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Music for Education & Wellbeing
Conversations and advice for people making change through music
Category: About Music
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I'm a copywriter and communications practitioner working with music/arts organisations and charities.


by Anita Holford
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December 18, 2019 01:57 AM PST

In this episode, I’m talking with Paul McManus, CEO of the Music Industries Association (MIA), the trade body for the musical instrument industry. The MIA work in a number of ways to support music education for all ages, and recently in October 2019, held the first of what will now become an annual conference focused on music education and the music industry working together. The MIA also has a charitable arm called Music for All, which runs initiatives like the Learn to Play day and Make Music Day UK, and gives grants to encourage more people to make music.

November 16, 2019 04:52 AM PST

In this episode, I’m talking with Jimmy Rotheram of Feversham Primary, Bradford. Jimmy is the teacher who was thrust into the spotlight to tell the story of how music contributed to transforming his school. He’s a great example of how one person with a mission and a story can get noticed and listened to - and can make a difference through music education advocacy.

October 17, 2019 08:50 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Ruth Jones, who is a youth arts specialist, trainer, music development manager and bass player, as well as being an experienced arts and music development manager currently working with Arts Awards and Wiltshire Music Connect || We discuss the value self-employed people bring to the sector and the challenges they face || Ruth shares some tips about being clear on your purpose, marketing yourself and earning money|| And we talk about what organisations can do to support this growing workforce

September 15, 2019 12:46 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Liv McLennan, who is a community musician and a specialist in early years music || We discuss what parents and carers can do to introduce music to their pre-school child, and share some ideas for making music with babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers || We talk about || keeping it simple - thinking of music as communicating using what’s available to you daily || being guided by your baby/child || combining music with movement and touch || introducing music to your regular daily routines || using the music you enjoy and not being limited to ‘kiddies’ music || finding a range of ways to expose your child to music – from apps to concerts || and we finish with three pieces of advice for parents and carers

August 02, 2019 08:53 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Penny James, Cardiff-based freelance press and PR specialist who’s held PR Manager roles with organisations such as Welsh National Opera and St David’s Hall, and has gained national and in some cases international coverage for Wales Millennium Centre, Music Theatre Wales, Black Rat Productions, Artes Mundi and many others ||| We talk about * how to prepare for approaching journalists * why you need a content calendar and a media toolkit and what they contain * thinking creatively about where you place your stories * the importance of documenting your work * preparing a press release * what you can create or prepare for print, radio and TV journalists * nurturing relationships * whether exclusives are a good thing * how education/community departments can get gain support from their marketing departments * the importance of personal stories.

July 12, 2019 01:50 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Penny Swift, Executive Director and Katherine Damkohler, Director of National Activities of Education Through Music (ETM). ETM is a New York-based organisation working with under-resourced schools to provide music education as a core subject for all students ||| It’s grown significantly over the last few years, and has an effective model which combines partnering with schools in the poorest neighbourhoods, and employing and training music teachers who then go on to be employed by the schools ||| We talk about how ETM: * works with every class in each school, for 1-3 years – prioritising ‘long-term, sequential music education’ * works with the Principal (headteacher) as a partner, securing a commitment to sustaining the music programme after ETM’s work is finished * trains and develops their music teachers * aligns their curriculum with the teacher assessment framework used by headteachers * works with classroom teachers to understand how music can tie into other areas of the curriculum * is expanding nationally and internationally and is open to approaches from music educators

June 15, 2019 09:22 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Simon Glenister, Director of Noise Solution, a social enterprise based in Bury St Edmunds which provides 1-1 music mentoring programmes using music technology for young people in challenging circumstances |||| Noise Solution is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, the business model is unusual for this sector – Noise Solution is not a charity and all of its income for delivery comes from commissioning ||| Secondly, they use digital storytelling as a central part of the work and its evaluation ||| And thirdly, they have developed a robust evaluation model that’s recognised by the Cabinet Office and NHS Clinical Commissioning ||| We talk about … the importance of sharing a positive story about a ‘disengaged’ young person with those they’re closest to ||| Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory and the impact of autonomy, competency and relatedness ||| the power of music and technology to improve wellbeing ||| the meaning of ‘statistically significant’ in relation to their evaluation ||| Simon’s three top tips for other people changing lives through music.

May 15, 2019 08:44 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Nick Howdle and Sophie Amstell of Wiltshire Music Connect, which is a music education hub. Hubs are partnerships of organisations in England, who receive government funding to create joined-up music education provision in their local area as part of the government’s national plan for music education to 2020 |||| The Hub works in quite a different way from other hubs because it has a small team which doesn’t deliver music education, but devolves this to a range of music tutors and organisations, and supports local clusters with CPD, networking, and identifying needs |||| We talk about: • the model for music education in Wiltshire and its community development influences • how it collaborates with local music tutors, schools, and music education organisations • what implications the model has for delivering the core and extension roles that are required by government from whole class instrumental tuition to progression routes • how it maintains quality and access • how has involved stakeholders in developing communications • and we finish with Nick’s tips for other hubs interested in learning from Wiltshire’s approach, and Sophie’s wishes for the future of music education.

April 15, 2019 01:38 AM PDT

In this episode, I’m talking with Dr Simon Proctor who is Director of Music Services (Education, Research and Public Affairs)  for Nordoff Robbins, the national music therapy charity. You may know Nordoff Robbins because of famous supporters like Nile Rodgers, Sting, Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs, and many others, as well as fundraising events given by people like the Premiere Football League and the Music Industry Trusts Awards. We talk about: We talk about: • how Simon became involved with music therapy • what music therapy is and does • the intersection between community music and music therapy • evaluation and evidence for music work with people, and some of Nordoff Robbins' current research projects • balancing advocacy and evidence, with communicating the craft of music work with people • and we finish with three pieces of advice for encouraging more communication and learning between music therapy, community music and music education

March 14, 2019 02:29 AM PDT

In this episode, I talk to Dr Anita Collins, an educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning, based in Australia.

You may know Anita from her TED Ed lesson, How playing an instrument benefits your brain, and her TEDx talk, What if every child had access to music education from birth? And more recently, she’s starred in the Australian version of a British TV show, ‘Don’t Stop the Music’.

We talk about:
• why Anita is so passionate about this area of work and her early childhood struggles with reading.
• the three main areas where music can have an impact on brain development in children
• how music can help young people in challenging circumstances
• how we can use neurological research to advocate for music in education
• what are the ingredients for music programmes that create cognitive change
• and we finish with three pieces of practical advice for people advocating for music education

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