In successive years Caerphilly won four NMC
diplomas and last year a PRS Foundation diploma. It might be
supposed therefore that there was a certain inevitability about
their success this year. Few submissions could open with a
statement like this: “Caerphilly Music & Arts Service
has continued to be fully supported and funded by our local
education authority. All other funding streams have been secured
through income generation from schools and successful external
grant applications”. In our report last year, we noted
an apparent dearth of world musics and jazz. Mindful of that
observation, the music & arts service introduced appropriate
staff training, African drumming, samba, Asian dance and Latin
music projects and made jazz links with the Welsh Jazz Composers
Orchestra and the Brecon International Jazz Festival.
A full programme of free curriculum support and INSET was
provided at key stages 1 & 2 to Caerphilly schools. Indeed,
the approach to INSET both for classroom music teachers, at
all key stages, and for instrumental tutors was exemplary.
In addition to a successful collaboration with the three neighbouring
LEAs, through the joint education support and inspection service,
all four LEAs provided opportunities for students to make music
at a higher level, as a transition to the national ensembles.
That same spirit of partnership ran through all the activities
of this LEA and their music & arts service.
Over 2000 instruments were available on long term free loans.
All music tuition was provided free to schools through a formula
allocation based on numbers in schools. Schools were able to
buy in additional services to enable pupils to experience a
broader music curriculum. The PRS Foundation citation attaches
flesh and muscle to the above bones thereby demonstrating what
a very special place this is for music!
Caerphilly share the major trophy
with Devon where music education is delivered
through the music service and Music Devon, a co-operative of
instrumental tutors and, of course, classroom music teachers.
New initiatives abounded throughout the year and included a
vocal outreach project with Exeter Cathedral, a Polish and
Korean culture project featuring music and dance, composition
projects one of which explored junk instruments for teachers
and numerous jazz projects covered in the Jazz Services citation.
And, very importantly, previously successful programmes and
projects were continued and developed from the amazingly popular
ukulele revival, to gospel singing, large group double bass
tuition, even stronger links with the LEA youth service and
the Remix popular music festival, which involved 129 schools
and 4500 pupils and students participating in performances
and workshops. 70 per cent of schools were involved in WCIVT
via ukelele, fife, guitar, bongo, djembe, tin whistle, mixed
strings and voice.
The range and scope of INSET and CDP opportunities was excellent
and very much geared to supporting WCIVT programmes. Partnership
and collaborative working with other LEA music services and
professional groups and orchestras and arts organisations was
at a level ideally pitched to bear musical fruits galore. An
open door approach to adult participation was another welcome
feature of this submission.