In-Tune from Essex Music Services - your newsletter

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Illustrations of musical instruments

Welcome to In-Tune

Keeping you in-tune with both local and national music education developments and also up-to-date with the opportunities available from your local music hub.

Sound advice on singing in school


Singing is a vital part of the curriculum as successful singing builds self-confidence, promotes self-esteem, engages the emotions, promotes social inclusion, supports social skill development and is a truly inclusive activity for all to engage in.

During the pandemic there have been some very confusing messages around the activity of singing, with some suggesting that currently it is one of the most dangerous activities to be engaged in. Following months of research, Professor Martin Ashley released his report on the findings of the dangers of singing, and outlines that based on the evidence, there is just as much danger within a Maths lesson.

For guidance on safe singing in schools, please see Essex Music Education Hub’s Risk Assessment, or for further advice and guidance please email us at

Focus on Sound PRO for Secondary Schools

Focus on Sound Pro

To support Secondary schools with the delivery of music education and in the preparation of students for external examinations, we have upgraded the license we offer through our E-Learning package of Focus on Sound so that now all secondary schools can access the full Focus on Sound PRO version, while keeping the cost of our E-Learning package the same. Sally Thompson at Thurstable School in Tiptree comments "I have to say that Focus on Sound Pro is brilliant - making your own lessons is so easy."

Focus on Sound Pro offers a much wider range of features for use both in school, and to support remote learning with the integrations built in.

If your school has not currently got access to our E-Learning package, please email us at and we can set your accounts up for all our resources.

Our E-learning package is £100 for full access for an academic year to online music resources for both Primary and Secondary schools setting.

Don't miss a beat with Play-It!


Our Tutors are in schools safely delivering music including whole class tuition for KS2 pupils with our free Play-It! offer.

Play-It!, previously known as First Access, is free and delivered by a specialist tutor to a whole class in school over a 10-week term. 

One school, Longwood Primary Academy, recently enjoyed its first Play-It! session and learnt about the beat in music and had an intro to playing the Ukulele. 

Don't miss a beat and find out more about our free Play-It! sessions here.

All music opportunities are delivered under the guidelines set out in our reviewed and approved COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

Please contact us at or 0333 0138953

Interpreting the COVID-19 guidelines in your practice

Sound Connections logo

Chris Walters (Musicians’ Union) and Barbara Eifler (Making Music) will share their perspectives and expertise on how to interpret the guidelines around using music in education and community settings, and for performance. There will also be the opportunity to discuss and share with peers how you are adapting and evolving your practice.

Sound Connections, one of the Essex Education Hub's partners, is holding this event on Tuesday 13th October from 4pm - 6pm.Find out more and register on this link.

Lo-fi Hip Hop tutorials and competition

VIP Stuio ession

VIP Studio Sessions have released a brand new set of tutorials - all designed to help everyone relax during this unusual time - focusing on how to create and arrange Lo-Fi Hip Hop genre (a popular type of music, combining Hip Hop beats and jazzy samples).

Alongside the new tutorials, VIP Studio Sessions, have launched a new competition which will be judged by Lo-Fi Hip Hop artist Psalm/Trees. Find out about the competition and its fabulous prizes on this link. Competition ends 31st October 2020.

VIP Studio Sessions is available through our online music e-learning package 

Invitation for early-career Disabled musicians

Drake Music

Are you an early-career Disabled musician looking for an opportunity to develop your practice and career?

Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent musicians of all ages and genres can apply for Emergent Commissions for 2020/21.  Three emerging Disabled musicians will be commissioned to produce new short pieces of music/sound and will be provided with mentoring, technical support and a showcase opportunity.

This opportunity comes from another partner, Drake Music. Find out more and apply here. 

Instrumental information for Teachers


Primary School CPD online sessions with Charanga are now open for booking:-

Why use Charanga Musical School on 2 November and Diving Deep into Charanga on 14 December. These sessions are free to all schools who have joined our 2020 - 2021 E-learning package

Core Skills in Coaching & MentoringMusic Mark have a new selection of courses for Advisors, Mentors and Teachers and also Leaders and Managers in Music Education. Find out more about these online courses taking place this term on the above link.

Music technology in education online conference 12 - 15 October offers a wealth of opportunities for expanding the teaching of music. Find out more on the link above.

MusicMark conference -  Join YolanDa Brown, the Music Mark team, various speakers and panellists on the 20th November for a day of networking, learning and discussion – all from the comfort of your home or workplace. Click on the above link to read more.

Music & Drama Education Awards - celebrate the contribution made to the lives of others through the medium of these two key performing arts. Nominations are now open. To enter click on the above link.

Key information for young musicians


Future Talent - inspiring young musicians - offers singers aged 13 - 17 years old and resident in the UK to have bespoke training and performances alongside Voces 8 and Apollo5 during this academic year. To apply click on the link above. Deadline for applications is 21 October 2020. 

Guildhall Hall supported application 2021 - 350 places will be available for all undergraduate programmes for 2021 entry.  Click on the link above for more info on eligibility and the available courses.

East Anglia Young Composers Competition - is open until 30th October to those aged 18 years and under living or going to school in Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Full information about the competition including guidance on composing for the instruments involved at:

Audition for the National Youth & National Children's Brass Bands. Due to Covid-19, auditions are virtual this Autumn.  For more details on how to apply for an online audition please click the above link.

Audition booking for the National Youth Training, Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs is now open . All talented young singers from all backgrounds and musical styles are welcome to join our choirs. 

The National Children's Choir of Great Britain - online auditions are now open for children and young people aged 9 - 19. Click here to apply. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or telephone 0333 0138953

Essex Music Education Hub logo