Based all around the theme of ‘dynamism’, CEO Bridget Whyte gives a glimpse into what to expect from Music Mark’s 2023 Annual Conference programme, from virtual reality, to future industry pathways, and even birthday cake…
Last week I met up with a friend I worked with at Sing Up and we reminisced about the many conferences we exhibited at together. Primarily, the thing we remembered most vividly was the people that we connected with, reminding me afresh of the value of coming together to share knowledge and experiences.
Having attended more conferences than I can count as a delegate, exhibitor, and speaker, I feel honoured that part of my job as Music Mark’s CEO is to programme and present a whole conference. Of course, I have lots of help along the way, and it is definitely a labour of love for the whole Music Mark team, but for six years now I have been able to start with a blank page and create what I hope will be an exciting and inspiring Annual Conference.
Having selected our theme of ‘Dynamism’, our call for content back in the Spring resulted in a fantastic array of topics which made programming both easy in terms of filling the two days with exciting sessions, but also hard as I know delegates are going to struggle to decide which breakouts to attend and which they will have to miss! We’ll share the full programme in the Autumn, but as a taster of what will be discussed here are some of the programme highlights for me so far:
- Technology and virtual reality
We’ll explore the role of technology in music education, including how virtual reality is being used to learn an instrument. Delegates are invited to get ‘hands on’ with the latest gadgets…
- What does the current and future industry look like, and how can we provide pathways into it?
A panel of musicians will answer this question whilst a group of current music students will share their thoughts on their music education.
- Accessible music education for all children and young people
Our ongoing response to Talk into Action – our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion movement for the Music Education sector – will be threaded through the conference in various ways, including a presentation about an orchestral project with young carers and another which looks at neurodiversity and musical learning.
- The last decade in music education
You may have already seen that this is a very special year for Music Mark, as the charity turns 10! To mark this milestone, we’re reflecting on what we as a sector have learned from the last ten years and how we can embrace the next ten with renewed dynamism.
But not only are we celebrating our birthday, we’re also celebrating you and everything you do for the children and young people you work with. I’m very aware that this has been another challenging year for music education – particularly in England – and that further challenges lie ahead. For this reason, more so than ever, this Music Mark conference is here to shine a light on the dynamic spirit in which our sector has embraced change, continued to innovate, and provide vital musical opportunities for all children and young people.
We’re running the conference as a fully in-person event this year, though you’ll still be able to access on-demand digital content, our online exhibition and everything you need to know about our programme and speakers on our conference website. I hope that, like me, you’re looking forward to being in a room with others to exchange knowledge and experiences, network and learn, celebrate the contributions of our sector, and even enjoy a slice of Music Mark’s birthday cake!