'Don't Stop The Music' is a two part documentary presented by pianist James Rhodes and is a heart warming celebration of the value of music on young children and a passionate plea for more music making to be made available to all children.
'In the last decade music education in this country has been decimated'. This was the claim by James Rhodes on national television. In the very same week we have a major report from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music entitled 'Making Music'. This report states that '76 per cent of UK children aged five to 14 say they ‘know how to play instruments compared to 41 per cent in 1999’.
Clearly there is a bit of a mis-match here. The truth as ever lies somewhere in between. What is true is that government funding has dropped dramatically over the last few years and music services up and down the country have had to get smarter about how they use their dwindling funding. What is true is that the Wider Opportunities whole class instrumental programme has meant that more children than ever before have had the chance to try out instruments.
What is true is that music services are having to learn how to run a music business rather than a funded 'service' in the future. The final and most important truth is that here in Warwickshire the County Music Service is as strong as ever.
We have seen a big increase in our teaching in Warwickshire schools this September.
We work with thousands of children involved in our whole class instrumental 'Upbeat' programme. We involve hundreds of children involved in our after school and weekend area music centres and we have maintained and developed our County ensembles.
This has been achieved through good management, inspired teaching, supportive parents and highly motivated students. 'Making Music' is an aspiration for all children in Warwickshire so please support us in what we do and 'Never Stop The Music'.
Take 5 for Perfect Practice
How to help your child with their instrumental learning.
Five is a good number in terms of short term memory and motivation. Try remembering a series of more than five numbers and you will see what I mean. A expectation of no more than FIVE activities can be more motivational than too many targets.
1. FIVE minutes a day is a minimum practice for beginners.
2. Focus on FIVE elements within that time. This will include elements of practice such as posture, breathing, tone quality, scales, intonation, specific technical points, dynamics, etc.
3. FIVE days a week and two rest days.
4. Build up the FIVE minutes into FIVE sets of FIVE minutes a day.
5. Make one of the FIVE continuous playing to develop stamina and performance technique.