Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Talented Drake Music student Jordan Andow has achieved his goal of passing GCSE Music. Jordan, who attends the City Academy in Bristol, had previously worked with Drake Music (SW) on a range of performing and composing projects. He has been supported over the past two years by Jonathan Westrup, Drake Music Curriculum Development worker. Jordan’s achievement is made even more remarkable for the fact that he nearly didn’t take the course. A mixture of timetabling clashes and other pressures meant he considered having to drop his favourite subject. However, the school stepped in to fund one-to-one support from Drake Music and the result is a fantastic outcome both for Jordan, and for music education generally in this country. Jordan is soon to start college and plans to continue making his own music.
Monday, 30 August 2010
What is music for? In a recent Q&A for the upcoming NAME conference, Dick Hallam, National Music Participation Director, was asked why he believed music education is important for all children. He answered by pointing to 'its power to transform lives'. Equally, the phrase 'The Power of Music' has become a main staple of music education speak in recent years. Now, no one would deny that music is a special kind of human activity, capable of grabbing our attention and emotions and even allowing us fresh perspectives on our lives.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Bradley, our pilot student for our NOCN 'Introduction to Music' Course, successfully passed last week (four units, all at Level 1) This is obviously a significant achievement for him personally, overcoming many barriers along the way, and creating a quality portfolio which is both wide-ranging and musically surprising by turns.
Friday, 9 July 2010
We recently received a very generous donation, made in memory of Jason Morris, to support the development of Drake Music’s Curriculum Development Initiative. The CDI, part-funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, aims to broaden access to the music curriculum in general and to accreditation in music in particular.
Through the CDI we want to ensure that disabled children and young people can pursue the same progression routes as their non-disabled peers, using accreditation as a springboard. As part of CDI, we will support young people with their BTEC in music, and have written and piloted a new NOCN (National Open College Network) course 'Introduction to Music', which will be rolled out nationally over the coming years.
Other key components of this initiative are advocacy, extensive lobbying of key policy makers, and developing a new, fully inclusive music technology exam, working closely with ABRSM.
Jason Morris, in whose memory the donation was made died in 2009. He was a talented, technically adept and very fast guitarist. Music was the centre of his life. He was much appreciated by his peers for the way he shared his knowledge and gave his encouragement, as well as being known for his wit. He participated in Gasfest, a guitar event in support of Drake Music. Jason greatly admired Drake Music's work and this donation is in many ways a fitting memorial to him.
This generous donation – over a four-year period - will have a significant impact, increasing our reach and enabling us to make a step-change in the development and implementation of the Curriculum Development programme.
For more information about CDI, please contact
Monday, 21 June 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Friday, 29 January 2010
The music department in my first music teaching job in Bristol was situated on the second floor, not much use for students using wheelchairs (nor for delivery firms bringing up a grand piano). The rooms had huge windows on one side - boiling in the summer, freezing in the winter; the whole class could watch Concorde's descent on it's final flight. When I arrived in post, we were offering the usual option: KS3...GCSE...A Level and so I cracked on, dutifully accepting of the exact same model I had experienced as a student in the late 1980s.
- It relies on students managing their own time effectively and understanding how they learn best themselves - students need to be taught these skills
- It’s a potential logistical headache to juggle so many courses at different levels/ timescales.
- You need a lot of extra room space to allow students to work in peace
- You require increased support from outside the department e.g. musicians, which also costs more