National music education charity Orchestras for All (OFA) has announced details of its 2019-2020 Modulo Programme. The programme supports secondary school music teachers and community music leaders to set up and develop a small ensemble (a ‘Modulo’) of between 4 and 10 young people in their school or community. The young players can be of any instrument and of any skill level or experience, and the programme supports 35 schools and community groups each year across London, the West Midlands, North West of England and Yorkshire.
Once a teacher or music leader has registered on the programme they are provided with all the music and rehearsal resources (including specially created musical arrangements) required to get a Modulo ensemble up and running. Each Modulo attends one regional and one national Modulo Meet, taking place in iconic venues across the country – including the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Each school also hosts an in-school masterclass from one of our artistic partners: BBC Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
This year’s theme is My Roots, Our Routes, exploring music that underpins human migrations and journeys, alongside the music that defines individual contexts, backgrounds and histories. The specially arranged repertoire covers a diverse selection of music, including Smetana’s Vltava, two Klezmer tunes Exile and Bulgar from Odessa, a folk medley arranged around four British folk tunes Set Square and African American spiritual The Gospel Train.
Our independently-verified research has demonstrated that Modulo Programme participation improves both musical and social skills of young musicians. Previous music teachers have said:
“You can see their confidence has been growing. Their overall musicality as well and the way that they approach music.”
“It gives them a taste of what we could have if they carried on with it in school time.”
“For newly qualified teachers, it’s really important to speak to other people and see what they are doing and how they are doing it to improve practice.”
Shortlisted for ‘Best Musical Initiative’ at the 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, the Modulo Programme has, over the last year, supported 35 school and community ensembles, including helping to set up 23 brand new ensembles in schools and communities which previously had no ensemble music activities.
Schools interested in signing up should visit the Orchestras for All website, and sign up before 18 October 2019 to receive a 20% discount on the participation fee.