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Music and Arts Leaders Come Together in Brighton

Joint Practice Development Day for Music and Cultural Education - Monday 29 Jan 2018

The Joint Practice Development Day is an event for music, art and drama teachers working in Brighton & Hove. The event brings together teachers and leaders working in the creative arts, both in schools and in local arts and cultural organisations across the city; working together to raise the standard of teaching in the creative arts. The day focused on sharing good practice with many of the training sessions delivered by local teachers and partners organisations, keen to share their work with other colleagues working in the city.

This was the sixth annual Joint Practice Development Day hosted by Brighton & Hove Music & Arts, the lead partner of ‘SoundCity’ the Music Education Hub for Brighton & Hove.

This year’s event was produced in partnership with Our Future City and The Pavilion & Downs Teaching Alliance and Varndean School.

The day included a TeachMeet focused on how the creative arts can support disadvantaged children and young people to succeed in all areas of learning. There were also a range of guest speakers, presentations and practical sessions that included workshops on the primary curriculum, performance anxiety, singing, body percussion, whole-class ukulele and the impact of arts on wellbeing.

In the final session of the day Dr Ally Daubney and Duncan Mackrill from the University of Sussex presented research entitled ‘Is Music in the curriculum facing extinction?’. This research mapped music education provision in English Secondary Schools between 2012 and 2017 and was drawn from consultation with over 700 schools. This research outlined an overall decline in the uptake of GCSE music, with the introduction of the EBacc felt to be having a significant impact on the position of music (and other creative subjects) within the curriculum in state schools across the country.

In many ways the local picture in Brighton & Hove is more positive, with a thriving and committed workforce of music education practitioners – as demonstrated by the 100+ delegates at the Joint Practice Development Day. However, there was concern among the audience about the worrying national trend of a decline in music provision in secondary schools and how over time this could have a negative impact on music-making in the city.

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