Monthly Archives: October 2012

Music Sales head to the SMA conference

This weekend, I’ll be packing my boxes of books and heading down the M4 from the Music Sales HQ to attend the SMA Conference in Bristol. The conference is being held at the Hotel Amos and offers a great opportunity to speak with primary school teachers and early years practitioners as well as teachers with a secondary background.

The SMA differs from other events in that it’s primarily aimed at those teaching younger music learners, and it’ll be fascinating to find out what’s going on at those age levels.

In particular I’m hoping to speak to people about our You Can Teach Primary Music book. If you’ve read it do let me know what you think of it and whether there are other resources we can publish to support your teaching at Primary level. If you haven’t yet seen it do come to the stand and have a flick through!

As for conference sessions, there are some really fascinating discussions and workshops going on which I’ll definitely try to catch. The session linking DJ skills to literacy looks really interesting in particular, and there’s a workshop on how to adopt a whole-school approach to rhythm which also looks good.

There’ll be a Music Sales stand at the conference with a range of Rhinegold Education materials, including the new book: How to Create a Successful Music Ensemble - indespensible for those of you setting up a choir or instrumental group – along with the fabulous Teach and Play world music series. Check out the preview of the DVDs for this series on YouTube!

We’ll also have a range of Music Sales products to look through, including the great Golden Apple musicals for Primary schools. So if you are attending please pop to the stand and say hello – I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.


50 Years of Bond

The release of the new Bond film Skyfall this year, with the theme by our very own Adele, marks the 50th anniversary of the famous spy series, and has prompted renewed discussion about the theme tunes used over the years. ‘Live And Let Die’ by Paul McCartney & Wings was actually recently voted the best James Bond film theme by BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 2 listeners. Having worked closely with this track in our exciting new Rock Your GCSE Music series, it has been at the forefront of my mind for several months and got me thinking about what makes a good Bond song!

The Rock Your GCSE Music series showcases eight popular songs in a way that helps teachers to teach GCSE skills through the medium of great music and helps students to master an ensemble performance of each one. ‘Live And Let Die’ seemed a perfect choice for this project and the more I worked with it the more I grew to like it. I love the contrasting sections and the way it is so diverse. I think students will get a lot out of studying it – for starters they’ll probably know it well by the Guns n Roses version or for its appearance in Shrek 2 but this might be a new version to them, and it has lots of interesting elements to make it an exciting track to study and play. It covers a range of styles and musical techniques by way of the different sections of the song form, from a clear intro section to an up-tempo rock section, a modulation, and even a reggae section. It has interesting chords/harmonies and variations in tempo, and plenty of drama. The varying song form allows the performer to practise swift changes of key, tempo and mood – keeping them on their toes like a James Bond theme should!

The Bond themes are fantastic at representing the films they were written for and the era they were written in. The original orchestral Bond theme from Dr. No is the Daddy of the Bond films with its unmistakable, tense opening guitar riff and loud brassy moments. This theme tune ends on a fantastic chord that leaves you feeling a real sense of excitement as to what’s coming from the film and the action man himself.

Personally, my favourite Bond theme has to be ‘Licence To Kill’. I do prefer this Bond theme to ‘Live And Let Die’, although it comes a close second! There are moments, resulting from the dynamics and pleasing harmonies of this song, that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s dramatic and mysterious from the very outset and retains my attention throughout. I have been known to belt this out in the car when I’m by myself!

I canvassed the editors here at Music Sales about their favourite Bond themes – do you agree with them? What’s your favourite and why? And how is ‘Live and Let Die’ going down with your students? Do you like the new Skyfall theme? Let us know – our contact details are on the right.
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Rhinegold Education To Attend The Name Conference 2012

Rhinegold Education, the leading publisher of music education resources for GCSE and A Level Music, will be at the NAME Conference 2012, 5th – 6th October, at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Stone.

The event is the annual conference of NAME members, and Rhinegold Education will be exhibiting throughout the conference.  Delegates are invited to visit the Rhinegold Education stand to find out more about Rhinegold Education’s wide range of classroom resources for the Edexcel, AQA and OCR GCSE and A Level specifications, as well as our general music education resources, and to learn about some exciting new resources being published later this year.

“This event gives Rhinegold Education another opportunity to engage with music educators and get important feedback about the issues that affect teachers and students.  It’s also a great chance to present some of our great new series such as Rock Your GCSE Music and exciting new titles like Digital Media in the Music Classroom.

We’ll be there for the whole conference and I’m looking forward to chatting with as many delegates as possible over the two days.”

– Euan Philipps, Rhinegold Education Marketing Manager

For more information:

Euan Philipps, Education Marketing Manager, will be available on the stand throughout the conference; alternatively you can email for more information about Rhinegold Education.

You can also find information about Rhinegold Education resources at:, or follow us on Twitter @RhinegoldBooks.