News from Think22 – inclusion in music education

As Autumn settles in our Think22 team are gearing up for a busy season of talks, training and project development.

We’re off to Music Mark

We are delighted to once again be part of Music Mark’s annual conference on the 23rd of November. This is a headline event for music education people across the country and we are pleased to be able to share our work , thinking and practice with everyone attending.

Last year John Kelly delivered a rousing keynote speech (available here) and discussed the need for better representation for disabled people in the music education workforce, following our research.

This year we will be sharing our collaboration with Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES), Spitalfields Music and the London Symphony Orchestra on an inclusive ensemble project called Soundbox.

One of our Associate Musicians, Dav Shiel, will be speaking, accompanied by Alison Porter from THAMES and Joe Blackmore, one of the young musicians in the group.

We are particularly looking forward to hearing from Joe about his experience, putting youth voice centre stage at this important music education event.

If you’d like to get ahead of the curve you can watch our Soundbox video here for an introduction to the project.

Training, talks and workshops

John preping Kellycaster software
John prepping Kellycaster software.

Also coming up we have a sampling and composition workshop led by Cassie Gurling as part of a Hampshire Music Hub event in Southampton on 9th November, plus we are delivery a plenary presentation and workshop, led by Michael Dollan and Kris Halpin, at the NYMAZ SEN/D Music Network Gathering on 14 November 2018 in Harrogate.

Recently John Kelly spoke as part of a panel on Diversity chaired by Nitin Sawney at The Musicians Union Teachers’ CPD Weekend on 27th of October.

In December John Kelly will be presenting alongside other Music Education Council members as part of a Seminar focusing on workforce development and music education in schools for disabled children and young people.

New initiatives

We are also developing two exciting new initiatives over the coming months:

  1. We are working on a new creative approach to training on the Social Model of Disability, which is specifically tailored to music education settings. We have been testing out some elements of the workshop with our team internally and with our core Think22 hub partners at our recent Partners Day (see images below). This work will progress with pilots in Oxfordshire and Newham later this year and we look forward to sharing it with the sector when the writing and testing is complete.
  2. The second new initiative underway is the development of an inclusive ensemble with Essex Music Hub. We will be working with their team during November to bring together ideas and create an action plan to get the new ensemble off the ground early next year.

All the above activities feed into our strategic work working with the music education sector and Music Education Hubs on the journey to a more inclusive offer, as part of the Alliance For A Musically Inclusive England .

We are very interested in learning from the organisations and practitioners we work with about what tells them that progress is being made in this respect.

What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below.

Images from our Think22 Partners Day

Ben talks animatedly, using his hands as he sits in front of a screen and flip chartSix people are getting involved with making music using technology. They loosely gathered around a table, but are each doing something different Hands poised lightly above an iPad in a sturdy case. Chunky headphones lie on the table next to it.A close up of a flip chart page with a list of 'favourite things in 2022': never ending trifle, sunshine holidays, all night dancing, colourful trousers, music forever, universal harmonyA focused discussion around a table as a mixed group of men and women are in coversationDouglas stands at the front of the room presenting, he wears a blue button shirt and jeans.

Think22 is a strategic programme of work bringing inclusive practice to the fore in music education nationally. Funded by Youth Music.

Youth Music logo

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