Car Parts Orchestra

Perhaps, like me, you’ve been fascinated by recent advertisements featuring musicians playing instruments made from car parts! It was good to read this article in The Telegraph about the Car Parts Orchestra who play the piece accompanying an advert for a Ford Focus, on instruments made from the car itself! As well as the article itself, there is a lovely video interview with the composer of the piece of music – Craig Richey – and the inventor of all the instruments – Bill Milbrodt. What a fantastic project.  (Incidentally, the new National Curriculum for Music asks teachers to explore new applications of technology to help pupils develop their musical performance skills. There’s potential for a great new scheme of work here!)

Armchair March

A big thank you to Andy Scott for pointing out this excellent film about Armchair March, a composition by Django Bates. In five minutes or so, Django talks about the composition, how he wrote the initial ideas and developed them, and the importance of improvisation in keeping his music alive. It is a great resource for educators, produced by Big Heart Media and Colin Izod for Channel 4.

Are you considering how to teach copyright and IPR to your KS3 pupils. Read this!

An important part of the Range and Content section within the new National Curriculum concerns issues related to copyright and intellectual property rights. I thought I would mention James Frankel’s really helpful sequence of posts on this issue which have explored this area in considerable detail. The latest one explores how the most sampled drum loop in history has been effected by the people who used the sample, as well as how copyright law protects it (or doesn’t). There are 18 posts so far on this issue from James and I’ve found them all very helpful. Thanks.

The 10th Young Composers’ Competition

It’s a shame about the reference to ‘pencils’ in the opening line of his of his piece in the Education Guardian, but it was still good to read about the 10th year of the Young Composers’ Competition being run by the Guardian and the BBC Proms. Given recent publicity about the Proms, perhaps something with an inclusive and multicultural theme will win this year? If you want my advice, get your pupils composing on that theme straight away. Check out my post on identity and cultural diversity for some ideas. :)