In-Tune from Essex Music Services - your newsletter

Trouble viewing? View this email in your browser.

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.

Christmas tree

Dear readers

This year has been like none we have experienced before, and as this calendar year draws to a close, we would like to thank you for your on-going support towards Music Education.

In this, our final newsletter of 2020, we wish all readers a very happy Christmas, and every best wish for the New Year.

We look forward to continuing to provide support across the Education sector and providing a wealth of musical opportunities in 2021.

The Essex Service Music Team 

Improving equality, diversity and inclusion with Changing Tracks

Changing tracks

Changing Tracks is a programme of work delivered by a network of Music Education Hubs, striving to ensure that those who most need access to music are able to access suitable provision. 

As a Youth Music funded piece of research, we currently are in the second year of a three-year programme of work. The updated annual report has been released regarding this project, to which Essex is an action research partner. Click here to access the full report

Unlocking Music - we have the key

music education

With the majority of our Essex schools now admitting tutors for both 1-to-1 tuition our Play-It! scheme, and workshops, now is the time to get in touch with our team and book in your Spring Term music provision. Be it instrumental, whole-class, singing, workshops, music tech, curriculum support – you name it, we can help you in restoring the role music plays in your school, investing in your students’ musical, social, personal development and wellbeing. Email

Primary School Music Teachers next meeting


Our second meeting for teachers in primary schools who deliver music to the young people in their care takes place next month.  During the meeting, recent research, resources and projects will be shared that can be utilized in the  classrooms and colleagues will discuss how music is made in school.

This will take place on Tuesday 12th January, 3.45pm -4.45pm on Microsoft Teams and we are delighted to welcome Kristian Parkes from Charanga. We will spend some time talking about what is needed from a music scheme and how to use commercial schemes and free resources to build and enhance your own scheme to suit the intent of your school’s music curriculum.  Kristian will talk about some of the hidden gems in Charanga that you can use to add to the scheme that is available to all Essex schools at a reduced cost through our e-learning package. Subsequent meetings will be planned for each half term and will cover topics related to all aspects of music in primary schools.   

Find out more about the meeting here.

BBC 10 Pieces Special Report Film

BBC 10

BBC Ten PiecesChampionhave released a very exciting 30 minute film;Ten Pieces Special Report.

In a fun and light-hearted take on the news report format, the 30 minute film will introduce students to pieces of classical music whilst giving them all a good giggle. This is a great way of entertaining classrooms in the run up to Christmas; and especially good for school’s who are not able to attend a Christmas concert in person this year. 

Ten Pieces Special Report is presented by BBC correspondent Ben Hunte, written by comedian Vikki Stone and features young people from Cornwall, Milton Keynes and London acting as correspondents from the classroom. The film mixes fantastic orchestral footage of some of our Ten Pieces favourites with a silly feel-good script packed with facts and fun to get the classroom learning and laughing. 

BBC Bring the Noise - offers more free Primary School Music resources with music, songs and resources for teachers, pupils and parents.  Click here for the latest guides to music making.

Big Sing - free resources for school

Big Sing

Looking for some new singing resources for your school? 

The Big Sing have made some education videos to get children singing and dancing in your classroom.  The videos have also been adapted and you can use them if your school is not currently singing. 

Read more and apply here.

Lottie's musical journey moves up the scale

Lottie Anstee

Jenni Thomson, our Ensembles Co-ordinator, finds out about Lottie Anstee's musical journey with Essex Music Services and beyond!

Lottie Anstee was principal flautist in the Essex Youth Orchestra and joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2018 as featured here.  

Recently, Lottie performed a recital in Churchill College, Cambridge University, and due to severely restricted numbers in the audience, it was filmed for YouTube viewing. There is a beautiful flute and harp sonata at the end. By the way,the harpist competed against Lottie in the Rotary Young Musician of the Year final in Edinburgh and now they come together as students at Cambridge to perform in harmony.

Hear the mellifluous music and read more here.

VIP lockdown stories

VIP Stuio ession

VIP Studio Sessions is one part of our E-Learning package  offering access to online music resources for Secondary Schools.

Click here to hear how Cristin Casey, Head of Curriculum Development for the Burnt Mill Academy Trust, began her journey of using VIP to produce a track - something that was not her specialism. 

In the last issue we featured how Jake from Burnt Mill Academy, is making all the right noises in the music industry.  Click here to read Jake's musical journey.

Free Charanga CPD sessions in 2021


Charanga offers a complete scheme teaching the national curriculum for music in Primary schools as desired by Ofsted.

Charanga is just one part of our E-Learning package: the whole package is charged at £100 offering access for an academic year. This is 50% cheaper than purchasing Charanga directly.

There are a number of free online Twilight CPD sessions taking place offering the opportunity to experience the benefits of Charanga who have access to our E-Learning package and for those who might be interested in signing up to the package.

Click on the header of each of the following to find out more:-

Diving Deep into Charanga on 14th December 2020.

Introduction to Charanga Musical Schools on 6th January 2021.

Supporting an Ofsted Deep Dive with Charanga on 26th January 2021.

For the full list of our CPD training programmes including Charanga - visit our website here.

Sound advice from Sound Connections

Sound Connections logo

Sound Connections, one of the Essex Education Hub's partners, is holding two events that maybe of interest to teachers, music education colleagues and more:- 

An introduction to analysing data and writing reports and takes place on Wednesday 6th January 2021. Click on the above link for more information. 

Inclusive Practice in Action - a two day virtual sit-in on diversifying the music education workforce. Takes place 11th and 12th February 2021.Click on the above header for more information.

Teachers take note


Sound Out 2021 As part of its response to the pandemic, the London Sinfonietta will be taking the whole of Sound Out online, creating a new resource in the form of four composition challenges to support composition in the classroom. The concert at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on 24 March 2021 will be streamed live on the internet for the first time, enabling schools across the country to participate. Click here for more information about the Composition Challenges

Ear Opener - is a series of free video masterclasses for music teachers demystifying the process of writing musicWatch and find out more here.

School Productions: From Page to Stage - take part in a series of two-hour, live sessions scheduled between 5-7pm every day from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th March 2021, offering essential insight and guidance to any teacher involved in mounting a school show. More information on the online events click here. 

Sounds even better with 0% finance

TAke it away

Take it away is a scheme backed by the Arts Council and offers 0% finance on purchasing instruments, tuition, sheet music and software.

Its aim is to make learning, playing and participating music making more affordable for those in full time education. Further information can be found here 

Manns Music in Colchester is one of the approved retailers - please telephone 01206 572783 or email Other retailers are available in Essex!

Compose yourself!

Composer yourself

ORA Singers is on the lookout for aspiring composers. The award-winning vocal ensemble, ORA Singers, is looking for young musicians with a desire to compose. Hear from past finalists on why to apply hereApplications close on 8 January 202 - click here for more information.

The Young Songwriter 2021 competition - Join the Song Academy's Christmas holiday songwriting workshops then enter its competition! Find out more here.

Instrumental information for young musicians

Jazz sax

Jazz Hang at Trinity Laban with Tomorrow's Warriors - an exciting new project for 11-16 year old musicians from a variety of backgrounds who are curious about jazz. Find out about the next free taster sessions on 13th December here.

National Youth Orchestra Inspire 2021 As well as musicians playing at Grade 6, we are also inviting every teenager in the country who plays at Grade 8 standard or above to apply for NYO Inspire this year. Find out more by clicking on the title above.

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

Essex Music Education Hub logo