Paradoxically, for us one of the highlights of Gatesheads
submission was the work the Music Service had been doing to help
neighbour LEA Newcastle-upon-Tyne re-establish their Music Service.
That support included organisational advice, sharing staffing
resources and provision of INSET. Other Northern LEAs also called
on the Gateshead Music Service for advice and assistance.
Two key appointments were made in the year: first, of a Music
Development Leader, to extend the range of creative opportunities
for staff and students; and secondly, an Early Years Lead Teacher
to develop INSET and co-ordinate curriculum support.
Publications were an important feature of Music Service provision.
The most recent was a major document Music in the Foundation
Stage. Launched at an Early Years Music Conference attended
by delegates from LEAs throughout the North, the publication was
sold nationally and the proceeds still fund the purchase of new
instruments, the Youth Orchestras annual tours and other
A significant early music development was launched with a specialist
lutenist and an erstwhile professional harpsichordist (no less
than the Head of the Music Service himself!) leading. Within that
development was an Elizabethan music project resulting in several
hundred students learning to dance the Pavan dressed in Elizabethan
costume and singing songs from the Tudor era. And each week, a
viol consort (with a baroque string ensemble) performed in addition
to the more usual range of string, brass, steel pan and choral
activities. There was a waiting list for membership of that consort!
The Music Service provided a range of opportunities for students
to work alongside the Northern Sinfonia, the Halle, the Georgian
Ensemble, musicians from Paraguay and the Ukraine, classical Indian
musicians and international soloists.
No charge was made for tuition, access to ensembles or loan of
Few, if any, LEAs have received more diplomas of merit than Gateshead,
so it is very fitting, in our view, that they should receive the
Major Award for 2002.