Rhinegold Education and Rockschool‘s Rock Your GCSE Music is a high quality set of books covering the musical features of eight songs from almost all angles. It is an extremely useful resource for preparing for GCSE or BTEC (Level 2 or Level 3) music exams. When I worked through the Coldplay ‘Clocks’ project with my students, I found it really livened up BTEC and GCSE classes.
Rhinegold Education editors Emma and Lizzie were kindly invited to attend the opening night of the Music for Youth schools prom on Monday 12 November by one of the event sponsors (and our friends!), Rockschool. We were treated to a memorable, inspirational evening of music-making completely worthy of the grandeur of the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and we were so impressed that we thought we would write a little about what we saw.
The Music for Youth (MfY) festival season enables 45,000 young musicians from across the UK to perform in Regional Festivals and receive valuable feedback from MfY Music Mentors. Around 12,000 of these performers are then invited to perform at the huge six-day National Festival in Birmingham, where they can also take up workshops, master classes and more. Finally, 3,000 performers are then invited to take part in the culmination of the MfY season during a three-day programme at the Royal Albert Hall – the Schools Prom. As well as being an exceptional showcase of young talent and the sheer range of music being made every day across the country, this feat of ambition and scale also raises money for MfY to enable them to continue funding youth music – an incredible £8,000 was raised from the Proms in 2011.
The logistics of the concert we attended make our heads spin. An incredible 17 acts were smoothly brought on and off stage with not so much as a hiccup in proceedings, and the concert was staged and lit brilliantly, with excellent sound quality. Bearing in mind that one of the acts was the Vivendi Sounds Bradford Massed Ensemble, featuring a mere 650 performers aged 7-21, this is very, very impressive. The Ensemble played one of six original commissions for the Schools Prom, and it was breathtaking – as dramatic as any Bond theme, exotic and exciting.