyone who has an interest in music education and education in Hackney. Please note priority places will be given to Hackney delegates.

The conference is free of charge to attend, but you must register! To book your place, visit our Eventbrite page hereFor further information please contact Xanthe Sarr at Hackney Music Service on 0203 076 1535, or by email at

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Classical Road Show Battle of Trafalgar Concert – 16th March 2020


An invitation for primary schools to book their spaces now! Participatory Concert for children aged 7-11 years retelling the story of The Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar is an exciting musical re-enactment of this famous sea battle, featuring the ship’s band (the RPO), Admiral Nelson (David Leonard), ship’s crew (a troupe of dancers) and audience songs for all as the crew of HMS Royal Sovereign. Teresa Collard’s script and lyrics, scrupulously researched for authentic details, excitingly re-creates the events leading to the historic battle, culminating in Nelson’s death and funeral procession.

Classes and choirs from primary schools (7-11 years) to perform alongside:-

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor – Benjamin Pope

Narrator – David Leonard as Admiral Nelson

Date: 16th March 2020 Concerts at 11.15am and 1.30pm (concerts last 1 hour)

Location: Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, Belgravia, London, SW1X 9DQ

How to Book: Booking forms available from Classical road Show website here

For more information email:

Tickets cost: £5 each for children and adults (Hardship fund available to support pupils with financial difficulty)

Classical Road Show provides all the teaching materials for the audience songs to be taught in schools by music specialists or class teachers. Music specially commissioned for performance by primary school children alongside a professional orchestra and an actor. We encourage everyone to dress up as sailors to add to the musical-theatre experience. Everyone in the concert hall takes part throughout the whole performance.



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Urban Artist School – Open for applications






















Urban Artist School’s Level 4 is a course for urban music artists who are serious about entry to the music industry. Our course focuses around the concept of you as an individual artist and supports you in developing your repertoire, recorded catalogue and brand development towards the music industry.

They are looking for talented musicians to join the Urban Artist School – a one year accredited programme, which aims to develop artists and help create sustainable careers. They will support your development to enable you to generate ideas quickly and respond to the creative potential of your work effectively and fluently.

They are looking for talented musicians to join the Urban Artist School – a one year accredited programme, which aims to develop artists and help create sustainable careers. We will support your development to enable you to generate ideas quickly and respond to the creative potential of your work effectively and fluently.

The course starts in September 2019 and runs for 30 weeks. Classes will run over 2.5 days per week. All participants will work towards a level 4 qualification – equivalent to the first year of a degree.  

For more information, please visit the Urban Development website

Run by Urban Development and supported by Arts Council England, The Brit Trust, Youth Makes Music PRS Foundation, Vivendi, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation,

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Applications are now open for The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2020


Young musicians who are aged 13-18, play at Grade 8 distinction level or equivalent and are totally committed to music.

Musicians who are offered a seat will be attending three orchestral rehearsal residencies, tour dates, three performances throughout the year and between 5-10 days of NYO Inspire activity. Subject to confirmation – the activities take place in schools and concert halls around the UK throughout the year.

Auditions will be held in London, Manchester, and Birmingham during late September – October 2019.

Residency Dates

Saturday 28 December 2019 – Monday 6 January 2020 – NYO Winter Residency

Tuesday 7 April 2020 – Saturday 18 April 2020 – NYO Spring Residency

Monday 27 July 2020 – Saturday 8 August 2020 – NYO Summer Residency

Additional NYO Activity Dates

Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 February 2020 – NYO Inspire Ensembles

NYO welcomes musicians to be part of the NYO 2020 and break through to the next level of orchestral brilliance, perform the most challenging music with the world’s greatest conductors and inspire other teenagers through NYO Inspire. NYO additionally recruits teenage composers.

Auditions are FREE and applicants will receive feedback.

Bursaries are available to cover travel to and from the audition as well as the applicant’s place in the orchestra. Auditions are friendly, positive, and great learning experiences. NYO Tutors will share playing tips in a workshop, and all applicants will receive performance feedback.

More more information please visit the NYO Website.


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Online Training Courses for Primary, Secondary & Instrumental Music Teachers







Music Education Solutions has recently expanded its range of online courses for primary, secondary, and instrumental music teachers. Whether you’re looking for planning inspiration, help with the national curriculum, behaviour management tips, or want to develop your understanding around the theory of musical learning, there is something for everyone!

Each course costs £99, is valid for 6 months, and comes with a certificate on completion.

To find out more, visit the Music Education Solutions website. 

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Hackney Music Service Monthly Spotlight – Finn

This month we would like to shine the spotlight on one of our Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra members, Finn. Finn has recently achieved a Grade 8 distinction, an absolutely fantastic achievement. And she is only 11 years old!

What made you decide to play your instrument?

When I was three I went to the Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre in London with my parents. We passed a group of young cellists doing a concert and I pointed them out to my mums. I told them that I “wanted to do that instrument” and they agreed, so a few months later I got my first tiny cello and started playing.

What do you love most about it?

I love how the cello can sound playful or melancholy at any time and I love the way it can blend into the background but still be easily noticeable and beautiful at the same time.

How often do practice?

I practice every day when I get home from school. Or as Sinichi Suzuki said “only on the days that I eat”

Do you play in any ensembles – orchestras, bands, in or out of school, or with HMS?

Yes, I play in the National Children’s Orchestra, Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra, Hackney Youth Orchestra my school Chamber Group, and I sing and play in my school Jazz Band.

What has been your most exciting musical experience so far? (any particular performances that you have taken part in that really stand out, or a particular music lesson that really changed things for you?)

I think my most exciting experience has been at a fundraiser for building classrooms in Kenya down at St. Paul’s West Hackney Church. I did play a solo too but the most exciting part was that I played Popper’s Requiem for three cellos and piano with my cello teacher and his daughter. I felt like that was quite a big achievement for me because my teacher is actually quite famous amongst cellists and his daughter is much older than me. Getting my Grade 8 also felt amazing.

What musician would you most like to meet or perform with?

I wouldn’t’ think twice about meeting Jacqueline du Pre. She has always been my ultimate role model and I have loved her playing, especially her rendition of the Elgar cello concerto and Faure’s Elegie.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to listen to / learn more music or even travel back in time to a different musical era, where would you go and why?

I really have no idea! I think maybe later once I know more about what I want to do later in life I might get some ideas. I will keep that question in mind.

How does being a musician / performing music make you feel?

I always feel proud when I watch other musicians. I always think “hey, I’m one of you!” When I perform I often find myself thinking about how other cellists would play this piece, or what they would be thinking or feeling.

Any words of advice to someone just starting out on their instrument now?

I would say try to enjoy it. If you feel like it’s something that’s been forced on you, you’ve got no hope of developing. If you feel forced into it, you won’t enjoy it, so you won’t want to do it, so, try to enjoy it, and practice.

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