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.
I'm delighted to announce the nine ensembles shortlisted to take part in the Yamaha Jazz Experience competition finals, hosted by Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 1 May 2010. Jazz FM broadcaster Helen Mayhew joined leading jazz educator Richard Michael and me, Yamaha's education liaison manager, Bill C Martin, to make the selection at Yamaha UK headquarters in early March.
The finalists for each category (ages as on 1 September 2009):
11 & under 15: Blue Lizard (Manchester Music Service); Pimlico Junior Jazz (Pimlico Academy); Blue Shift (Guildhall School of Music & Drama Junior Department)
11 & under 17: St Ignatius Jazz (St Ignatius College, Enfield); Dumfries Youth Jazz Group (Dumfries Youth Jazz); Time Team (Northampton Music & Performing Arts Service)
11 & under 19: Tomorrow's Warriors Biggish Band (Tomorrow's Warriors, London); Friendly Bacteria (GSMD Junior Department, London); Chetham's Jazz Sextet (Chetham's School of Music, Manchester)
Jazz ensembles from all over the UK - from Shetland in the north of Scotland, down to Devon on England's south-west peninsula - entered ensembles for the competition, with a chance to win gigs at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's, The 606 Club and The Bull's Head Jazz Club in south-west London on 1 May 2010, along with a total of £9,000 worth of Yamaha prizes for their school, college or community centres.
To enter, participants had to set up a jazz ensemble comprising piano (or keyboard/vibes), bass, drums and optionally up to five additional performers. They had to prepare a blues and either a jazz standard or a piece of their own choosing, with impro at its heart, video their best performance of them and send them to Yamaha them to Yamaha.
Then in early March 2010 two of the distinguished Yamaha Jazz Experience judges, Helen Mayhew (jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM) and Richard Michael (2009 Parliamentary Jazz 'Jazz Educator' award winner and Yamaha Jazz Experience workshop leader), joined Yamaha's Bill C Martin for the difficult job of choosing only nine ensembles to take part in the competition finals in Cheltenham.
Helen, Richard and I had a fantastic time watching and listening to the wonderful video entries, from every conceivable kind of educational and music institution and from all over the UK. I was particularly pleased to hear entries from some of those teachers new to jazz who took part in our Jazz Experience workshops in 2009, and who have clearly moved their own skills on tremendously. We were stunned by the overall quality of musicianship in the entries, which made it very difficult to choose only nine finalists! We want to thank all the teachers and music leaders who have clearly put in so much work with their ensembles and, even if they haven't got through to the finals on this occasion, they may be consoled to know that Helen has noted names and will be on the lookout for emerging new jazz stars, no doubt to feature on her Jazz FM programme, 'The Yamaha Jazz Jam', in the future!"
On 1 May the nine finalists will perform before a distinguished judging panel of: Julian Joseph (internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and Jazz Experience workshop leader), Andrea Vicari (jazz professor at Trinity College of Music, professional jazz musician with Andrea Vicari Trio, director of Dordogne Jazz Summer School and Jazz Experience workshop leader), Liane Carroll (inspirational jazz singer, winner of 2008 Parliamentary Jazz 'Musician of the Year' award winner), Helen Mayhew (jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM), Peter Ind (Jazz Experience patron and legendary jazz double bass player) and inspirational jazz educator Richard Michael.
The judges will announce the winners at the event.
We would like to thank the Yamaha Jazz Experience venue partners, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's, the 606 Club and the Bull's Head Jazz Club in London. We wish all the finalists the greatest success.
Well, after lots of preparation, the day arrived and Yamaha, along with representatives from the whole of the UK music industry, had geared up for Education Day at the brand new London International Music Show in London's Docklands.
Students and their teachers were treated to a broad range of experiences from Yamaha, including displays and demonstrations of Yamaha's world-beating instruments and equipment from orchestral to rock instruments, from concert grand pianos to the much loved digital Clavinova pianos, from synths to the brand new 21st century instrument, the Tenori-On!
Yamaha ran some superb workshops for drum kit beginners, led by Yamaha Music School teacher trainer, Kew West. We collaborated with the European String Teachers' Association in their wonderful presentation of Yamaha electric strings, led by Sarah Drury. We also supported our colleagues, the Associated Board, lending them a top-of-the-range stage piano for their workshop on improvisation, led by Pete Churchill.
I met lots of educators and would like to thank all of you for taking the time to visit me on the Yamaha stand. Please take some time once a week to glance through this site and post your comments, requests, ideas and links to great teaching resources. I hope to see you again soon!
On June 13th the fledgeling London International Music Show - now arguably the major music trade show in the UK - holds its Education Day. Yamaha will be running drum taster sessions for beginners of all ages on a first-come-first-served basis. Teachers and children (aged 9+) will be taught some simple drum patterns and techniques featuring Yamaha's groundbreaking DTX electronic drum kits and practice pads. The session will end with playing along to a CD - and all that in less than 30 minutes!
For those considering whole-class drum kit tuition as part of wider opportunities, the group teaching model we use for drum kit is highly effective and enormous fun for the participants. Spectators are welcome too but we hope you'll come along and have a go.
Click here to register for LIMS' Education Day.