The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 
Here at the Music Workshop Company we love to share our knowledge about the history of music. We believe that learning about the rich cultural heritage of the country where we live provides a valuable, direct link to our local communities, and can be an interesting starting point for a journey of musical exploration. 
 
As we hunker down to enjoy winter in the UK as the global pandemic forces ongoing travel restrictions, there seems no better time to meet one of the country’s greatest collectors and advocates of English folk music. 
 
Cecil Sharp was born on November 22nd, 1859. Curiously, November 22nd is also Saint Cecilia’s Day the feast day of St. Cecilia who is known as the patron saint of music and musicians. 
November 6th marks the birthdate of the inventor Adolphe Sax. Famous for the Saxophone, Sax conceived and patented quite a number of new instruments. His life was difficult and unusual, but his influence, and the thick, singing tones of his instruments or those they inspired, are still heard daily across music genres from pop to jazz and orchestras to regimental brass bands. 
 
Image: Reno Laithienne. Unsplash 
Exploring the National Arts, Creative and Cultural Education survey, July 2020. 
 
The Bridge England Network spent the summer months surveying UK schools. Their aim; to gather information about the needs and creative aspirations of children in the UK from autumn 2020. 
 
The resultant report showcases the importance of creative activities in learning. The value of the Arts for mental health is also highlighted. A large amount of data was collected around home learning during lockdown, and this shows the resilience of schools in devising creative learning activities despite, unprecedented obstacles. So how have schools managed to keep teaching, and where does creative learning and the Arts fit in to this ‘new normal’? 
September 2020 marks the 75th birthday of composer John Rutter, CBE. Famous for his choral music, Rutter was described by one interviewer in Country Life magazine as  
 
“probably the most oft-performed living composer,”  
 
and by the New York Times as  
 
“The Composer Who Owns Christmas.”  
 
His extensive output includes Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as the Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat. 
The first piano was made some time during the late 1600s or early 1700s by the Italian musical instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori.  
 
These early instruments were called clavicembalo col piano e forte, which translates as harpsichord with soft and loud.  
 
This description is how the piano got its full name; the pianoforte. 
The Music Workshop chats to Matt Parry, creator of The Opus Pocus on how to get kids to discover the magic of classical music.  
 
What is out there to help kids discover classical music? Especially at the moment with dedicated performances, workshops and group lessons so frustratingly put on hold? 
 
Of course you can just play this music to children, but getting them to listen to an entire symphony, for example, can be a bit tricky given its length and complexity.  
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