Category Archives: Love Music Trust

Life on Shuffle

This film shows some great work going on in Crewe through a collaboration between the fabulous Love Music Trust, Brighter Sound and Cheshire East. Life on Shuffle saw staff working with young people to help them produce a range of original music. Great stuff! Funding for the project came from Youth Music.


My Music Mark article on the history and recent work of the Love Music Trust

Here’s a copy of my article for the current Music Mark magazine on the establishment and recent work of the Love Music Trust. As a new music education hub, the Trust’s work is characterised by its ‘by schools, for schools’ approach (something that Ofsted could learn apparently). Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading about the work of the Trust and make sure you watch the amazing Free to Fly video first (linked from the opening of the article).

A music education hub in microcosm?

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been writing about the development of the Love Music Trust for the next Music Mark publication. As part of the preparation for this writing, I found the film that we made about the musical networking at Sandbach School back in 2007. I showed a clip of this in my talk about the Love Music Trust event in July but here’s the whole thing for those of you that are interested.

For Cheshire folk, you’ll recognise one or two of the characters in this film!

This is why I’m a trustee of the Love Music Trust

Congratulations to Jay Stannard at the Love Music Trust for writing and producting this outstanding video of the Trust’s work in its first year. Please watch and pass it on to others you know who love seeing the power of what Music can do in our young people’s lives.

The Love Music Trust is the music education hub in Cheshire East. It is an organisation full of fantastic and dedicated teachers. They do outstanding work in the vast majority of Cheshire East’s primary and secondary schools. They also run an amazing array of musical ensembles across the county. I’m very proud to be linked to the Love Music Trust by offering my advice as a Trustee. If you live in Cheshire East, please give this charity your full support.

The Love Music Charitable Trust wins Arts Council England funding as a music hub

I’m delighted to say that the new Love Music Charitable Trust has received three years of funding from Arts Council England to create a music education ‘hub’ for Cheshire East. This new organisation, run by a partnership of schools across Cheshire East, will help facilitate and deliver music education throughout the region.  Continue reading

A final update on the music hub bid from Cheshire East

In my previous post I was disappointed to have to write that a major provider of music education in Cheshire West and East had failed to support the establishment of a new charitable trust to provide music education services across Cheshire East. Well, in a late change of heart, I am delighted to report that Music for Life has agreed to support the establishment of the new Trust. The rival bid that they were planning to submit to ACE is also being withdrawn.

This is great news for all with an interest in providing a high quality, coherent and comprehensive music education service for all schools in Cheshire East. Firstly, Cheshire East will not be the only LA area where competitive bids have been submitted. But more importantly, subject to funding, the new Trust will represent all the current providers of music education in Cheshire East. It’s motto is for schools, by schools and this will underpin its entire approach.

The Trust will form a steering committee of the current providers. This will be dominated by schools leaders (headteachers, heads of music or delegates) as well as four cultural partners and a HEI representative. Music for Life will be represented in this group. At a governance level, the new Trust will draw co-opted Governors from primary and secondary schools, along with a smaller number (minority) of Governers from Sandbach School. The Trust will be set up and run within the auspices of Sandbach School, but it will not be dominated by Sandbach School in any way.

Finally, I’m delighted to announce that the provisional name for the new Trust is the Love Music Charitable Trust. We are sure this will shorted to Love Music for informal usage. I’d like to thank all of you that have committed to support the new Trust in your letters of support. The bid will be submitted tomorrow and we’ll have to wait until the end of April until the decision of ACE are revealed.

Fiona Bruce MP adds her support for a new music Trust for Cheshire East

I’m delighted to report today that Fiona Bruce MP has added her own support for the creation of a new music education charitable Trust for Cheshire East. This new Trust, currently led by Sandbach School but eventually to be managed by a consortium of school Governors from across Cheshire East, is bidding for Arts Council England funding to become the new music hub for Cheshire East. As I wrote in my previous post, the supporters of the new Trust are considerable – including the Cheshire East LA, the RNCM, MMU, all the performing arts colleges in Cheshire East and many key professional musicians, ensembles, industrial partners and others.

If you work in music education (in any  form) within Cheshire East and want to find out more about the proposed new Trust and what it will do, then please get in touch with me directly. I’ve worked closely with staff from Sandbach School and the LA over the last couple of weeks to get the proposals together.

I would like to say, publicly and clearly, that this new Trust represents the best opportunity for the development of a coherent, comprehensive and systematic approach to music education across Cheshire East. As it is led by schools, for schools, it only has school’s (and thereby pupils’) interests at heart. Please lend the new Trust your support by filling in this letter and sending it to ACE before next Friday.

Unfortunately, I have to report that one significant music education provider (that works mainly in Cheshire West not East) has failed to add its support to the new Trust. In what I consider to be a very disappointing move, they have decided to bid against the Trust and its supporters next week. I believe this will create the only competitive situation for music education hub funding in the whole of the United Kingdom. Sandbach School has consulted with them on numerous occasions but they have failed to understand what the new Trust is seeking to achieve. Whilst I respect their position, I am personally saddened that they have not sought to work in partnership with the Trust and its considerable support base at this point. They do not have the support of the Local Authority so it is hard to see how their bid could be successful. However, I need to say that the door is always open and I still hope that they will reconsider their position, even at this late stage, and agree to a collaborative approach to music education services in Cheshire East.

Please support a new approach to music education in Cheshire East

Sorry for the inactivity on the blog for the last month or so. For those of you that don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ve been off work for a bit with sciatica, but hope to be back at the end of February.

Anyway, I’m pleased that my first post of 2012 is about an exciting new initiative for music education where I live – Cheshire East. Over the last few weeks, Sandbach School, a free school, has been consulting with various partners about making an application for music hub funding from Arts Council England.

The proposal is to create a new charitable Trust to work in partnership with various organisations in providing music education services across Cheshire East. The trust would be owned by schools (Governors of the Trust would be co-opted from various schools across Cheshire East) and run for schools (hence the Trust’s tag-line of ‘by schools, for schools’.

Negotiations have been held with the Local Authority. Originally, they were going to make their own bid application but have decided to withdraw that and support the Trust’s application instead. The existing Cheshire East Music Service (including its staff and assets) would be subsumed within the new Trust.

The Trust is built on a range of existing networks which it will hope to exploit in delivering services to schools. These networks include the performing arts colleges in Cheshire East (all four are supporting the new Trust), the Teaching Schools Alliance (ten high schools across Cheshire East), and the MMU partnership of schools (including many primary and secondary schools across Cheshire East).

In addition, the new Trust has got the support of a very impressive list of partners, including:

  • Fallibroome Academy (with specialist performing arts status and a Teaching School)
  • Poynton High School and Performing Arts College (with specialist performing arts status)
  • Malbank School and Sixth Form College (specialist performing arts status)
  • Holmes Chapel Teaching School
  • Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Department of Contemporary Arts, MMU Cheshire
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • The Halle Orchestra
  • Roland UK
  • Fodens Brass Band
  • Sandbach Concert Series
  • Lions Youth Band
  • Buffet Crampon Instruments (Besson)
  • Sterling Instruments
  • John Wallace (Principal, Royal Scottish Conservatoire)
  • Andy Scott (BBC composer award winner)
  • Matthew Ford (Vocalist with the John Wilson Orchestra)
  • Rob Buckland (Professor of Saxophone, RNCM)
  • Dave Hassall (Professor of Percussion, RNCM)
  • Elliot Henshaw (Drummer, West End)
  • Simon Willescroft (Saxophonist, Duran Duran)
  • Paul Newton (Trumpet, West End Billy Elliot)
  • Elsie Alcock (Councillor, Sandbach Town Council)
  • Mr Jonathan Thackery (Northern Chamber Orchestra)
  • Bob Riley (Chief Executive, Manchester Camerata)
  • Fiona Sinclair (Manager, Lancashire Sinfonietta)

This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us who live and work in Cheshire East to create a new start for music education across the region. If you are an instrumental tutor, a music teacher, a headteacher or Head of Music working within Cheshire East, a parent with children receiving instrumental tuition, or just an interested observer of music education, please consider expressing your support for this new Trust by filling in this letter of support and sending it to Arts Council England (and a copy to Sarah Burns, the Headteacher at Sandbach School).

If you have any questions about the new Trust and its operation do get in touch.