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.

Happy New Year from all at Essex Music Services

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As we begin another year, with schools unable to open as normal, we are needing to move all our instrumental learning provision online.

We are working in partnership with all schools to deliver the tuition virtually that was set for face-to-face delivery within each school. The virtual lessons will be delivered on the same day and at the same time, and with the same teacher as normal. All schools will be in direct contact with us and we will be working together to set this up as quickly as possible. All class tuition can continue, and we can virtually make provision to all schools to support remote learning. If you have any questions about delivery for the Spring term, please email them to

We will continue to offer school network meetings, training sessions, our e-learning provision and bespoke provision that schools have been setting up with us – we are very keen that despite the challenges around us, young people are enabled to access music education during this time, and that our support and training continues to be accessible.

Facing this current challenge, our attitude of ‘#candomusic’ will ensure we will try and do all that we can to continue music making for young people at this time. We look forward to being able to provide further opportunities across the communities of Essex, but until that time would ask that everyone remains safe and follows the current Government advice.

Home Learning resources


If you are looking for inspiration for home learning, here are some resources to support music education within both Primary Provision and Secondary Provision.

Many of the Primary provisions will be discussed in the Network Meeting outlined below.

Hidden Charanga gems and home learning resources


Our next Free Primary School Music Teachers meeting takes place on Tuesday 12th January, 3.45pm -4.45pm on Microsoft Teams. Kristian Parkes from Charanga will reveal some of the hidden gems in this online music resource to enhance the delivery of music education. Charanga  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.

Free Focus on Sound online CPD sessions

Focus on Sound Pro

Focus on Sound is an online music resource and assists in the preparation for external music examinations in Secondary schools. It is just one part of our E-Learning package.

These free CPD sessions are an opportunity to experience the benefits of Focus on Sound before joining our E-Learning package. 

Updated guidance for music provision

Music Mark conference

Following the Government's Lockdown announcement, there has been much  guidance and recommendations for music provision.  Music Mark has provided a new supplement here and our website also offers guidance for schools, colleges, academies, parents and carers here.

Music Mark is the UK association for Music Education and acts on behalf of its members, partners and the wider sector. Its aim is to support the high-quality music education provision for all school aged children and young people.

Music Mark's free member webinar on 14th January, 'Why just ‘doing’ music isn’t enough', will be led by Ofsted’s National Lead for Music, Mark Phillips HMI and members can register here.

Free Twilight CPD sessions


There are a number of free online Twilight CPD sessions e 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.

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

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

Supporting an Ofsted Deep Dive with Charanga on 26th January 

Discover Charanga's SEND and Create resource on 9th February               

Composing with Charanga on 23 February.

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

Young musicians - compose yourself!

Composer yourself

Guildhall School Young Composers Course - designed for students working towards GCSE or A Level Music and those hoping to enhance composition skills outside of the exam environment. Applications close on 12th January. Find out more here.

National Centre for Early Music - Young Composers Award - an opportunity for the under 25 year olds to create a new work for recorder quartet and hear their composition performed in St John's Smith Square, London and recorded for broadcast by the BBC Radio 3. Read more here. 

Song Academy are offering a new songwriting programme for Spring 2021 which may assist in entering The Young Songwriter 2021 competition!  See further details here. 

Teachers - Take note!


Composition Challenges - invites young people, teachers and schools to create new music for the London Sinfonietta inspired by the works and musical ideas of living composers. Suitable for KS2/3 students. Selected new works will be performed at a Sound Out Schools Concert in Spring 2021. 

Ear Opener -offers a series of free video masterclasses  which are an excellent learning tool for students and provide a professional development tool for teachers. Watch and find out more here.

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

Workshop leading in the Early Years - sharing ideas how to deliver to large group sessions. Develop skills and knowledge to plan and structure a creative environment. Takes place on 13th January at 4pm.

Inclusive Practice in Action - a two day virtual sit-in on diversifying the music education workforce. Takes place 11th and 12th February.

An introduction to analysing data and writing reports and takes place on 23rd February (postponed from 6th January).  

Taking a music qualification linked with higher achievement - according to Cambridge Assessment research..

Instrumental information for young musicians


New Year String Sessions  The Benedetti Foundation is  running a weekend's virtual sessions for string players on 16th -17th January for beginners, intermediates and advanced strings. Full details are here. 

National YouthJazz Wednesdays - January - livestreamed conversations between leading Jazz artists sharing top tips for young musicians. Click here for details on Wednesday events.

Junior Trinity Virtual Open Day - taking place on 30th January it offers opportunities to hear from staff and students, watch classes in action, tour the historic site and be part of a Q&A session. Click to register a place and receive more information.

National Youth Jazz Collective's Summer School - applications are now open to enjoy a week with like-minded improvising young musicians. 

National Youth Orchestra Inspire is a programme designed to widen access to orchestral music for those musicians traditionally under-represented in the sector. Grade 6 and above young musicians are invited to apply here.

Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Classical Writers has just launched its new prize encouraging young people to write about classical music. It is open to those aged between 16 and 25 years with prizes of £1,000. The closing date for applications to be uploaded is 2nd February. 

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

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