Waterloo campus of King's College London: Franklin Wilkins Building room G73, 150 Stamford Street, London - Saturday 1 October 2005

Current practice in music teaching favours a practical, ‘hands-on’ approach emphasizing performance and composition; the use of recorded music as a teaching resource has tended to take a back seat. Yet recordings are the predominant vehicle of musical experience today, and students are expert listeners to recorded sound. Moreover, major developments in the access to, and presentation of recorded music are opening up new educational possibilities.

Targeted primarily at school music teachers, this one-day seminar covered a variety of issues on this topic, ranging from the production and engineering aspects of recorded sound to on-line music libraries and teachers’ experiences of using recordings in the classroom.

Click here to download Poly Victoros' Seminar report. (pdf file)

This one-day seminar was hosted by WestFocus Creative Industries Network and Royal Holloway, University of London in association with CHARM.

Thanks to Jonathan Tyack (RHUL) and Poly Victoros (RHUL) for organising this WestFocus event in association with CHARM.


10.00am Registration/coffee
10.15 Nicholas Cook, Welcome and introduction
10.30 Norton York, Recordings and the curriculum
11.15 Tea/coffee
11.30 Anna Rees, The musical futures project
12.15pm Timothy Day, Listening to history
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Jim Barrett and Mike Howlett, The music industry and school music education: connecting the signals
15.00 Andy Hill, Playtime
15.45 Tea/coffee
16.00 Roundtable discussion
17.00 Close



Nicholas Cook

Welcome and introduction

Nicholas Cook is Professorial Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, and directs the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM). He is the author of articles and books on a wide variety of musical subjects (Music: A Very Short Introduction has been translated into ten languages). His most recent book is a forthcoming study of the music theorist Heinrich Schenker in the context of fin-de-siècle Vienna.

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Norton York

Recordings and the curriculum

Norton York is Chairman and founder of Rockschool Ltd and Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster. He is also Headteacher of a preparatory school.

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Anna Gower

The musical futures project

Anna Gower is Head of Music at Monk’s Walk School, a large secondary comprehensive school in Hertfordshire. The school is currently one of four piloting the ‘musical futures project’, an innovative approach to classroom music teaching.

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Timothy Day

Listening to history

The first hundred years of recording show sounds and performing styles in the same repertory continually changing, and the words used about music are similarly perplexing: how can they be talking about the same music? The truth is that we constantly recreate and re-invent old music, we who use it, perform it, listen to it, talk about it. This is surely an encouraging lesson, which suggests not too much reverence towards big, rich, tough music but an energetic and personal involvement. How can we foster such an approach?

Timothy Day is Curator of Classical Music Recordings in the British Library and Chair of the Academic Advisory Board of CHARM, the AHRC Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music.

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Jim Barrett

The music industry and school music education: connecting the signals

Jim Barrett continues as an active musician, now more often seen playing the bass saxophone at events like the Brecon Jazz Festival than the double bass he used to carry around London or the guitar of his folk music days. Although his Music Technology BSc (Hons) from London Guildhall University included both traditional musical instrument making and electronic technologies, it is the latter that have dominated the (ND/HND) courses he has written for Edexcel and South Thames College, and later (BSc/MSc) for the University of Glamorgan where he is currently a Principal Lecturer leading very successful courses in music and sound technology. He is Vice-Chairman of the Music Producers Guild and has a particular interest in Music Technology at school level as well as a thorough knowledge of industry practices.

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Mike Howlett

The music industry and school music education: connecting the signals

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Mike Howlett was active as a record producer, producing Top 10 hits with bands like Orchestral manoeuvres in the Dark, Martha and the Muffins, Blancmange, A Flock of Seagulls and China Crisis as well as albums with Gang of Four and Joan Armatrading amoung others, winning a Grammy award for A Flock of Seagulls. As a performer, Mike played bass guitar for Gong (with whom he still tours occasionally) and in 1977 he founded the group Strontium 90 with Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland which went on to become The Police. In 1992, Mike organised the first-ever live Rock concert in Red Square. Today he has his own funky-space-jazz trio called House of Thandoy which has played at the Glastonbury Festival and the Royal Festival Hall. He is currently Chairman of the Music Producers Guild and lecturer in Audio Technology and Record Production at the University of Glamorgan the Thames Valley University.

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Andy Hill


Andy Hill works for Broadchart Ltd, a music streaming company that offers the 'Playtime' service to schools. In the seminar Andy will demonstrate how the service works and what music it covers.

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