Belvue School Students to benefit from £120,000 Youth Music Grant


Students at Belvue School in Ealing will benefit from a £120,000 grant awarded by the national charity Youth Music to the specialist music organisation Drake Music. In partnership with Belvue School and Ealing Music Partnership, Drake Music will deliver an enhanced music programme to students with learning difficulties and a range of other additional needs including ASD. This project is part of ‘Exchanging Notes’, a national study exploring the benefits of alternative approaches to music education.

The ‘Exchanging Notes’ initiative aims to establish if this collaborative approach brings additional benefits for the young participants. Along with nine other similar projects around the country, Birmingham City University will be undertaking a rigorous study of the project to evaluate the educational, musical and other outcomes of these new models of partnerships for the pupils involved. It will also examine how the distinctive educational approaches used in schools and out-of-school settings might be combined.

The idea for the new approach came out of a pilot study undertaken by Youth Music which highlighted some of the key differences in music education experienced outside and inside the classroom. The study noted that the teaching style used in the out-of-school music projects placed an equal focus on personal and social outcomes as well as musical outcomes, potentially providing additional benefits for the young people taking part.

Students at Belvue School will use assistive music technology and conventional instruments to access music curriculum topics including Film Music, Songwriting in Popular Music and Cultural Music. They will form an ensemble that will perform both at school and contribute to borough events.

Drake Music will also provide training for special school music staff and other music leaders, including bespoke training for teachers from five other Ealing special schools, with a view to developing best practice in the borough.

Jonathan Westrup, Learning and Participation Manager for Drake Music says:

“We are so pleased that Youth Music is giving us the opportunity to engage intensively with one school over time and to disseminate good practice from the project to other local schools in Ealing focusing on students with special educational needs and disability. We know from our work how powerful music can be in supporting these students’ progress in and enjoyment of school life.  We want to increase the range and quality of musical opportunities for them to engage in. We look forward to working with Belvue School and Ealing Music Partnership and building on the borough’s commitment to music for those with special educational needs in recent years.”

Matt Griffiths, Executive Director, Youth Music said:

“We’re delighted to support this project which I’m sure will be of great benefit to the pupils at Belvue School.  We look forward to the results of the research with great excitement as it is the first time such a rigorous study of combined approaches between schools and music providers who normally work in out-of-school settings has been done. The results may well turn out to be of enormous significance to stimulate fresh thinking in music education and support the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education.”

For more information, please contact Carien Meijer or Charlotte Nicol

Drake Music
60 – 61 Old Nichol Street
London, E2 7HP
Tel: 44 (0)20 7739 5444