Making a difference in education

Music Matters
Music Matters

There was a flurry of email activity in the office recently as an article in the Guardian was shared by a number of Peterborough colleagues working in music education in praise of Feversham Primary Academy in Bradford, writes Michael Cross, Peterborough Music Hub Programme manager.

The enlightened Headmaster, Naveed Idrees, runs his high achieving school with music, art and drama at the heart of all subject areas - and up to six hours of music per week for every child. The thinking behind the policy isn’t new, but certainly it is brave in a climate driven by the pressures of targets and results.

However, the programme at Faversham is certainly achieving fantastic results and has raised the fortunes of the school dramatically over the past few years.

The article gave local headteachers, teachers and music professionals advocating this approach a massive boost to their argument. Fortunately, Peterborough has a considerable number of local schools already using music and the arts to improve engagement and results. Peterborough Music Hub is planning a programme of activity throughout the spring term supporting music as a regular part of daily lessons. So, whilst Feversham Primary Academy has hit the headlines and raised the bar, there’s much to celebrate in the delivery of music education across Peterborough and the excellent work of pupils and teachers promoting the benefits of creativity - especially through music - in all areas of the curriculum.

Of course music is for everyone, and the city continues to enjoy a great variety of opportunities to participate in live music events. This month sees Peterborough Vocal Collective continue its concert series at St. John’s Church in Cathedral Square, with an evening of Art Song and Opera on 4 November and an evening of Quartets on 11 November. Both events start at 7.30pm and further details can be found at: https://stjohnscic.wordpress.com/

Peterborough Cathedral also hosts a superb autumn concert on November 25 with Peterborough Cathedral Choir, Youth Choir and Festival Chorus, with Peterborough Choral Society and The Bristol Ensemble. The programme features Britten, St Nicholas and Moore’s Ode to St Cecilia. Visit peterborough-cathedral.org.uk for more information.

For local performers Peterborough Youth Orchestra has opened bookings for its spring half-term workshop event - a weekend working on Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February). For details and application forms email: peterboroughyouthorchestra@gmail.com

Peterborough Music Festival has also just published the syllabus for 2018. Peterborough Music Hub will support the New Youth Music Showcase competition (on March 15), providing a fantastic opportunity for under 18s writing new music to perform their work in public, receive feedback from an industry professional and compete for cash prizes. New for the 2018 Festival are world music classes and a Heritage (World Music) Celebration Concert.

The overall Festival dates are March 13 to 17 at the Key Theatre. Entries for main classes close on January 24, 2018. For full details visit: www.peterboroughmusicfestival.org