John Kelly to deliver Music Mark 2017 Keynote Speech


We are delighted to announce that Music Mark have invited Drake Music to deliver the keynote speech & panel discussion at their 2017 event, as part of our Think2020 programme.

Music Mark have made Diversity, Equity & Inclusion the theme for their 2017 conference.

This marks a welcome step forward in the visibility and status of inclusive practice in music education.

Keynote Speech


John preping Kellycaster software
John prepping Kellycaster software.

John Kelly will be delivering the Keynote Speech on behalf of Drake Music on Saturday at the conference, exploring some of the principles of disability equality and their critical role in bringing about a necessary change toward equality and inclusion in the music education sector.

John Kelly is a professional musician with a background in youth work, informal education and facilitation focusing on social change with over 30 years experience of promoting change toward equality and inclusion and the recognition of disability as a human rights issue.

He is also currently touring with Graeae in their Reasons to Be Cheerful production and getting rave reviews!

John will share his journey, with a song here and there, understanding disability, identity, the social model and inclusion and the importance of these in seeing disabled people as creators, artists and leaders in an inclusive society.

He will play the kellycaster, which encapsulates John’s journey right up to today and sets new challenges for himself – and hopefully the sector.

The kellycaster was conceived by John as part of his involvement with DMLab, our research and development programme.

It was then designed and built by technologists Charles & Gawain – in partnership with John – first as a prototype made over one DM Hackathon weekend and later developed into the final instrument John uses today.

Panel Discussion

Immediately following the Keynote we are proud to host the first Panel Discussion of the day, titled Music Hubs and disabled musicians: a blossoming partnership?.

‘Culture’, someone once observed, ‘eats strategy for breakfast.’

The establishment of Music Hubs signalled an ambition to do things differently, with the needs of disabled musicians clearly highlighted.

Debating the opportunities for a musically inclusive England will be Drake Music Associates Gemma NashJohn Kelly and Sarah Fisher  alongside Peter Bolton, Chief Executive of Kent Music.

The debate will be hosted by Carien Meijer and Jonathan Westrup and will offer an opportunity for a robust, engaged discussion about how we – as a sector – can drive forward inclusivity.

There will be lots of opportunities for questions and open, respectful, and perhaps challenging, discussion.

Find out more & book your place

You can book tickets on the Music Mark website.

Early bird prices available til 31st October.