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Spring doesn't seem to have quite made it yet with some chilly and rather overcast days, so no proper Morgan outings (with the lid down) even though she's all tuned up and ready to go. The two bands that I'm now rehearsing regularly with: The Rhythm & Blues Band and the Plus 5s, have kept me quite busy over the winter months and I'm now contemplating a keyboard upgrade, so let's hope the work keeps flowing for a while.

I've had the pleasure of paying visits to two Music Hubs in recent weeks, one that has moved to co-operative status and one that is on a more secure footing within its hub. It's really sad to see some Music Services having to fight for survival as they have such an important role to play in providing sustained progressive music tuition at moderate prices for children and young people. I continue to think that we seem to have lost our way with musical education for children and young people and it seems like much of the energy that was to be found in the music sector in the early noughties has disappeared or been stifled. I wonder if the government will ever realise that you can't simply legislate for everything that you want. Schools will only improve with support, the kind of support that used to come from a well run Local Authority. Replacing that with inspection and the constant measurement of attainment isn't the way forward. Failure to give Arts subjects some reasonable space in the curriculum is doing nothing to help shape society. Rant over!

I'm pleased to report that my book for adult learners of music is now entering its editorial phase and should be on the shelves in October, and other recent work has included completion of supporting materials for three of the CME Units on behalf of the Musicians' Union and some on-going work for TCL and Artis.

I've decided definitely against making a visit to Frankfurt this year, not least because I've a put a trip to Hong Kong, Penang and Singapore in the diary a couple of months' time hence. The HK part of the trip is to say a fond and final farewell to the CT ABRSM course which is, I understand, to have it's final session there this summer. I'm sorry to see the course going, not least because it seems to have been a very positive experience for a larger number of music teachers. Visiting Derbyshire a few weeks ago I was reminded of just that by a colleague there who spoke fondly of her memories of being a CT student, and that's the reaction that I'm most often greeted with wherever the course is mentioned.

Last, but not least, working in partnership with Peter Harris, we're hoping to launch a summer school for students from South East Asia this summer, followed by a larger scale event in 2017, and also some school orchestra exchanges. More information to follow in due course.

Have a happy summer term.

Richard

 

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