Yamaha partnerships provide many schools and music services with access to top-quality instruments with minimal capital expenditure. Host schools can then provide Yamaha courses outside school hours for their local community and the shared income covers operational costs for both Yamaha and the school. An alternative business model is also available, which allows schools to generate profits to help fund their music departments, if that is their preferred option.
Of course, during the school day, the quality of the Yamaha instruments also adds greatly to the quality of learning within the curriculum.
Yamaha also currently provides highly effective, progressive whole-class primary school programmes for keyboards and drums. Guitar and vocal content is to become available later this year. Our pioneering programme with Sandwell Youth Music now sees over 800 students learning keyboards across 14 Sandwell primary schools. Teachers and heads experienced a huge up-turn in interest in music making when the scheme was introduced in 2008. They have noted that the scheme has seen pupils developing much-improved social skills, behaviour and learning attitudes.
At last week's Federation of Music Services conference, education consultant, David Price OBE, talked enthusiastically about the ways to engage more young people in music education. The current thinking is to do more around the music that interests and excites young people.
Web 2.0 has brought web-based interactivity that allows participation and instant responses and sharing. The popularity of Facebook, Bebo and even MySpace has exploded into a world-wide on-line community which can share instantly. David argued that local music services (and therefore the local authorities which usually govern them) which continue to drag their feet on web 2.0 style social networking as a tool for delivering education will continue to haemorrhage people from music.
I just wanted to remind Yamaha Education Friends members that you can all have a community like this, which is interactive, where you and your pupils can share ideas, music, homework, etc; where you can set levels of privacy to protect the community from unwanted outsiders.
It's called 'Webjam'. It's free to set up and you can do it by clicking on the 'Create New Webjam' button at the top of the screen! Please let us know if you have already done this or are thinking about it.