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How to teach music… in perfect harmony

Discussion group

“How to teach music… in perfect harmony”
at the London A Cappella Festival 2012
14:50-15:30 in The Wenlock Room
Saturday 14th January, Kings Place, London

The last few years have seen a sharp increase in people’s interest in singing. From X-Factor and Pop Idol, to SingStar and Rock Band, to High School Musical and Glee, it’s clear there is massive public interest in singing and vocal groups.

Unfortunately it seems so far like the message of each of those franchises is centered squarely on celebrityism and pop star success – rather than developing real musical ability.

Can this widespread enthusiasm be harnessed to really drive music education forwards and encourage a new generation of truly talented musicians to emerge?

This week the London A Cappella Festival is held at Kings Place, curated by The Swingle Singers and Ikon Arts Management.

I’m proposing an informal discussion group as an #LACFextra, on the topic of a cappella for music education, tentatively entitled “How to teach music… in perfect harmony”. Not so much “How can we teach a cappella music?” as “How can we use a cappella to teach music?”

Some initial suggestions for discussion topics:

  • Why use a cappella for music education?
  • What areas of teaching music could a cappella be relevant to?
  • What specific benefits are there to using a cappella music for teaching?
  • Why isn’t it already more used?
  • How has it been used? Any successful experiences?
  • How can technology bolster a cappella in music ed?
  • What can we do to accelerate music education using a cappella music?
  • What potential collaborations between music ed. professionals/companies and a cappella groups are there?

The discussion will be open to everyone, and we’re hoping we might even entice a few of the festival performers to join us.

Details of time and location will be announced later this week, but the discussion will be at Kings Place during the day on Saturday and run for 30-40 minutes.

UPDATE: The discussion will take place in The Wenlock Room of Kings Place, from 14:50-15:30 on Saturday 14th.

If you’re interested in this topic, please:

  1. Leave a comment below to say you’ll come along (and suggest any further discussion points)
  2. Help spread the word using the social media buttons below, or by linking to this post and using hashtag #LACFextra.

If you’re not currently planning on attending LACF2012… Why not? Read a bit about last year’s festival and change your mind!

Sincere thanks to Jessica from Ikon Arts for supporting this LACFextra event.

Friday night at the London A Cappella Festival 2011

One of my favourite things about moving to North London has been setting up home just five minutes from Kings Place – a tremendous two-hall venue which houses a wide variety of live music, comedy, and spoken word performances throughout the year (and earns bonus points with the office-less entrepreneur for offering good coffee and free WiFi during the day!)

Last night I had the pleasure of attending not one but three concerts as part of the London A Cappella Festival 2011.

I very rarely read music reviews and don’t imagine myself any kind of a journalist, but I wanted to share some of the wonderful experience of the evening. So what follows isn’t intended as a critical review or a thorough recounting of the programme – just some thoughts and highlights from one excitable a cappella fan.

Note: I’m not one to snap photos during gigs, so please note none of the pictures or videos below are from the actual event.

If I’ve made any factual errors or you disagree with any of the views expressed – please shout in the comments below!