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Concert News

A massive thank you to everyone who braved a rather wet and windy Sheriff Hutton to come out to the Christian Aid concert at the Methodist Church yesterday. What a superbly attentive and generous audience! Together we raised over £200 for Christian Aid – £189 in cash plus a number of sealed Gift Aid envelopes. THANK YOU!

I must also say a huge thank you to my co-conspirator, Andy Hunt, whose extraordinary creativity with the visual images lifted the whole event into another dimension. I know many of you were deeply moved by the juxtaposition of music and pictures!

Thanks are also due to Caroline Hunt and my wife, Tracey, for so ably rising to the challenge of running the kitchen – and to all who baked such a delicious variety of cakes.

And thank you to Hannah and James for helping to decorate the church, for all the photos and for simply being there – you’re the best!

Forthcoming Concert

I’m really pleased to announce a new concert date – the first in a long time!

To coincide with this year’s Christian Aid week I will be presenting a short afternoon concert in Sheriff Hutton Methodist Church at 3:00pm on Saturday 21st May.  The concert will be followed by an afternoon tea!  This event is FREE but we’d welcome donations to support the work of Christian Aid.

I’m putting together a programme to include a few older pieces presented in new contexts as well as some much newer compositions  – and I might even throw in the odd cover!

See you there…

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Top 10

Friends over at Drake Music have been working closely with Music Hubs and Special Schools in the South East and East of England regions.  They have identified a number of issues relating to the provision of music in Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEN/D) settings.  You can read all about it in this blog post:

Top 10 SEN/D Music Needs

I’m sure that these are all factors which will be recognised by anybody working in, or with responsibility for, SEN/D music provision.  As you might expect, points 2 and 8 resonated particularly with me.  As I said in my response to Drake Music findings:

“This is such an important area as time and time again we see the extraordinary value that technology can add in facilitating music-making that is creativeaccessible and interactive.  However, it can be a confusing field to navigate as there are so many options and those options are constantly evolving with ever-increasing rapidity.  What teachers need – in addition to the basic nuts-and-bolts knowledge of what to plug in where and which button to press – are the higher level, transferable skills and, most importantly, a sense of how to weave technology into broader, longer-term musical progression.”

If this is an area of work that concerns you, please do take a look at:

Applaud Interactive

This is an ever evolving resource produced by Mark Hildred and myself aimed at supporting teachers, musicians, schools and hubs through simple practical advice, reviews and case studies.

Need more input?  Get in touch to discuss tailored training, advice and consultancy!

New Music

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Every so often a photograph appears that burns into our collective consciousness and seems to define a generation. Sadly, the truly memorable pictures usually feature scenes of tragedy and distress and all too often the images we all wish we could un-see are those of children. The Vietnamese girl trying to flee the napalm. The wasted bones and haunted eyes of the Ethiopian child in Michael Buerk’s world-changing bulletin.

And in recent days the heartbreaking images of children caught up in global issues, violence and geo-politics far beyond their (and my) comprehension.
You don’t have to be a parent to be moved but for those of us who are the news coverage holds a particular cold dread.

I struggle to grasp the enormity of the situation or even come to terms with my own feelings. That’s where music comes in for me because sometimes words, or even pictures, are simply not enough.