061: Season 4 round up with Peter Cansell

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Peter Cansell and I discuss what we have learned from the Education on Fire podcast season 4 – Music and the Arts. 20 episodes of great resources.
Peter Cansell is my resident education expert. The person who provides the bigger picture and will tell me that you can’t just play music all day at school other subjects are important too!


Peter has been in education professionally for 35 years, teaching in middle schools in Oxford, doing advisory work, teaching higher education and as a Primary Headteacher at Harwell Primary School. He retired from that post in September 2014, but has continued as Chair of OPHTA (Oxfordshire Primary Headteachers’ Association), was elected to become Chair of the National Network of Chairs of Headteachers’ Groups in June 2014 and was delighted to have become a NAPE council member this year, serving on the editorial board for Primary First. In January of 2015 he co-founded the Oxford School of Thought, an independent education think tank. He is a trustee and chairs the management committee of another charity, Full Circle, which is well regarded for its ground breaking intergenerational work.


Season 4 starts here http://www.educationonfire.com/040-season-4-launch-show-music-arts-schools/

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060: Sue Nicholls – Primary Music Specialist

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Sue Nicholls worked as a music subject leader in many primary settings during her career as a teacher. She has published several music resource books for non-specialists for A&C Black and OUP and contributed material to many other publications. Sue now works as an independent music education consultant leading workshops and courses for schools and music hubs.


Links to information in this podcast:


Voiceworks Series

Music Express


David Liggins – Ocarina

ISM Webinars – Primary Music

Music Mark

Certificate for Music Educators – Trinity

Singing Breakfast Clubs


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059: Syncphonia – Replace paper scores with a digital system for your tablet

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Designed and refined over two years, working with amateur and professional ensembles, Syncphonia replaces paper scores with a digital system which synchronises to the beat of a conductor or lead musician. The current bar and beat are highlighted, so players can’t get lost, pages are turned automatically, and new parts can be distributed in seconds over a wireless network.

Syncphonia provides seamless, intuitive technology to enhance the experience of ensemble performance for all.


The Syncphonia system features:

  • Conductor-controlled, synchronised digital notation for ensemble scores and parts
  • Library of 8 scores, with parts for all abilities
  • Hands free page turns, with look ahead, so you know what’s coming next
  • Low latency bluetooth networking

Conductor app allows you to:

  • Organise and manage your orchestral library
  • Share new parts across the ensemble in seconds
  • Intuitively and expressively control tempo
  • User metronomic tempo control for rehearsals
  • Jump to bar or figure

Performer app features:

  • Dynamic position highlighting so you never get lost
  • Instant selection between available instrumental parts
  • Preview page scroll during rehearsal downtime

Find out more at http://www.syncphonia.co.uk

email: info@syncphonia.co.uk

twitter: @syncphonia






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Simple and intuitive video lessons with PDF plans ready to use straight away.


An exclusive offer for Education on Fire listeners. Sign up for a year and receive access for 18 months. 
Here are the 2 things you must do.
Sign up here
Send me an email stating your name and school.
That’s it! Start making music in your school today.
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057: Young Voices with musical director Craig McLeish

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The largest school choir concerts in the world Young Voices is in full swing for 2018 and I chat to their musical director Craig McLeish.

Craig wants to know your questions, thoughts and experiences of Young Voices. Get in touch and you may get your questions answered and a mention on the follow up show!

email mark@educationonfire.com

Composer, arranger and director Craig McLeish began his musical life as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral. He has worked with a wide variety of groups in several genres, and scored a hit with the cult pop band ‘Fat & Frantic’.  Recently, Craig has collaborated with composer Tolga Kashif writing orchestrations for the RPO’s Seo Taiji Symphony, the Classic FM chart-topping CD by saxophonist Tyler Rix, and the Genesis Suite which was premiered at the Barbican.  He is musical director of Young Voices UK, bringing large school choirs together to play with a live band and solo artists, and conducts the Milton Keynes Community Choir, Hart and Soul Community Choir and the Milton Keynes Youth Choir.



Young Voices

Craig was invited by Young Voices to become their Musical Director in the year 2000. Since then he has chosen and arranged all the music for each annual show, which now lasts a month and plays to packed arenas in Manchester London Sheffield and Birmingham. This year over 2500 schools took part and there are more joining for next year.

Craig takes months researching and arranging the music each year, producing a learning CD with comprehensive backing tracks and sheet music with notes to help the teachers in the classroom. The whole pack is designed to assist both musical and untrained choir leaders and there are further study notes to enhance the experience for the children involved.

Craig also directs the live band for the performances and he has assembled some of the most versatile and capable session musicians in the UK. They are always praised by any visiting artist, and over the years they have accompanied the likes of Beverley Knight, Joss Stone, Lemar, Heather Small, Jocelyn Brown, Matt Cardle, Lucy Spraggan, All Angels, Katherine Jenkins, Lee Ryan, Keith Semple and Connie Talbot.



Moo Music

Craig is the composer behind Moo Music’s very catchy songs with clever tunes and simple yet effective lyrics. Moo Music is a great fun and interactive regular music session for 0 to 5 year old children and their parents, grandparents or carers too, where the children sing, dance and play. Music is an essential part of every child’s development and the 100 original Moo Music songs used at the sessions are positive, uplifting, fun and educational. The interactive sessions help children gain confidence and develop memory, language and coordination skills in an exciting, enjoyable and multi-sensory way.



Choir Community

The choir scene in the UK and around the world is experiencing something of a ‘golden age’.

More and more people are recognising the joy and fulfilment that can be derived from the simple activity of singing together.  A community choir is a place not only to share a love of music, but also to form friendships, share life’s ups and downs and perhaps escape to a place of perfect positivity every so often!

It is estimated that the number of choirs in the UK alone has risen to over 40,000 in recent years, a large proportion of which have been formed purely to share the enjoyment of singing – and perhaps performing – music within a local community, workplace or other environment.

Find out more at www.choircommunity.net

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