26th February 2018

Welcome to Music Partnership North Newsletter

Spring 2018

Welcome to the Spring edition of the Music Partnership North (MPN) e-newsletter. Please take time to look through the news and articles to see what is relevant to you with details of upcoming events and activities, current information regarding music education and some research and case studies both locally and nationally. The newsletter is divided into sections for ease of use. We hope you find it both interesting and informative and we welcome any feedback or information for future newsletters from you.


About Us


Music Partnership North (MPN) is the Music Education Hub for Newcastle and Northumberland.  

In this newsletter we would like to introduce you to another member of our Strategic Board, Miles Wallis-Clarke.

I am Headteacher at Hotspur Primary School in Heaton, Newcastle and have been on the Strategic Board of Music Partnership North since Music Education Hubs were established in 2012. Our school recently gained the Platinum Artsmark and is committed to using the arts throughout the curriculum to both drive and reflect learning.

The benefits of cultural education, and music specifically, are numerous and far-reaching. These include academic aspects including language development and mathematical awareness as well as social, emotional and well-being outcomes. Music is also great for developing executive function skills that will help children’s creativity and thinking skills. In addition to the importance of learning through music it is also crucial to teach music as a discrete subject. Some children will go on to work in the creative industries and even as performers. Increasingly these are children from privileged backgrounds so there is a need for us to ensure equality of opportunity for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds. We are also aware of the blossoming of community choirs nationally with increasing numbers of people singing as a recreational activity for many of the reasons that we identify as important in schools – with a particular focus, for many, on mental health.

As a school we have a rich variety of curriculum music, often in partnership with other organisations. One of these in recent years has been Scottish Opera who run a fantastic education programme. Watching our children perform with their singers is so rewarding – there are always children that shine in unexpected ways and discover new things about themselves. The long-term impact on their self-esteem and confidence is considerable.

Music Education Hubs have developed in very different ways and my hope is that MPN can galvanise the enormous talent, creativity and commitment of musicians and others in Newcastle and Northumberland to give all children comprehensive and varied musical experiences during their time in school that continue to enhance, stimulate and enrich the rest of their lives.


Miles Wallis-Clarke

Headteacher - Hotspur Primary School

Strategic Board Members

The strategic board is a governance group that work with MPN to develop and monitor music provision and discuss how the funding from Arts Council England will be used.  The representatives come from schools, the local authority and from our strategic cultural partner organisation.  Our members are:


Jeanne Hale - Independant Consultant

Miles Wallis-Clarke -  Headteacher Hotspur Primary School

Joanne Watson - Head of Music, Cramlington Learning Village

Wendy Scott - Cultural Development Manager,  Northumberland County Council

Ed Milner - Head of Learning, Sage Gateshead

Jacky Craig - Lead Officer, Music Partnership North Northumberland, Hub Lead Officer

Georgina Biddle - Lead Officer, Music Partnership North Newcastle

For more information on MPN in your area, visit our website:


Northumberland –


Newcastle -


Contacts for the three strategic partners within MPN are as follows:

Music Partnership North (Northumberland) – Jacky Craig

Music Partnership North (Newcastle) – Georgina Biddle

Sage Gateshead – Ed Milner




MPN Service Level Agreement (SLA) issued to all schools

Once again MPN have assigned a portion of the Music Education Grant to all schools to subsidise the delivery of the core aims outlined in the National Plan for Music Education.  Northumberland schools will  have to complete their SLA requests online ensuring they complete their required data return prior to booking an SLA project, Newcastle’s requests are submitted through the centralised Newcastle Schools SLA purchase pro forma.

For each LA please follow the links below:


Northumberland SLA: Click here

Newcastle SLA: Click here


The Great Exhibition of the North

The Great Exhibition of the North is free for all schools and all age groups to access. It will run from the 22nd June to 9th September showcasing the best in innovation, arts and design from across the north.

Schools can book to visit the exhibition with their class for either a half day or a full day and are able to tailor their visit dependent on the subject focus or venues they would like to visit.  Places are going quickly so please sign up now if you would like to be involved:

Full Day visits

•    Get North City Trail: Art, Design, Innovation

•    Get North Quayside Trail: Art, Design, Innovation

•    Get North Innovation Trail

•    Get North Design Trail

Half Day experiences

•    Great North Museum Half Day Schools Experience

•    Gateshead Quays Half Day Schools Experience

There is a specific capacity available to schools each day, by booking through the website, this space will be reserved for you, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Great Exhibition team will then be in touch with an itinerary by Friday 20 April.

Further information and all bookings for school trips for the Great Exhibition of the North can be made via the website  Click here


Arts Council England -  Join the conversation about the next ten year strategy

Arts Council England are asking people to be involved in a conversation around how arts, museums and libraries in England thrive for the next decade, and want your thoughts about how best they can do that. People have until the 11 April to follow the link below and have their say.  This is the first in five phases they will go through to shape the strategy for 2020-30; find out more about the subsequent phases and head to our conversation platform  by Clicking here


Royal Opera House bring Create and Sing Carmen to the North East

Following on from a very successful CPD day held earlier this month, MPN are working with 20 schools from across Northumberland and Newcastle creating their own dynamic performance of Carmen.  This opportunity was made possible by our ongoing partnership working with the Royal Opera House and resulted in over 40 school and MPN staff received training on how to create a more dynamic and dramatic approach to school performances and events.


If a funding bid is successful we will be delivering a joint performance at the City Hall, where over 600 children will be brought together to sing Carmen.  To watch footage from the the day please follow the link to our website and search under workshops/initiatives.  


Collaborative Secondary Singing Days

North Tyneside Music Education Hub have hosted two collaborative singing days for Gifted and Talented secondary school pupils over the last few months, one for over 90 students at Marden High School in October and the other in February for over 80 students at St Mary’s, Newcastle.  Working with MPN Newcastle, eight different secondary schools from North Tyneside and Newcastle have been involved, with students learning a variety of music in a huge range of styles, from gospel and pop through to working on one of the current BBC Ten Pieces:  O Fortuna from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.  

Students were instructed on how to take care of their voice and warm up correctly with a focus on repertoire suitable for GCSE music ensemble performances.  Participants will be invited to take part in a special event (Music Education Hubs Gala Day ) at Sage Gateshead on 2nd  July.  More information on this day will be in our next newsletter.

O2 Academy Schools’ Rock Festival

MPN Newcastle and North Tyneside Music Education Hub hosted a two day secondary schools’ rock festival at the O2 Academy in February.  Students from Churchill, Burnside, Seaton Burn, Kenton, St Mary’s, George Stephenson, St Thomas More North Shields, Sacred Heart, St Cuthbert’s and RGS took part, with bands, duos and soloists wowing the crowds with performances of songs by The Killers, The Animals, Oasis and many more besides.  Students from Years 9-13 took part, with some bands performing together live for the first time:  for the more experienced bands this was their fourth or fifth performance at the o2 Academy.  Each night a lively and enthusiastic audience helped to create a supportive and happy atmosphere!

If you know of any bands, acts or other talented individuals that might like to take part next year please do not hesitate to get in touch with or at MPN Newcastle

New Member for the Strategic Governance Board

MPN are seeking to recruit new members to the Strategic Governance Board. We are particularly looking for people who have skills and experience in the areas of marketing and communication.


The board meets termly on a Thursday from 3.30 - 5pm in Ashington.  Board members are expected to attend the termly meetings and to support additional meetings when their skills and expertise may be called upon.


If you are interested in finding out more about the role or to put your name forward to be a board member then please contact Jacky Craig by email




What’s On

MPN Northumberland


Birmingham Conservatoire/Mark Bolderson Foundation Percussion Workshop - Queen's Hall Hexham, 25th February

On Sunday 25th February Royal Birmingham Conservatoire are teaming up with the Mark Jon Bolderson Percussion Foundation to deliver a percussion workshop and performance for young Drummers and Percussionists across the North East of England. The workshop will run from 11am until 1pm at the Queen's Hall, Hexham.

This fun, engaging and interactive workshop will be presented by staff, students and graduates from the Conservatoire.  The workshop will focus various elements - from body percussion to Taiko drumming - folk music to ensemble playing.  There will be something for everyone at this workshop, no matter their age, ability or musical background!

If you have any students who would like to register for the workshop, please email


For more information, please contact George on the above email address or call him on: 07928 731577

Please Click here for more information about the Mark Jon Bolderson Foundation


Tyne Valley Tunes - Music Workshop Afternoon - Corbridge Parish Hall, Saturday 10th March

MPN are running a workshop afternoon for young musicians who play trumpet/cornet, saxophone, flute, clarinet or violin.  This will take place on Saturday 10th March 2018 from 1pm-4pm at Corbridge Parish Hall, St Helen’s Street, Corbridge, NE45 5BE.  The cost of this workshop is £10.


The session should help young musicians to use the skills they have learned in individual or small group lessons, to play in a bigger band with a wide range of other instruments, along to some fun and funky backing tracks.  If you would like any more information or to register please email


Military Wind Band Workshop Day -  Cramlington Learning Village, Saturday 19th May.

Working in partnership with the band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, MPN will be holding a workshop day for young musicians who play wind band instruments (excluding strings).  The day is aimed at students who are of an intermediate to advanced level with sight reading ability.  Students will be involved in  instrument specific workshops followed by an early evening joint performance with the band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.   The event is being held at Cramlington Learning Village 11am until 7pm and the cost of the workshop is £5.


If you would like more information or to register a please email


Northumberland Music Festival

The Northumbrian Ranters, MPN Northumberland’s senior traditional music ensemble, are performing at their 7th Northumberland Music Festival and will be returning to the fabulous setting of Doxford Hall to entertain their audience with their own unique style of energetic and engaging traditional music.  Running from February until April there is a diverse selection of musical concerts to attend, for more information and to book tickets please click here.


The Northumbrian Ranters will also be performing at Alnwick Playhouse on 28th April and will be joined on stage by students from both the Alnwick Duchess High School and the Small Hall Band for the scottish borders.  To book tickets please click here.


Brass is Back! - 25th May

Following a three year youth music funded brass project in south east Northumberland, MPN will be celebrating the culmination of their work in a large scale spectacular “Brass is Back” event.  This will bring together all 14 schools who have been involved in the project to Woodhorn Museum for an outside performance.  Students from the whole class first access brass projects will join their school mini brass bands to perform to family and friends and will result in over 500 children performing on brass band instruments.  


Please follow our website for more information but if you would like to be added to our mailing list for this event please contact


MPN Newcastle

Invite for Big Gig 2018 - 19th June

Following the great success of last year’s event, schools you are invited to bring their instrumentalists to the BIG GIG 18,  A celebration of our whole class Instrumental teaching programme, at Northumbria University Sports Central, 9.30am – 2.30pm Tuesday 19th June 2018


The whole event takes place within the school day in one safe, spacious venue with good access and facilities, parents can be invited to enjoy the result.


The day is open to any class receiving whole-class instrumental tuition (any instrument) and to other smaller groups of primary school instrumentalists and their teachers.  The sheet music for each instrument and supporting backing tracks will be available on request.  Visiting MPN tutors will be able to prepare the pieces as part of their regular programme.  A full list of the music to be played and further details of the day will be forwarded to contact email address once you have registered.  Please follow the link below to register on the MPN Newcastle website:  Big Gig registration


Sage Gateshead

Be part of a great new youth orchestra

The all new West Newcastle Symphony Orchestra is open for anyone aged 10+ who plays an orchestral instrument. We get together twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, 5pm – 6.30pm (starts Monday 18 September) at West End Women and Girls Centre.

It’s completely FREE to join, just come along with your instrument, and your friends! For more details call or text 07580 078803.


The BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy is now open for applications

If you are aged 16 - 25 and would like the opportunity to sing in a choir at a BBC Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on July 21st  then please see the link below for details on how to apply.   The closing date for applications is Friday March 9th at 10am. Click here




Regional Events

SEND conference - March 5th, Sage Gateshead


MPN have worked in partnership with other North East hubs and organisations to organise a SEND conference at Sage Gateshead on Monday 5th March 2018.


The conference aims to bring together local, regional and national facilitators to deliver inspirational and practical workshops for schools staff, community leaders and anyone working with young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to enrich their learning through meaningful musical experiences.


For more details and to book a place at the conference please Click for more info


Friday Afternoons - FREE vocal workshop

Tuesday 27th March 2018, 4pm register for 4.15pm start. 5.30pm finish with time for Q&A at the end

St Joseph’s RC Middle School, Hexham, NE46 2DD


Friday Afternoons is about encouraging young people to sing. Their newly composed songs and support material aim to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers.

Join MPN and Friday Afternoons at St Joseph’s RC Middle School for a highly practical vocal workshop which will introduce the project, develop vocal leadership skills and explore innovative and exciting ways to use the material and supporting resources to develop creative responses.

Aimed at classroom teachers, music teachers, singing teachers, choir leaders, all working with predominately Key Stage 2/3, or children aged 7-13.

To book your place please email

All resources are available on the Friday Afternoons website for FREE and are yours to re-interpret in whatever way you and your students imagine. This creative way of working is a great way for a school to develop their own artistic identity, and for teachers to explore new ways of approaching singing using the exciting and varied Song Bank. The songs are written for a variety of abilities, so are appropriate for primary classroom use, right through to youth choirs and secondary schools. Signed video and Braille scores are also available on the website, along with many other supportive resource.

For more information please visit their website


Newcastle Cultural Education Partnership - marketplace event 23 March

Newcastle schools are excited about the Great Exhibition of the North and many have signed up to the trails and events. This is an opportunity for cultural and STEM organisations to tell schools about what they can offer during the exhibition and beyond.  For more information and to book a place please Click here  

Arts Award Access Fund - Open for Applications

The Access Fund provides grants of between £100-£1500 to Arts Award centres working on Arts Award projects with young people for whom access and inclusion is an issue. For more information please Click here



Research and Case Studies

This section includes links to interesting articles, projects and research both locally and nationally. If you are running an interesting or unusual music project and would like us to feature it in our newsletter, then please contact:


10 reasons why arts and culture make a difference

This document has been created IVE the Yorkshire/Humber Bridge organisation and is an excellent advocacy document to use with your school staff and governors, please  Click here to download and pass on.


30 things you can do to promote creativity in your classroom Click here




Training and Resources

Primary Network Day, 27th March 2018 - 9.15am - 3.15pm

MPN will be holding their primary network day on the 27th March at East Bedlington Community Centre and is open to both schools and cultural partners.  The cost of the day is £40 and includes resources and lunch.  Throughout the day we will be looking at singing in schools, progression and assessment within the music curriculum, demystify digital music in schools, how to discover in a day and every child's right to access cultural experiences.  If you would like to book a place on the course please  Click here

Secondary Network Day, 6th June 2018 - 9.15am - 3.15pm

MPN are in the early stages of planning their secondary network day which will also take place at East Bedlington Community Centre and is once again open to both schools and cultural partners.  


We can confirm that the Royal opera House will be leading one of the sessions, see details below:


Royal Opera House Workshop - Is Opera or Ballet teachable in the general music classroom? Many teachers struggle to think how to include it into the straightjacket of a crowded curriculum.    In this workshop participants will sing, play, compose and listen using music from Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Puccini in activities aligned to the secondary music curricula.   Be inspired to explore some new repertoire and experience some new teaching strategies for your music classroom.   All participants will leave with a head full of ideas and a USB stick with all the resources in digital form.

Please put the date in your diary and if you would like to be added to the mailing list please email




For Sale

Music Partnership North are looking to sell some of our excess instrument stock.   

This term we are offering the following:


Marching band equipment: (excellent condition, barely used)

Majestic snare drums £70, tenor drums £150, bass drums £150 & carriers.

Majestic Marching Marimba £600, Xylophone £550 and Bells £400.

Large Xylophone (on wheels) £650


Afro Caribbean equipment: Bongos, Stands & Congaletes. (Waiting for price from David)


Bassoons: Howarth, Lark, Schreiber, Huller, Fox, Adler (inc short reach) £500-800


Oboes: Portland, Regent, Bundy £350-600


Electronic drum kits:  Roland HD1 £90


Please contact if you are interested and would like to view any items at our base in Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 8QZ.  All prices exclude VAT.


If you would like to include any information in future newsletters or if you would like to comment on this newsletter please contact


Any items for future newsletters will need to be received by the last Monday of each half term with full details, a website link and contact email