AMIE Founders' News and Updates
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Welcome to a special edition of the AMIE newsletter with a lead feature from Sound Connections. Happy reading! 

The next edition will be sent in April - let me know if you would like your organisation to be the next guest editor!

All the best,

An event driven by action, fuelled by kindness
Abi D’Amore, Sound Connections Workforce Development Programme Manager
Sound Connections invites you to Inclusive Practice in Action: Diversifying the Music Education Workforce – an event driven by action and fuelled by kindness.
Inclusive Practice in Action is not just an event about diversity and inclusion, but an event that has diversity and inclusion embedded throughout the planning and delivery.
Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests which we know have impacted deeply on many young people, it felt timely to programme this event entirely on diversifying the music education workforce, in order to improve access to and engagement with music opportunities for all.

Our starting point was how can we encourage individuals who work within music education (whether organisational leaders, practitioners, teachers, project managers, workshop leaders, students) who may have experienced racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, transphobia, homophobia, hate speech, classism or discrimination of any kind not only to attend, but to feel included, safe, and to know that their voices, opinions and experiences are valued.

As the event organiser this involved thinking about the format and content, and most critically the planning process, acknowledging that I don’t have lived experience of discrimination and/or microaggressions in the workplace in the way that many colleagues unacceptably have.

I brought together (and paid) an advisory group of consultants, with a range of perspectives and experiences: Imrana Mahmood, Jenetta Hurst, John Kelly, Nate Holder and Samantha Spence. You can read their biographies here.

During 2020 I also had the privilege of meeting Brenda Rattray, who through her ‘In Conversation’ session that I attended on racism, deeply challenged me personally and professionally on my own behaviours and actions, yet through her kindness, spirituality and honesty helped me to gain some clarity on how I could be an effective and powerful ally to others. It therefore was natural to invite Brenda to be the host for this event, and she has also been fundamental in shaping the look and feel.

Finally we employed a group of five young people aged 18-25 to co-produce and co-facilitate the event: Elija Femi, Henry Baker, Kitty Got Claws, Rochelle Blair and Siobhan Clough. You can read more about them here. Their voices have been critical in shaping the event, particularly the aspects that we hope will appeal to young and emerging leaders.

As a result of all of this provocation, warmth, perspective, expertise and kindness, we have crafted an event that is beyond what I as one individual could have achieved. 
We want people to learn, think, relate provocations to their own practice, make connections with others and pledge actions that will result in a real change. We have planned this event with the care, humanity and respect we work to see and warmly invite you to be part of change for a more diverse and inclusive Music Education sector!

Find out more and book your ticket here>

Poster showing Inclusive Practice in Action information

UP! Orchestra celebrate Music of Black Origin
During the Autumn lockdown UP! Orchestra decided to develop and launch a programme celebrating music of black origin as a meaningful and positive response to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Throughout the programme the ensemble met online via zoom and studied different music genres with an aim to develop respect and understanding of how music of black origin remains the beating heart in the music that continue to shape our lives and the world around us. The young people were then supported in making their own musical response to the Black Lives Matter Campaign and their learning throughout the programme. This was then shared with parents, carers, friends and funders at an online celebration event.  

For Spring 2021 the UP! Orchestra relaunched with an awe inspiring presentation from the African American Gospel singer and Civil Rights speaker, Dr Kathy Bullock. The programme will be developed into a resource pack that Surrey Hub aims to offer other groups in the future as well as being available to national partners and colleagues. The project has been nominated for a prestigious national award at this years' Music and Drama Education Awards Ceremony. 

“I have no words to describe the importance of the utter brilliance of this amazing work. Through the power of music, you are teaching our children the values of respect and tolerance that will last a lifetime. Nowhere else are they being taught this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” 

“We have been blown away by the effect of the MOBO sessions. D is a mixed-race child who had never even heard of the slave trade before. Your tutors have talked about this tragic history with grace, respect and a joy of music. Honestly…. just beautiful…." 

Two people high-fiving
Two people playing keyboards
Bristol Music Trust logo

Bristol Beacon have started a major new transformation programme consisting of 8 ‘change projects’ that directly support the areas of the new business plan (which is being built around our Transformation Promise). The projects, which include everything from organisational culture, to a comprehensive software review, are being led by members of the Beacon’s Senior Management Team with Siggy Patchitt acting as project manager across the programme.

Bristol Beacon have also just released their artistic, social and economic impact report called The Difference Music Makes, which shines a light on the meaningful musical experiences for the people of Bristol to share in the joy of live music and the difference they’re making beyond their four walls.

Changing Tracks logo

Have you checked out the Changing Tracks website recently? You'll find all sorts of useful resources and advice for music services.

We've also written a blog about some of the interesting things that have been developing out of the programme - including a rollout of nurture groups and cross-border inclusion project managers peer support group - and a sneak preview of our year 4 plans - accelerating change through organisational development.

Read more here:

Daisi logo
Music leaders reflect - What COVID-19 can teach us about inclusive practice.
5th March 2021, 10-1pm

Working with Daisi music leaders who over the past year have each explored a theme relevant to their own practice and will share and reflect on their exploration into how COVID-19 has impacted upon their inclusive practice and their young people's music making opportunities and experiences. We are inviting you to join them in conversation.
This is a free informal event designed to give music practitioners, and all those interested in young people's music education the opportunity to meet and think about what the extreme conditions of COVID-19 have taught us about inclusive music practice. 
Link to booking:
Information about Music Leaders Reflect - follow link for text
Drake Music logo
Drake Music are excited to announce Step Up! Webinar Series – Showing the Doing - kicking off on the 4th March with Start with the music.​​

For full information and ticket booking links visit: 

A Toolkit for Inclusive Music Making Music Hubs, music teachers, leaders and tutors, get to grips with the building blocks of inclusion with the Step Up! Webinar Series from Drake Music. This six-episode series will give you practical tools to develop your music teaching practice, making it more inclusive and accessible. It will look at inclusion from different angles including communication, progression, music tech and ensembles… as well as bringing you some actual live music!

Led by the Think22 team, accompanied by some special guests, this is a chance to learn new skills and develop your practice in a friendly and welcoming environment.
We advise attending the full programme as it covers the building blocks of inclusion and will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge of your team and/or tutors. 

Booking now: Episodes 1-3. Ticket links are below, booked via Eventbrite.
Coming Soon
  • 20th May – Episode 4: Inclusive Communication
  • 17th June – Episode 5: Getting into Music Tech in the Classroom
  • 30th September – Episode 6: The Inclusion Journey – A discussion with 4 Music Education Hubs
Group Booking Discount
If you are a Music Education Hub or Arts organisation and would like to make a block booking for your tutors to attend the Step Up! Series then drop a line to to find out about our group booking discount.
People gathered at a conference
More Music logo

Like many organisations, More Music has successfully moved a large number of in-house music sessions online, maintaining connections with participants and providing opportunities to be creative as well as to socialise. It’s more difficult with schools sessions, which is understandable given the pressures and uncertainty they have faced over the last year. Many have wanted to wait until in person sessions can happen again, rather than try online music sessions.

An exception to this has been Pear Tree School in Kirkham, an outstanding special school for children and young people aged 2-19, where More Music has taken a different and successful approach online with music leaders Ash Murphy and Bill Roberts, in sessions subsidised by Lancashire Music Hub.
Read more 

Sage Gateshead logo
Over 70 people took part in our ‘Inclusive Online Musical Learning’ MC2 event in January and three participants spoke about their own new ways of working in a podcast linked here.  Our next MC2 mini conference takes place on Friday 26th March between 1-4pm looking at Youth Voice and Inclusive Music Education. Speakers include ‘F-List’ Director and artist Esther Lenda Bokuma, musician and lecturer Graham Dowdall and young people from Great North Children’s Hospital who will each explore different approaches and solutions for embedding youth voice.

Discounted tickets can be bought here using this code: MCMAR21
Copyright © 2021 Youth Music. All rights reserved.

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