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Meet the Team – who are you Howard Burchfield?


What instrument/s do you teach and how long have you a member of the BHMA team?

I have been teaching with Brighton & Hove for nearly 10 years, having started in September 2005. My main Instruments with the service are Clarinet and Saxophone, which I teach from year 4 to sixth form. I also teach some Flute in key stage 2 (primary school).


Can you tell us about your first musical memory?

My parents loved music, my Mother with “Classical” and my Father Big Band and crooners such as Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole etc. We were always listening to ‘sing something simple’ on the radio of a Sunday afternoon and would sing rounds with my siblings when in the car going on holidays.


When did you first take up a musical instrument and what attracted you to music?

Opportunities were not available in Primary school, so my musical playing started with the Recorder in year 7, which then progressed on to the Clarinet in year 8. When in a music lesson in year 7 we were listening to a little of Grieg’s piano concerto, with music notation in front of us! When I saw all of the notes in the cadenza, trying to make sense of it all, wondering how you play all of the notes! I felt then, that I wanted to be involved in music.


What was your first album purchase/first gig?

Being a little strange and square, my first record was an LP of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto......and my very first paying job was Clarinet and Piano for a Woman’s Institute Concert, for which I was paid £1.50 and a chocolate bar!!


If you had to choose three records to take any to a desert island what would you choose and why?

If I could only take three records to a desert Island, that would be hard but my choice would be Romeo and Juliet Ballet score by Prokofiev and 6th Symphony by Tchaikovsky because of the intense emotions in their composing. My third choice would be Harry Potter score of the first film by John Williams as pure escapism, on a desert Island, hummm.......


What is the most challenging part of your working week and what motivates you when working with young musicians?

The most challenging part of teaching is trying to make sure that the students receive a good quality lesson each time and then knowing that for some students that they have worked really hard to achieve the best they can over the years work. That and remembering where I should be each day! 


Could you tell us about one of your recent musical highlights?

As far as playing is concerned, my most recent highlight was playing for an orchestra, where we played Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, which not only has a great Clarinet part but my wife was playing the principal Flute part as well. 


What would be your top tip to any aspiring young musician?

My top tip to any aspiring young musician would be “Patience!”


Finally, if you were to learn another instrument, what would it be?

If I had the time I would like to be able to play the piano with some degree of competence. 





Did you know that Glyndebourne Youth Opera offer the chance to take part in opera workshops

If your child is in KS1 or KS2, during the Summer term they will experience the thrill of hearing over 20 different musical instruments in their schools

Our Future City is a 6 month conversation that seeks to improve the lives and life-chances of children and young people through cultural engagement and creative skills

Come and see a glittering showcase of young and emerging talent presented in and around the Royal Pavilion Estate

Save the Date - 16 July 2015.  For schools; teachers; practitioners & managers involved with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The BHMA Balkan Brass Ensemble will be leading this year's Children's Parade and if you can play brass to Grade 4 standard approx, you can join in the fun!

Summer School courses for pupils in years 2-11 will be running from 29 Jun - 7 Aug. New for 2015 is Band Week (form a band and put on a gig) and Music Theatre Week

Over 100 music educators and practitioners recently came together to share practice and network with colleagues from across Brighton & Hove

New courses during Easter and Summer school holidays.  'Discover Arts & Heritage' for years - open to all pupils in years 4-6

As part of the Furthering Talent programme, Awards for Young Musicians are offering a free practical training session on Thurs 4 Jun to help identify and support musical talent in your class

ambassador Richard Durrant will launch the 2015 fund-raising campaign for encore

BYO and Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra will join forces to perform a programme of music exclusively inspired by the BBC Ten Pieces

The diverse programme ranged from samba to punk, folk, rock, classical and jazz - a musical festival in one night

Howard, who has been with the music service for over 10 years, tells us of his family upbringing on big band, crooners and classical music - and a payment in chocolate!

30 young people from Brighton & Hove, who might not otherwise have a chance to access live music, are currently benefiting from the Furthering Talent programme

Then why not take part in the social singing group held on Tuesday mornings during term time at Brighton & Hove Music & Arts. No audition and no requirement to read music

The award winning String Ensemble recently tourned the Isle of Wight accompanied by internationally renowed artist Richard Durrant. Repertoire ranged from Icelandic folk songs to Baroque classics

BHMA is currently looking to expand its Cello provision including some short term maternity cover.

Brighton & Hove Youth Philharmonia travel to Noordwijk, on the South coast of Holland this April to share a programme of works they have been rehearsing since the beginning of the year

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