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Tessa Bartley

Tessa Bartley rounds up books and resources

Streetlights Music School

This offers a course of Saturday morning classes for 10 to 16-year-olds, and afternoon classes for 16 to 20-year-olds, over a 12-week term. Lessons will be held at at South Hampstead High School, London NW3, with professional musicians and dancers covering history, culture, technique and various genres. They will be given advice on how to cope in the music industry. There will be a maximum of 12 pupils in a class and the cost per term is pound;300.

Make It Break It

There is just one month left before the closing date of this year's Make It Break It awards for outstanding young songwriters. The competition is organised by Yamaha and the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts.

This year, judges will include Coldplay's Chris Martin, broadcaster Mark Radcliffe, pop sensation Ms Dynamite, Live8 organiser Harvey Goldsmith and producer Steve Levine. Aiming to encourage and promote original work, the awards offer a weekend of masterclasses covering songwriting, music production and marketing. The winners will have the opportunity to meet people who have made it in the pop music business and take away pound;1,000 worth of Yamaha equipment, as well as the chance to perform with the backing of professional bands in front of music industry executives.

Entries fall into three categories: rock, pop and urbandance, and are separated into two age groups: 14 to 16 and 17 to 19 years. Closing date: November 30.

Count Down to Christmas By Mark and Helen Johnson Out of the Ark Music Pounds 19.95

This new Christmas musical (pictured) for primary schools follows the lives of the Moss family in the days leading up to Christmas. As mum juggles shopping, decorating and cooking, the play looks back to how God prepared for the birth of Jesus two millennia ago. Each of the nine scenes has its own theme song, and they can be rehearsed independently. The accompanying CD contains rehearsal tracks as well as backing tracks for the performance.


Singers and musicians playing wind, brass and strings can now benefit from SmartMusic's intelligent accompaniment while practising their pieces. By singing or playing into a microphone connected to a Windows or Macintosh computer, SmartMusic will play the accompaniment and follow any tempo changes you make. The software contains more than 30,000 pieces.

including 500 in the Associated Board syllabus grades 1 to 8. You can also put a difficult passage into a loop and, starting slowly, gradually work up to speed, as well as transposing the accompaniment into a more suitable key. Students can also record with the accompaniment and then listen to their own performance.

Music in the School By Janet Mills OUP pound;14.95

This book aims to help teachers improve their music teaching whatever their level. The author questions the label "musical school", as some schools described in this way provide a strong musical support to only a minority of pupils while the majority gain no music experience. She also attempts to dispel the notion that there are "musical" and "non-musical"

people, in the belief that everyone has musical potential. There is advice on linking music in school with the community, suggestions for assessing pupils' progress and recommended reading.


By Carol Shephard and Bobbie Smith Hawthorn Press pound;14.99

For anyone involved in musical activity with groups, Jabulani! (pictured above) is a step-by-step guide to success.

The first chapter, Finding your Instruments, shows how you can make percussion and wind instruments with the contents of your cupboard, find ready-made instruments such as saucepans, and encourage imaginary ones such as air-guitars.

Once you have created your "orchestra", the next two chapters have activity suggestions involving rhythm and the use of the voice. The final chapters look at bringing music into other activities. The accompanying CD provides instructions, case studies and useful tips.

Classic Ephemera By Darren Henley and Tim Lihoreau Boosey Hawkes Pounds 9.99

Packed with fun and facts, this book (pictured) starts by explaining musical terms and orchestral instruments. In chapter three, great composers each get a paragraph, with recommendations on which of their compositions to listen to. For some there are additional facts - eg, Benjamin Britten was a conscientious objector during the Second World War. There are the plots of 10 operas and "Liszts" of composers and music used in television adverts.

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Tessa Bartley

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