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Dr Kanneh-Mason and Dr Rock revealed as Music Mark conference Keynote Speakers

24th September 2020

After announcing earlier this month that award-winning saxophonist and broadcaster YolanDa Brown will be hosting our annual conference, we are now pleased to reveal that this year’s keynote speakers will be Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason and Dr Julia Jones. Taking our flagship event fully virtual for 2020, we are thrilled that these inspiring women will be joining YolanDa and the Music Mark team on 20th November. The conference theme this year is simply ‘music’, covering topics at the very heart of what music educators do; from composition to improvisation, genre to syllabi, and rap to raga. For an event focussing on the music in music education, it is only fitting to be joined by keynote speakers for whom making, studying, and advocating for music is at the core of what they do.


Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (Photo credit Jake Turney)

Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason is a former lecturer at Birmingham University and the mother of the seven extraordinarily talented Kanneh-Mason children. Her son Sheku was the first black musician to win BBC Young Musician in 2016 and performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Collectively, the Kanneh-Masons have performed at concert halls across the world and garnered huge audiences for their popular Facebook live performances during lockdown. These moments of life in the family home were recently captured in the BBC’s ‘Imagine’ documentary and in Kadiatu’s newly published book, ‘House of Music’. We are excited to hear Dr Kanneh-Mason touch on these experiences in her keynote speech which will explore the role of the parent in supporting musical learning and progression.


Dr Julia Jones, AKA Dr Rock

Dr Julia Jones, also known as Dr Rock, is a lifelong advocate of music and its ability to transform brain and bodily health. With MSc, MBA and PhD credentials to her name as well as over 25 years of experience examining the neurological benefits of music, Julia is a leading expert in her field. She first began prescribing music in the 1990s while working as a psychologist, helping Olympic squads optimise performance by controlling anxiety and boosting motivation. Author of ‘The Music Diet’ and founder of Found in Music, her extensive research encouraged daily consumption of music in order to promote brain and body wellness. As such ‘the Music Diet’ has been incorporated into workplace wellness programmes in a new approach to health. A virtual version has since been launched since the pandemic to help maintain mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown.

With two such dynamic keynote speakers to hear from, this year’s annual conference is sure to stand out – not least as it is will be the first fully digital conference by Music Mark. Over the last 6 months, Music Mark have gained experience in running online events, receiving almost 2,500 sign-ups for their virtual  CPD Day for Music Teachers . For the conference in November, delegates will receive a personal login to watch and interact with sessions broadcasted live from Music Mark’s studio in Northamptonshire. In addition to the day’s livestream, all content will be available to access ‘On Demand’ for over 6 weeks after the event in order to catch all of the packed programme.

Tickets are now available to book with the full programme to be announced shortly.
To join YolanDa Brown, Dr Kanneh-Mason, Dr Rock and many more inspiring contributors, book your place today.